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Ivan Zavetchanos is a 9th Dan in Judo Ivan Zavetchanos is a well know identity in the world of martial arts in Australia and international. As Secretary General to the World Judo Federation, it is clear the influence he has created over his many years of martial arts promotion. Judo is one of the world’s most wide spread and practiced martial arts, with reputedly more than 8 million students, (The Ultimate Book of Martial Arts, 2001. F. Goodman pg 132). Although now having reached the pinnacle of sporting status- being played at Olympic Games level, it is vital to remember that it’s originator, Jigoro Kano, “envisaged judo as the development of a lifetime art, as opposed to a sport” (U.B.M.A., 2001. F. Goodman pg 130), feeling that it was more a personal art, to train the mind and body. The surfacing of Judo in Australia, especially after the Second World War, coincided with judo’s worldwide appeal. Since its initial stages, Judo has seen a great deal of development in Australia, primarily due to the endless efforts and propagation by key figures such as Sensei Ivan Zavetchanos. Hanshi Ivan Zavetchanos is also responsible for the introduction and promotion of other martial art systems in Australia. In the mid 1950's Ivan Zavetchanos was training as a student at the Kodokan in Japan under the tutelage of one of Jigoro Kano's senior students Kyuzo Mifune Sensei. It was during one of his visits to Japan when he was intrigued by by the power demonstrations of another Judo student (3rd Dan) who was also running a Karate school in the facility, his name was Masutatsu Oyama. The two struck a friendship and soon Ivan brought one of Oyams's senior students Sensei Kato to Australia to introduce the Kyokushinkai style. Ivan became the South Pacific Representative of the Kyokyshinkaikan for the next 20 years. The Oh Taekwondo System, and Ashihara system were also a result of Sensei Zavetchanos' efforts in the early days of the Australian martial arts scene. Its fair to say that Ivan Zavetchanos' martial arts DNA is probably present in 80% of martial arts practitioners in Australia and the South Pacific today, with most high profile martial artists having begun their journey with Ivan. The influence that Ivan has on the martial arts industry is profound and unlikely to ever be matched. In his mid 90's now Ivan is still overseeing the training of judo proctitioners and attending major events. If Ivan Zavetchanos cannot be rated as one of Australia's living treasures then no one can.
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