Following the NSW State Judo Titles recently held at Olympic Park, Newcastle judo player and chief instructor of Samurai Judo Academy, Ken McKenzie, is ranked number 1 in NSW.
NSW Rankings are based on the overall points from 3 selection events - the State Titles being the 3rd event in the selection series. After dominating the majority of the finals bout, McKenzie was defeated for the State Title in the dying seconds. But it was nevertheless enough for him to take out the number 1 ranking, based on the overall points from previous events.
What his competitors didnt know said Hunter instructor Kas Pilarski, is that Ken only had the use of one arm. Having injured his right shoulder last year, he was awaiting surgery and had to adapt by fighting with a left handed style
My aim when representing the Hunter is to set an example for my students, get the message out there about judo and hopefully inspire future World Judo Champions said Sensei McKenzie. My goal is to find and develop World Champions right here in the Hunter. With Newcastle`s proud sporting history, I`m sure they are out there just waiting to be found.
McKenzie will travel to Brisbane in June for the Australian Titles together with junior State champion, Jayden Sawyer, who trains under McKenzie at Samurai Judo Academy in Lake Macquarie and Newcastle. McKenzie, Sawyer and other stars of the Hunter will also represent Newcastle as a delegation of players and officials visiting Ube, our sister city in Japan, in September this year.
McKenzie lists his other aims as providing an ideal answer to the issues of school bullying and violence, particularly against women and on the streets of Newcastle. There has been a lot of attention in the media regarding school bullying as well as "cage wrestling" type blood sports, but McKenzie believes that parents need to think carefully about what their kids get into.
The reality is that, in a physical conflict, children will fall back on techniques they have practiced repeatedly said McKenzie. It is not necessary to kick or punch to defend yourself and, as an adult, there is the risk of being held liable for personal injury, particularly if the force is considered excessive. Judo provides a much safer and, I believe, more ethical option. Judo utilizes the principle of 'minimal necessary force' and the techniques are specifically designed to defeat an opponent without causing injury."
"Whilst all martial arts are commendable in many ways, it concerns me that arts involving kicking and punching are often portrayed as an effective form of self defense, when this may not be the case and may result in a false sense of security, particularly for girls. Striking becomes useless in close and on the ground, so unless you regularly practice both standing and ground based grappling, you may simply not be able to defend yourself"
Samurai Judo Academy are now accepting students in new programs for kids from aged 4yrs and self defense programs for women.