On the 4th October 2014 at the opening ceremony of the AKJA National Judo Championships in Hobart, Mr Ivan Zavetchanos, CEO of the AKJA and founding forefather of modern judo in Australia was awarded his 9th Degree Black Belt by the World Judo Federation. Mr David Gordge, AKJA President & Vice President (South East Asia & Oceania) of the World Judo Federation made the presentation to Mr Zavetchanos on behalf of the WJF. This is the first 9th Dan ever presented in Australia.
“This award was presented in recognition of his devotion to Judo and long standing within the Art & Sport of Judo” said Mr Gordge. “Over the years he has managed Olympic Teams and been instrumental in having Australia recognised on the world stage. He has promoted the Art throughout Australia and the world. Mr Zavetchanos is well credentialed and respected in both Japan and many other countries.”
The Australian Kodokan Judo Association was founded in 1981 by Mr Ivan Zavetchanos. Mr Zavetchanos has a lengthy list of achievements. He was a co–Founder of the Judo Federation of Australia 1951, a member of the Australian Olympic Committee, one of 17 founding members of International Judo Federation in 1952, founder of Oceania Judo Union 1954, Australian Open Champion 1954 & 1955, President J.F.A. 1958–1969, President O.J.U. 1958–1979, Vice–President I.J.F. 1958–1979, Australian Olympic team manager/coach Tokyo 1964, National, Continental and International Judo Referee. Some 14 years on after being awarded 8th dan, the WJF saw fit to promote him to 9th dan in recognition of his undying dedication to the promotion of Judo.
The Kodokan Judo Association’s principal charter is to preserve the original doctrines of Judo, as espoused by Judo’s founder Dr Jigoro Kano. The Association’s chosen name of “Kodokan” is a reference or salutation to the birth place of judo, the original dojo or place of learning which, from its humble beginnings in a Japanese temple in 1882, stands today in the heart of modern Tokyo as a virtual mecca for judokas from all over the world.
The AKJA congratulates and thanks Mr Zavetchanos for his unwavering commitment to the Art and wishes him all the best in the future.