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), ltsutsu-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 fourth dan, Damon has been teaching judo 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.


Classes are available for adults and children and cater for all skill levels from beginners to advanced.

First trial classs is free!

Seniors (16 years-old and above)

  • Monday: 6pm - 7pm
  • Saturday: 2pm - 4pm

Juniors (under 16)

  • Monday: 4:30pm - 6pm


  • Pay per session: $30 per session
  • Pay per forthnight: $30 per fortnight by direct debit.
  • Judo gi (uniform) rental (if you don't have your own gi): $10/session


Level 1, 96A Hoddle Street
Abbotsford, VIC 3067


All adult visitors and members must be at least triple vaccinated to visit the venue or attend training. Please only train if you feel well and have no symptoms. If you recently had COVID, only train when you've completely recovered and have consistently negative COVID test results.


Q. I'm new to Judo. Do you have classes for beginners?

We do cater for beginners. We have members of all levels of experience from complete beginners to those who have done Judo for decades. You will be trained in proper fundamental and basic techniques appropriate to your level. Our members are friendly and supportive and look after one another during training. Feel free to visit us on Mondays or Saturdays.

Q. I'd like to come for a trial class.

First trial class is free.
Please come by on a Monday or Saturday. Please arrive 10 minutes before the session starts.
If you have an existing uniform (gi) from martial arts such as Judo, BJJ, Aikido, that are suitable for grappling, you can bring and use it. If you don't have any, we have spares you can rent ($10/session) on the day, please let us know your height/weigth beforehand.

Q. Do I need to buy a gi?

After the trial session, if you decide to sign up and don't already have your own gi you will need to buy your own. You can continue to rent gi ($10/session) while buying your own.

Q. Where can I buy a judo gi?

You can buy judo gi of any brand you prefer, online or from any physical store of your choice. If you are buying a brand new gi, white color is preferable, however, if you already have an existing gi in blue, you can continue to use them.

Q. Is there a minimum contract/commitment requirement?

You can pay per session ($30 for one session), or per fornight ($30 per forthnight by direct debit). Yes, you read that right, if you enjoy judo, we offer one of the best pricings you can possibly find around Melbourne to pursue this amazing art and sport long term.
There's no minimum contract length and you can request to suspend or cancel your membership at any time.

Q. I'd like to arrange a private lesson?

Due to the instructor's limited availability, private bookings are currently not available.

Q. Can I come just to watch a class?

Sure thing. Feel free to come by on a Monday or Saturday.

Q. Do I need to be vaccinated for COVID to visit/attend training?

All adult visitors and participants must be at least triple vaccinated to visit the venue or attend training. We'd highly recommend you to also be vaccinated against seasonal flu. Please only train if you feel well and have no symptoms. If you recently had COVID, only train when you've completely recovered and have consistently negative COVID test results.



March 3 Inaugural & Novice Tournament Zenyo Judo - 96a Hoddle St, Abbtosford 3067 1:00 pm 12:00 pm
April 28 Autumn Tournament Zenyo Judo - 96a Hoddle St, Abbotsford 3067 1:00 pm 12:00 pm
June 2 Winter Tournament Tori Judo, 11 Nelson St, Moorabin 1:00 pm 12:00 pm
July 28 Early Spring Tournament Zenyo Judo - 96a Hoodle St, Abbotsford 3067 1:00 pm 12:00 pm
August 25 State Championships Springers Centre 1:00 pm 12:00 pm
4,5,6 October Australian Championships Springers Centre
December 1 Junior and Senior Gradings Zenyo Judo 1:00 pm 12:00 pm