Damon Ellis Sensei

Damon Ellis started training at Shudokan Dojo in Brunswick under Ivan Zavetchanos in 1999 at the age of 14. The following year he began competing in judo shiai and training in kata. He trained for several years with Conrad Dudley-Bateman as his kata partner with great success claiming the National Kata Championships from 2003 to 2006 performing Nage-no-kata, Katame-no-kata, Ju-no-kata, Kime-no-kata and Goshin-jutsu-no-kata.

A particular highlight in Damon’s early judo career was bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals at the annual Fukuda Kata competition in San Francisco under the late and well-respected 9th dan Keiko Fukuda in 2004. Damon also took home a silver medal at the Albany Invitational Shiai.

In individual competition Damon is a strong competitor, taking gold in the Australian Championships in the under 66kg mens division from 2004 to 2006 and from 2009-2014, and taking silver in 2015. The break in Australian competitions occurred due to two years living, teaching and training in Japan under Matsuura-sensei in Osaka where he earned his second dan. While at Matsuura’s Daishin Judokai Dojo, Damon also learned Japanese and trained alongside his school students at local judo clubs.

Damon recently returned to the international Fukuda Kata competition with Jakub Sawczuk, where he performed Nage-no-kata (winning silver), Katame-no-kata (winning silver), Ju-no-kata (winning gold), Kime-no-kata (winning gold), Goshin-jutsu (winning bronze), Itsutsu-no-kata (winning bronze) and Koshiki-no-kata (winning silver). Damon and Jakub were also presented with the overall Grand Champion award in the Men’s division.

Now a third dan, Damon has been teaching judo to juniors since 2012. He is also a referee  with the AKJA and is a member and organiser on the Victorian Amateur Judo Union board alongside his original sensei, Ivan Zavetchanos. Judo – as a means of personal well being, social sharing, and intelligently applying physical energy – is Damon’s passion.