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Samurai Judo Academy Judo News
24-Apr-2016 Move and Launch of Samurai Martial Arts Institute
5-Apr-2016 Hunter Coach Wins International Masters and Launches Martial Arts Institute
5-Apr-2016 Hunter Coach Wins International Masters and Launches Martial Arts Institute
19-Jul-2015 10 Reasons Why Judo is Better for your Kids than Team Sports
19-Jul-2015 10 Reasons Why Judo is Better for your Kids than Team Sports
3-Jan-2015 Samurai Judo Academy promotes Multiculturalism
12-Oct-2014 2014 Spring Hunter Regional Championships 26 October
20-Apr-2014 2014 Hunter Open Set to be a Scorcher

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Our Club`s Story

Samurai Judo Academy's Story

Our History

Samurai Judo Academy (SJA)commenced at the Newcastle Police and Community Youth Club in September 2005 as an activity that is independently owned and operated by chief instructor or "Sensei" Ken McKenzie, together with Sensei Kas Pilarski  as a voluntary assistant coach. In May 2009, another branch started at Lake Macquarie PCYC but in December 2011, Samurai Judo Academy moved out of the PCYCs to newer and bigger dojo's at Cardiff and Waratah.

Newcastle has had a proud judo tradition, producing world class judo players in recent decades, which unfortunately declined after a number of key coaches either moved out of the area or retired. Sensei Pilarski has been a long standing member of Newcastle judo, performing key roles in the Hunter, but was unable to provide regular coaching due to work commitments. Sensei McKenzie fulfilled this role, moving to the Hunter with over 15 years coaching experience at South Brisbane PCYC, Toowoomba PCYC and Twin Towns PCYC, as well as a number of titles at state, national and international levels.

More recently, SJA have been honoured to be joined by Shodan John Moen, Shodan Bain Dohne and San Dan Les Simons, who have added further value to the richness of instruction available at SJA.

Since it's inception, SJA has steadily grown to become one of the most successful centres for Judo in Australia today, with increasing successes from regional to international levels already achieved. Other highlights include visits in 2005,  2007, 2011 and 2015 by judo students of Ube city, Newcastle's sister city in Japan, and a SJA team visit to Ube in 2010 as part of a 16 year tradition now revived by SJA.


The vision of Samurai Judo Academy is to become a world leader in Judo by using a Continuous Quality Improvement approach to developing the systems and processes necessary for excellence in judo coaching, administration, public relations, judo programs for all ages and skill levels, the development of world class competitors and, most importantly, the development of good character in all people associated with SJA.


Honesty, Integrity, Judo spirit, Hard work(Dedicated effort), Friendliness, Mateship, Good sportsmanship, A family atmosphere


Chief Instructor: Ken McKenzie

Instructors: Kas Pilarski, John Moen , Bain Dohne, Les Simon

Instructors in Training: Dave Johnston, Steve Bowerman, Jeremy Hayworth

Junior Assistant Instructors in Training: Lachlan White, Gage White


2015 National Titles Bronze Medal: Omar Omar 

2013 ACT International : Ken McKenzie 8th Queensland International Ken McKenzie 5th

2012 National Titles: Ken McKenzie 9th, Alex MacFadyen 5th

2012 NSW State Team representatives: Ken McKenzie, Alex MacFadyen

2011 National Titles:  Ken McKenzie 5th, Jayden Saywer 8th, Beau Baxter Bronze, Daniel Villani 5th and Brody Baxter 5th

2011 NSW Country Championships: Gold: Ken McKenzie, Jayden Sawyer, Alex MacFadyen,  Silver: Steve Bowerman, Ken McKenzie (Open)

2011 NSW State Team Representatives:  Ken McKenzie , Jayden Saywer, Beau Baxter , Daniel Villani  and Brody Baxter

2010 NSW State Team Representatives: Ken McKenzie, Jayden Sawyer

2009 NSW Country-City Challenge Champions: Kynan Ward, Jayden Sawyer, Dave Johnson

2009 PCYC State Champions: Kynan Ward, Jayden Sawyer, Kenji Sato, Liam Holt, Caroline Hain,

2009 Australian Titles: Liam Yokoyama (Gold), Caroline Hain (Bronze) Qrt Finalists: Harry Chalker, Kenji Sato
Recently relocated players from SJA: Melinda Brown (Silver) Qrt Finalists: Liam Bruckdorfer, Nimble Collyer

2009 NSW PCYC State Championships: 8 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze. Overall NSW Club Champions for most points

2009 NSW State Team Players: Liam Bruckdorfer, Melinda Brown, Harry Chalker, Nimble Collyer, Monica Lawman, Caleb Lawman, Jacob Maurer, Ken McKenzie, Liam Yokoyama

2009 ACT International Open - 1 Silver 1 Bronze

2008 National Titles: 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze

2008 HAS Judo Program Members: Liam Bruckdorfer, Harry Chalker, Nimble Collyer, Monica Lawman, Jacob Maurer, Ken McKenzie, Connor Englund, Liam Yokoyama

2008 NSW State Team Players: Matthew Brown, Melinda Brown, Liam Bruckdorfer, Harry Chalker, Ken McKenzie, Liam Yokoyama

2008 Commenced the first ever regional Academy of Sport Judo
Program in Australia, based at Newcastle University.
Commenced Active After Schools judo programs X 2

2008 Wellington C'ships:12 Gold 4 Silver, 4 Bronze

2008 NSW State C'ships: 2 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze

2008 Sydney International Open:3 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze

2007 NSW State Team Players: Ken McKenzie, Peter Pham

2007 Country Championships: 8 Gold, 3 Silver, 3 Bronze

2007 National Titles: Qrt Finals

2007 State Titles: 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze

2007 ACT International Open: Bronze

2006 NSW State Titles: 1 Gold, 1 Bronze


1. Increase by 50% each year the no.of SJA members in the NSW State Judo team  and the results at National Level  - ACHIEVED!

2. Double the no.of Active After School Sport and related training programs each year --> by 2012, conduct judo programs in the of schools within the vicinity of Samurai Judo Academy clubs as part of a curriculum of physical and character development

3. Commence a 4-7yr age group judo program in 2009, focussing on fun skill development in balance, coordination, discipline, safe falling, rolling, self defence and basic judo - ACHIEVED!

4. Commence a dedicated 'Judo for self defense' program in 2009, with a particular focus on self defence for women - ACHIEVED!--> work towards making these programs available to all Australians as the most effective and safest form of self defense by 2013

5. Via our programs of physical and character development, Samurai Judo Academy will have a measurable impact on important issues effecting Australian families and society today, including health issues such as childhood obesity, social issues such as youth violence and community issues such as the development of good citizenship

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Samurai Judo Academy

Samurai Judo Academy
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