Budo-Nord turns 50 Years old (1973-2023)
We are very proud to have provided Martial artists with equipment for a full 50 years now. It has been a long journey with many successes and challenges to reflect on. Today, Budo-Nord is a Martial arts brand to be reckoned with, used daily by martial artists in most styles all over the world.
This is how it all started…….
In the infancy of Swedish Budo, the public did not know much more about Budo than that it was a question of some kind of wrestling, albeit in clothes that looked like white pyjamas, so everything was called pyjama wrestling and these pyjamas were supplied at a very early stage by Klas Lifors during the name Budo-Nord.
As one of the very first in the industry, Klas imported budo clothing and equipment from Japan and other East Asian countries already in the early 60s. He had a small shop cluttered with articles, in a quaint neighborhood in the south of Stockholm that only the most die-hard enthusiasts could find. At that time, there was only a small devoted crowd who practiced Judo, Karate, Ju-jutsu, Aikido and the other eastern martial arts and they made the pilgrimage to crowd into Klas small shop, where his mother also operated.
However, Klas was not satisfied with the uneven quality of the goods that the Asian suppliers provided at the time and also often with an excessively long delivery time. In 1973, he finally succeeded in getting his own completely Swedish manufacturing started, where some nimble seamstresses at Utterbyn’s former school in Torsby soon started the production of the famous white pyjamas or rather Keikogi training suits under the name Budo-Nord and which now quickly became completely dominant throughout Scandinavia.
Karate and Ju-jutsu had been given a favorite outfit that could withstand stress and suit us Westerners. Swedish quality and know-how became a success that the Asians could not match, and before long Budo-Nord had customers as far away as England, Germany and France.
Budo-Nord took the next big step when the store moved from its obscure location to a location on Sveavägen in the middle of Stockholm. At the opening, all the big names in Swedish Budo at the time took part, and it is with nostalgic pride that we can say that we still have that shop today in the same premises at the same address.
Budo enthusiasts had certainly become more numerous, but never before had they appeared in such an illustrious context as the large store on this parade street, with huge shop windows where entire kendo armor, rows of richly illustrated books, wooden swords, makiwara and other rare training tools were displayed to a wondering public.
Budo-Nord had become as obvious as it was an important part of Swedish budo, so it was natural that the Swedish national team in karate and ju-jutsu turned to us for their equipment. Soon, Budo-Nord had cooperation agreements with all the leading karate styles and with Swedish ju-jutsu. Sales also increased in Norway, Denmark and Finland, which led to Budo-Nord suppling all the national teams with their needed equipment in all the Nordic countries.
With budo’s growth in popularity, the knowledge and requirements of its practitioners also rose, but at Budo-Nord, since the beginning, product development was a constant driving force. With knowledgeable and careful directives, Budo-Nord started competent manufacturing in Taiwan, where the products were improved both in terms of design and materials.
One of the main examples of this was the Karate uniform made of brushed canvas, which Budo-Nord produced in the mid-80s, which then became the standard in the industry. This type of uniform has become a world leader and has been copied by many manufacturers. Budo-Nord also radically renewed the Judo uniform in the 80s, by introducing the all-white uniform. In the past, customers had often been forced to bleach their newly bought suits themselves with strong chlorine baths to get them white.
In addition to the costumes and training equipment, Budo-Nord has also made an effort to produce protection suitable for budo. Unlike other brands, Budo-Nord’s protectors are equipped with shock and shock-absorbing inserts. Although this has entailed a higher cost, Budo-Nord has considered it extremely important to be able to offer protection that can minimize the risk of injury as much as possible. The encouragement and support that Budo-Nord has received over the years, and the established concept that Budo-Nord has become, is a great reward for our efforts.
50 years and 1000s of products later
Today, Budo-Nord is run by Sigurd Schiemann and Pierre Dahl via Budo & Fitness Sport who have established Budo-Nord internationally in about 40 countries where you can come across Budo-Nord from Australia to the Philippines or the USA. There are products for pretty much all different martial arts with everything from Karate, Ju-jutsu to BJJ and Thai boxing with constant product development. Today there are two underlines Budo-Nord Classic with products for our most classic martial arts, where we once started our journey, but now also Budo-Nord Fight Gear, which are products for more fighting-oriented martial arts such as boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai and MMA, etc.
