Place image here

Place image here

Above: Jigaro Kano


Below: Dominick McCarthy

Founder Zen Judo Family

Place image here

Judo Grading Syllabus

Kenshindoryu Traditional Judo 


Traditional Judo styles typically pay great attention to perfection of technique and training as a means of self-improvement and Kenshindoryu Judo is no exception. Although having a distinct self-defence aspect, we believe that aiming for precision means that techniques will still remain effective when that lofty goal is not achieved.


A blend of original Zen Judo*, Combat Judo and the pre-Kodokan Dai-Nippon Butokukai ‘Gentle Arts’, Kenshindoryu Traditional Judo incorporates unique pressure-point throwing methods & set ups and groundfighting techniques and has a distinctly different sub-syllabus for those wishing to learn Judo purely as a self-defence system


With an extensive range of throwing techniques (48 standing and 17 sacrifice throws) which are practiced to, both, right and left-hand sides, the traditional judoka over time gains a wide armoury of throws from which to choose in a self-defence situation. In addition, as the emphasis is on good technique which finishes in a strong jigotai stance over the thrown opponent, rather than both ending up on the floor in groundwork like the competition styles, the traditional judoka is in a perfect position to strike, or simply leave the scene.


The Combat Judo** elements of the syllabus include practical self-defence versions of techniques, instruction in weapons defence & pressure-point grappling, whilst still retaining the essential Judo tenets of yielding and body shifting.


The grading syllabus up to third Dan, is based solely on Judo techniques, including three kata: Nage-no-kata, Ju no-kata and Gonosen-no-kata). We do not study Katame no-kata but replace this with a jujitsu groundwork form; Newaza no-kata, which better fits into the traditional Judo syllabus and, once Dan grade has been achieved, also study the Zenshosen Judo syllabus which illustrates techniques from the various root arts of Kodokan Judo.


Advancement thereafter is only possible by a combination of continued training and earning Dan grades in other traditional Budo arts, giving the Judoka a wider understanding of Budo and Bujutsu as a whole. As such, there are no ‘awarded’ grades and instructors can only progress through continued training and instruction.


*for more information on Zen Judo, see ‘Zen Judo - A Way of Life’ by Brian Bagot ISBN 0 9524837 1 8 or visit or 'The Zen Judo Way' by Mike Healy ISBN 9 781512 278385. Kenshindoryu is NOT associated with the British Zen Judo Family Association, a breakaway orgainsation with no direct link to Shihan Dominick McCarthy


** KDR Combat Judo ISBN-13 : 978-1673127577 by Jim Dart.


"Judo is the study of techniques with which you may kill if you wish to kill, injure if you wish to injure, subdue if you wish to subdue, and, when attacked, defend yourself."

Quote from Jigoro Kano - Founder of Kodokan Judo