COMES TO ZAMBIA
Lusaka BJJ Club is an affiliate of Team Tooke MMA in Houston, TX, and the first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school in Zambia.
We are committed to providing quality Martial Arts and Self Defense training to men, women, and children of all ages, body types, and fitness levels, in a safe, clean, cooperative, family-friendly environment that promotes physical fitness and instills discipline, humility, respect, and confidence.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Voddie started his Jiu Jitsu journey in 2012, at the age of 43, under the tutelage of Travis Tooke (3rd Degree Black Belt under Carlos Gracie, Jr.). Over the next two years, Voddie competed in numerous tournaments in both Adult and Senior/Masters divisions, and winning Gold Medals at the Austin Open, Texas Open, Houston Open, and Pan Am Championships. Travis Tooke awarded Voddie his Blue Belt in June of 2014.
This is where the story gets interesting…
In August of 2014, Voddie, his wife Bridget, and the seven youngest of their nine children, were compelled to move from Houston, TX to Lusaka, Zambia (arriving in August of 2015) where Voddie assumed his current post as Dean of the School of Divinity and Chairman of the Department of Theology at the soon-to-be established (2015), African Christian University. Since there were no BJJ schools in Zambia, Voddie’s Jiu Jitsu journey came to a screeching halt.
Then, in 2017, Voddie hurt his back and went to visit a local chiropractor, Dr. Piers Reeve Tucker. There he learned that Piers had been training with another expat, Michael Kielar. Kielar was a Purple Belt who was working at the German Embassy. He had studied BJJ in both Germany and Brazil, and had started training at the Judo Club in Lusaka with a few other men who were keen to learn BJJ. Voddie joined the club and the journey continued.
Eventually, Kielar went back to Germany, and the group lost its home at the Judo Club. The men decided to find a new home. The group (about half a dozen strong by now) found space to rent at a local Crossfit gym, then started a campaign to raise funds to build out the space. Funds were raised, mats were built, Gis and rashguards were bought, and Travis Tooke graciously agreed to accept the group as an affiliate of Team Tooke MMA in Houston, TX. As a result, the Lusaka Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Club became the first BJJ school in Zambia!