Australia and Olympic Judo

Australia has competed in every Olympic judo competition since 1964 and at these Games in Tokyo Ted Boronovskis won a bronze medal in the open category. Maria Pekli matched that achievement in the women's 59 kilogram category at Sydney 2000. It is also worth noting that in the women's judo demonstration event at Seoul 1988, Suzanne Williams won a gold medal but this does not count towards Australia’s medal tally.

Daniel Kelly made his fourth Olympic Games appearance at the London 2012 Games as a part of the six strong team, bowing out in the round of 32.  Second time Olympian Mark Anthony came away with Australia’s best result going down in the quarter finals before making it within one match of the bronze medal playoff in the repechage.

History of Judo







For Reading

Ross, Dr. A. J., " Text book of Judo (Jiu-jitsu) vol. 1 ", Sydney, Australia, The Australian Council of Judo, 1949, 71p, 21 cm, UoB.



Founder of Australian Judo

Dr A Ross, an Australian Army Medical Officer, was an early pioneer of Judo in Australia.

ROSS DR, ARTHUR JOHN (1893-1971)

Founder of Australian JUDO. Dr. ROSS brought JUDO to Australia in 1927. He founded the first JUDO club in Australia. He was born in London, England, but he moved to Japan when he was eight years old. In Tokyo he practiced JIU-JITSU and JUDO under Jigoro KANO. He wrote the first JUDO book in Australia (Textbook of Judo, Sydney, 1949). He was awarded 8th DAN in 1968.






 The first Ju-jutsu demonstration  in Australia was performed by Mr Cecil Elliote

  (1875-1963) and Mr T. Young in Sydney .C. Elliott brought two Japanese Mr                  

  Fushishima and Mr Okura to Sydney to assist him with the JU JUTSU classes. 








1927         Dr A. ROSS started  teaching JUDO in Brisbane.







Dr. A. J. ("Jack") Ross (1893-1971) introduces Kodokan judo to Brisbane, Australia. A physically imposing six-footer, Ross studied judo while living with his parents in Japan. Although Ross tried to popularize judo in Australia by holding wrestling matches at fairs, he found little interest in his methods until World War II, when the Australian Army hired him to teach hand-to-hand combat..






 Dr ROSS  wrote the first Australian JUDO book. („Text book of Judo


                  (Jiu-jitsu) vol. 1”, Sydney, Australia, 1949.





 JUDO Federation  of Australia was founded.





  JUDO made its Olympic debut at Tokyo, in 1964, and BORONOVSKIS was

  Australia’s only JUDO representative in the , competing in the Open Division   He won   Bronze medal. He was beaten by A. GEESINK in only 12 seconds.


Boronovskis, Theodore (1943 -)

 -80 kg (176 lbs)


Judo made its Olympic debut at Tokyo, in 1964, and Boronovskis was Australia's only JUDO representative in the team, competing in the 'Open Category', i.e. competitors had no maximum weight limit. Boronovskis' bronze medal was Australia's only medal in Olympic judo until Maria PEKLI matched the feat at 2000 Sydney OLYMPIC GAMES. Boronovskis was also a four-time Australian Judo champion.


Best Competition Results

Olympic Games

bronze Tokyo 1964

Australian Champion

1962, 1963, 1965, 1966





1979          Australian  Coaching council was established.   




1982         Jim Sheedy became the first JFA National Coaching Director.




1984     JFA establlished National Training Camps



2000       Maria PEKLI  won bronze medal at the 2000 OLYMPIAN GAMES


A country of immigrants, Australians enjoy a wealth of sports

Sidney, Australia


"We love sports" might best express the national characteristic of Australia. Even with a population of only 21,000,000, sports-rich Australia is well known for producing world class competitors, placing in the top 5 countries in the medal count of a recent summer Olympiad.

Blessed with a bountiful natural environment and a warm climate, Sydney is a mecca for outdoor team sports and marine sports. Moreover, because 1 in 3 Australians is an immigrant who was born abroad, Australia is unique in the wide variety of its sports. Judo is just one example. Karate and Korea's Taekwondo, etc., are also popular in this country that loves the martial arts.

The future looks promising for Australian Judo


The first Judo demonstration in Australia was held in 1906, and the first Judo club was opened there in 1928.

In the 1964 Tokyo Olympiad, the first Olympiad in which Judo was an official event, Australia's Ted Boronovski took the bronze medal in the open-weight division. In the 2000 Sydney Olympiad, Australia's Maria Pekli took the bronze medal in the women's 57kg division, bringing Judo to the attention of that generation for the first time. Australia's National Sports Research Center is now sponsoring Judo training camps for juniors in order to raise their skill level, and the future of Australian Judo looks bright.

UNSW lifestyle centre

An immigrant to Australia from Iran, Azita has a 10-year Judo history

Ms. Azita Karpour in Keiko


Azita Karpour immigrated to Australia with her family when she was 14. A sports enthusiast (soccer, etc.) from her preschooler days, she took up Judo soon after arriving in Australia.

With a Judo history of 10 years, she's been a member of the UNSW Judo Club (New South Wales) since a teenager. Even now, as a working woman, she manages to visit the dojo for after-work and weekend Keiko 2 or 3 times per week. "Judo has become part of my life," she says with a smile.

I want to introduce children to the pleasures of Judo


Azita was initially interested in Taekwondo, but began Judo on the advice of her father. "At first, I intended to study Judo for a few months and then switch to Taekwondo," she explained, "But I liked Judo so much that I continued with it even as an adult."

Azita is now an instructor, holding a twice-weekly "kid's class" for 3 to 4 year olds. "I always try to use different training methods in order to make Judo more enjoyable for them," she says, "Otherwise their interest would quickly drift to one of the many other sports available in Australia." She's doing her best to promote Judo.

Keiko in UNSW Judo Club Dojo

A fitness "Power Hour" that uses Judo techniques!

UNSW Judo Club Dojo


The "UNSW Lifestyle Centre" offers various sports facilities such as a gym and pool, etc., and though it's a university facility, its doors are open to the local public.

One of its tatami-floored multi-purpose rooms serves as the dojo for the New South Wales University Judo Club. At other times, this room is also used for Aikido and archery practice, etc.

One of their more unique fitness programs is the "Power Hour". According to Azita, "The "Power Hour" incorporates maneuvers unique to Judo. It's fun, but hard. It'll wear you out quickly."

Maybe we can look forward to a "Power Hour" boom in Japan in the future.

A Judo club can produce strong bonds of friendship between members


The New South Wales University Judo Club is the largest Judo club in Australia, and its 200 members range from preschoolers, students, and working adults, all the way to contestants at the national team level. Judo training is offered for each level of skill.

"The club is like one big family," says Azita, "I've made lots of good friends through years of contact with the other members. There are always events being held, and they're all fun." Our impression is that Australian sports clubs are about more than just competition; they perform an important social function as well.