Presented in Auckland,14 May 2005
Gary Trail joined the NZ Judo College in central Auckland in 1966, initially learning judo under Henk Broewer, and a year later begining studies in Kawaishi Nihon Goshin Jutsu with Hans van Ess (7th Dan). In March 1971 Gary was graded to sho-dan (1st degree) and began running the College’s ju jitsu classes, taking over the full management of the College in 1972. That year Gary’s club amalgamated with Steve Heremaia’s Rongo School of Jiu Jitsu and Ivan Gale’s two NZ Jiu Jitsu Association clubs to reform the NZJJA (previously formed in 1968) and Gary took over the organisation’s chairmanship.
In 1976 Gary left Auckland for Ruakaka where he opened the Bream Bay Jiu Jitsu Kai and in 1986 he shifted further north to Houhora, teaching under the NZJJA banner until 1997 when he allowed himself to fade from the NZJJA scene and began to focus more on his own club which he renamed the Southern Cross Jiu Jitsu Society. In 1985 Gary was made a life member of the NZJJA; in total he spent thirteen years as a NZJJA committee member, including eleven years as chairman.
At the time of awarding Gary held the grade of roku-dan (6th degree) and is still this country’s foremost expert in the Kawaishi method as first introduced to New Zealand. He is a fine historian and his “The History of Jiu Jitsu and its Counterparts” is a sound and interesting book.
2002 Inducted into the New Zealand Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
2006 Inducted into the Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
2006 Inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame.
2008 8th degree black belt.
2020 Awarded 9th degree black belt by a New Zealand Ju Jitsu Federation convened Technical Panel.