In the beginning
In the early days of Swedish Budo the public did not know what budo was. Except it was some kind of wrestling, but in clothes that looked like pajamas, so they called it pajamas wrestling – and these pajamas was delivered at a very early stage by a man with the name Klas Lifors.
As one of the very first in the industry Klas imported martial arts clothing and gear from Japan and other East Asian countries in the early 60′s.
He had a small shop cluttered with items, in a picturesque neighborhood at Södermalm in Stockholm – only the enthusiasts knew how to get there. But back then, it was only a small dedicated group who practiced judo, karate, jujitsu, aikido and other oriental martial arts. They made pilgrimages to Klas little shop, where his mother also expedited.
Klas was not satisfied with the uneven quality of the goods that the Asian suppliers provided – often with long delivery times. In 1973 he managed to get a Swedish manufacturing, with a few deft seamstresses at Utterbyn’s former school in Torsby, where they would soon start the production of the famous white pajamas are or rather Keikogi, training suits, which quickly became dominant in Scandinavia.
The Karate and Ju-jutsu had a new favorite outfit that was durable and suited us Westerners. Swedish quality and expertise was a success that the Asians could not match, and soon Budo-Nord had customers as far away as England, Germany and France.
The next major step Budo-Nord took by moving the whole store from its location to Sveavägen in the middle of Stockholm. At the event, attended, in addition to the major in the Swedish martial art, long-cheerful fellow Janne “Loffe”Carlsson. Martial art practitioner had indeed been more but never previously appeared in such illustrious connection, as the big store on the main street, with huge windows where whole kendo armors, rows of richly illustrated books, wooden sword, makiwara and other strange training tools were presented to a wondering public.
Budo-Nord had become so obvious that significant part of the Swedish Martial art, it was natural that the Swedish national team in karate and jujitsu turned to us for their equipment. Soon, Budo-Nord cooperation with all the leading karate styles and with the Swedish course-jutsun. Sales picked up in Norway, Denmark and Finland, which led to the Budo-Nord was equipping national teams in all the Nordic countries.
Working on quality
As budo growth also increased awareness and demands of its practitioners, but at Budo-Nord was the product development a constant driving force. with knowledgeable and lengthy directive was Budo-Nord started a skilled manufacturing in Taiwan, where the products are improved in both design and materials.
One of the best examples of this was the karate suit of napped (brushed) canvas, as Budo-Nord took until the mid-80s, which eventually became standard in the industry. This type of suit has become a world leader and had many imitators, but in some places bungle so that it only has the look together with Budo-Nord’s original, made of cotton fabric with extremely high performance.
Also judo suits renewed Budo-Nord radically in the 80s, through the introduction of the white gi. Previously, customers themselves often had to bleach his newly purchased clothing with strong chlorine to get them white.
Besides the suits and workout gear on Budo-Nord endeavored to produce adequate protection for martial art. Unlike other brands Budo-Nord protection fitted with shock-and shock-absorbing posts. Though it meant a higher cost, Budo-Nord considered it essential to offer protection to the extent possible to minimize the risk of injury.
The encouragement and support as Budo-Nord received over the years, and the established concepts Budo-Nord has become, is a reward.
Today Budo-Nord is now owned by Budo & Fitness Sport under the management of Mr Sigurd Schiemann and Mr Pierre Dahl.