• “Success is a matter of falling down, and getting up with exactly the same enthusiasm”

  • “In Judo, as in life, when something blocks your path, step aside and move around it.”

  • “Seiryoku Zenyo, Jita Kyoei”

  • “Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful”

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who we are

About Us

The Shudokan was established in 1947-48 and is probably the oldest post war Judo Club in continuous existence. In 1951 at the request of the secretary of the Australian Olympic Committee (A.O.C.) formed the Victorian Amateur Judo Union with several then existing clubs to facilitate the reformation of the Judo Federation of Australia from a group of individual clubs into a Federation of State Judo Associations and receive formal recognition from the A.O.C. and the then embryonic International Judo Federation (I.J.F).

The Shudokan is directly affiliated with “Dai Nippon Butokukai” in Kyoto Japan, the most prestigious  Martial Arts organisation in Japan under Royal patronage. DNBK states that its aims include the restoration of classical martial cultures, promotion of international peace and harmony through the education and training of the traditional martial arts disciplines.

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Victorian Amateur Judo Union Inc.

The V.A.J.U. is an organisation which promotes the safe and fun pursuit of Kodokan Judo in Victoria. We strive to make good individuals better characters and community members. As the members practice Kodokan Judo they will naturally attain a good level of fitness and mental vigor. We organize competitions as a part of Judo training.

Our members also learn Techniques (both Tachiwaza and Ne waza – Standing and Ground Techniques), Randori (Free Practice), Kata (Pre-designed forms) and other cultural aspects of Kodokan Judo.

The union’s president is Mr Ivan Zavetchanos, surely one of Australian Judo`s most illustrious Budo icons whose curriculum vitae is too lengthy to do justice to here. By way of introduction, he was, amongst many other things, a co-Founder of the Judo Federation of Australia (J.F.A.) 1951, a member of the Australian Olympic Committee, one of 17 founding members of International Judo Federation (I.J.F.) in 1952, founder of Oceania Judo Union (O.J.U.)1954, Australian Open Champion 1954 & 1955, President J.F.A., 1958-1969, President O.J.U., 1958- 1979, Vice-President I.J.F. (International Judo Federation) 1958-1979, Australian Olympic team manager/coach Tokyo , 1964, National, Continental and International Judo Referee, and promoted to 9th Dan in 2014.

The history of the V.A.J.U. began in 1952 in Brunswick, Victoria and the V.A.J.U. was a foundation member of the J.F.A. The V.A.J.U. was instrumental in getting Judo recognized by the Australian Olympic Federation. In 1975 three malcontents became dissatisfied with the V.A.J.U. and proceeded to undermine it with the conspiracy culminating in having the V.A.J.U. expelled from the J.F.A. in 1981.

‘While one door shuts another opens’ is an old saying but rather true, and in 1981 the V.A.J.U. organized the formation of the Australian Kodokan Judo Association (A.K.J.A.) which expanded very rapidly into all States of Australia and has conducted a National Judo championship annually ever since, plus sundry International events.

We welcome everyone who wants to learn Kodokan Judo and all experienced Judoka (Judo practitioners). All the necessary accreditations, insurances and training curricula can be provided for by affiliation with the V.A.J.U. for those schools not currently affiliated.

We encourage you to browse our website, Kodokan Judo, its techniques, philosophy, history, etiquette, cultural roots, its status as both an Olympic sport and traditional Budo, its unique and fortunate position in the martial arts world in being free from the chaos of apparently competing ‘styles’, its beginnings from the creative genius of just one universally recognised founder, Dr Jigoro Kano and perhaps most importantly, the enormously enriching journey it can offer to you.

Kodokan Judo

Jigorō Kanō Sensei
(Founder Kodokan Judo b. 28 October 1860 – d. 4 May 1938)

175px-Kano_JigoroThe origins of Kodokan Judo are well documented, with Jigorō Kanō founding his school of modified jujutsu in 1882. After studying for many years with eminent masters and practitioners in Japan, Master Kanō began to have thoughts of his own about the nature of jujutsu practice and competition.

At this time, he had also studied Education, and was being immersed in the events of a rapidly changing Japan. Interests from Western governments meant that Japan was opening it’s doors to trade, ideas and cultural exchange. It was in this setting that Master Kanō was forging a new jujutsu; one that he would call Judo, or the Way of Yielding, also translated as the Way of Gentleness, and has as its underpinning the notion that in order to overcome an attack, you must first yield to the attack. Seemingly counterintuitive, but the Western term that might best be applied is go with the flow – your reaction to force is not more force, but yielding to it, controlling it, applying your skill and strength to this controlled external force, and helping it on its way.

“Maximum Efficiency, Minimum Effort”

“Success is a matter of falling down and getting up; with equal enthusiasm”