Budo-Nord is a main sponsor of the world’s largest martial arts organization
A big milestone for Budo-Nord was obviously when our selected karate products were approved by the World Karate Federation (WKF) and Budo-Nord became one of the 12 main sponsors. WKF which is the largest karate organization with no less than 10 million members spread over 191 countries. WKF arranges competitions in both Kumite and Kata for all agesand has since 1970 been arranging a World Karate Championships every two years.
#GreenKarate WKF project
The #GreenKarate project is a pioneering initiative to put karate at the forefront of sustainability in sport. Following the recommendations of the IOC Olympic Agenda 2020+5, and in its efforts to promote a more sustainable world, the WKF has created a pioneering project to make karate a more environmentally friendly sport. In collaboration with WKF’s main partner, the #GreenKarate project is designed to promote the production and widespread use of sustainable karate equipment. Through this initiative, WKF and its partners pledge to produce karate equipment, protection and tatamis made from at least 70% recycled materials. All ”WKF Approved” equipment produced with at least 70% recycled material will carry the ”WKF Approved Green Karate” label and we are extremely proud that the Budo-Nord Mirai is one of these selected and approved products launched by Tural Aghalarzade at the European Games 2023.
Team Budo-Nord all over the world with 100s of dedicated users every day
We are of course very proud of all the famous athletes, federations and national teams that have chosen Budo-Nord over the years, such as the Olympic medalist Stanislav Horuna from Ukraine, elite-ranked Tural Aghalarzade from Azerbaijan and the Swedish Karate national team. We are perhaps even prouder of all the hundreds of committed practitioners training hard and who daily tag and share their photos in social media such as instagram and facebook from training and competitions around the world when they use their equipment from Budo-Nord. We get so incredibly inspired by following you all on your own martial arts journey through life, regardless of whether you train to compete and win or just to have fun and the fantastic community offered in Martial arts #budonord @budo.nord @BudoNord.
Budo-Nord participates in competitions and training camps
We love being on site out in the halls and meeting you all at your training camps, competitions or other events. This is how we learn about your training, your needs and get the chance to absorb the knowledge of how our products should suit your needs and be able to become even better. Some competitions and camps that we have been to over the years and would like to extend an extra thank you to the organizers of are: Budo-Nord Cup, Judo SM, Sörmlandsträffen, Karate SM, Karate Kid Cup, Kata Pokalen, Solna Karate Cup, National Championships JKA, Heian Cup, Taekwondo SM, Lomma Cup, Malmö Open, Swedish Cup, G1, Ju-jutsu SM, Ju-jutsu WC (Malmö), Karate WC, Karate EC, Karate Premier League.
Some who contributed a little extra to our success
We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have collaborated with us over the years and contributed to our development and helped us to where we are today, this below in no particular order: JKA Sweden, Swedish Karate Kyokushinkai, Swedish Ju-jutsukai, Swedish Karate Federation, Swedish Taekwondo Federation, Swedish Judo Federation, Swedish Wushu Federation, Swedish Taido Federation, Swedish Ju-jutsu National Team, Swedish Shukokai National Team (karate), Ukrainian Karate National Team, Swedish Judo National Team, Swedish Ju-jutsu National Team, Swedish Taekwondo National Team, Swedish Taido National Team, Swedish Wushu National Team, Danish Karate National Team, Danish national team in Taekwondo, Ted Hedlund (karate), Brian Fitkin (karate), Howard Collins (karate), Hans Greger (jujutsu), Wolfgang Biedron (Judo), Ingmar Johansson (Kenpo), Leif Almö (karate), Robert Tegel (karate ), Cecilia Fager (karate). We also want to thank all our fantastic colleagues and employees, you are the biggest part of the success over the years!
Don’t miss the Budo-Nord 50th Anniversary T-shirt
We have produced a specially designed T-shirt (limited edition) during the period we celebrate 50 years, November (15-30/11) 2023.
We now look forward to the next 50 years and all the exciting opportunities with you all!