Having held 9 State Titles, 2 National Titles and previously won the Asian Pacific Masters title, Samurai Judo Academy (Newcastle) Chief Instructor or “Sensei” Ken McKenzie knew that he had it in him to win this year’s International Judo Masters Championship recently held on the Gold Coast - he just needed to focus and prepare himself, whilst also helping to launch one of the fastest growing martial arts schools in Australia.
“I have been very fortunate to represent Newcastle and Australia on many occasions and promote our region to martial artists around the world” said McKenzie Sensei or “Sensei Ken” as he is affectionately known to the hundreds of children he has coached for almost 25 years. “I love letting the martial art community in other states and countries know that we have a strong and growing presence on the world stage of martial arts, then tempting them to visit our beautiful region for a visit, or perhaps to coach at out new International Centre in Maryland, Samurai Martial Arts Institute (Australia)”
After taking out the Masters Gold Medal, Sensei Ken jumped on a plane to Thailand to train and coach with the Thai National Team to help him prepare for the Oceanic Judo Championships to be held in Canberra on April 9th and 10th. “It’s not every day that you get the chance to fight at an Oceanic Championships in your own country” said McKenzie. “My goal is to qualify for the World Masters and, if I can do that, use new state-of-the facilities and programs being launched at Samurai Martial Arts Institute Maryland to help me bring a World Title back to the Hunter. “My ultimate goal is to produce World Champions in Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Mu Thai, Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts right here in Newcastle” said McKenzie “And we have all that it takes to do exactly that”.
McKenzie has also co-ordinated a Judo cultural exchange program with Newcastle’s sister city, Ube, Japan for the last 11 years, with a team of talented young black belts visiting our region in August 2015 and a team from Newcastle preparing to travel to Japan in September this year as part of a 36 year tradition between Ube and Newcastle City Councils. The Ube Mayor’s office honoured Newcastle representatives when we last took a team to Japan by hosting a welcome ceremony, lunch and tour of the city and our Mayor graciously reciprocated in 2015 by personally meeting with the Ube team and showing them around our Town Hall and exchanging gifts. The visit by Samurai Judo Academy members in September will mark the 36th year of a relationship that is now set to grow even stronger by inviting Japanese black belts to come to Newcastle to coach and train at our new International dojo.
The word Samurai was chosen to represent the new Martial Arts Institute because of it’s true meaning, which is as to serve and protect the community. In the spirit of service and to help launch the new school holiday programs, the Samurai Martial Arts Institute is offering a limited no. of FREE Come & Try lessons in Judo, Japanese Jiu Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Japanese Karate and Movie Stunt work to the first people who contact them via Email Us on the SJA website www.samuraijudoacademy.com.au
For more information or to request an interview or photo opportunity, contact SJA Chief Instructor Ken McKenzie directly via email us at www.samuraijudoacademy.com.au or by telephone: 0421343626