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Zen Do Kai Syllabus - Victoria 

Latest grading syllabus's for all ranks white belt to 10th degree. 
Grading requirements per level 

Other general training reference clips

These clips were from ZOOM classes during the 2020 Covid pandemic. Although not high quality filming there is plenty to learn.

Motivated to achieve - Clips from BJMA instructors & members

Quick tools and ideas from BJMA instructors and students on how to prepare for a grading and get through tough times.

BJJ Combatives have become part of the ZDK syllabus.
Requirements are rolling out from 2024 and your club instructor and Grading coordinator will give you guidance on what is required during the roll out period.

Who is your co-ordinator and what do they expect? 

Coloured belts

Your coordinator will change over the year. You will be instructed by 4th to 9th Degrees. Chosen for the specific skill sets to help inspire and prepare you.​

These sessions are open to all coloured belts regardless of when or where you will be grading.

Please bring sparring gear (gloves, shin guards, mouth guard and groin guard for men), water and a snack to all sessions. 

Brown to Black Belts

Your coordinator is Peter Smedley.

Peter will placing an emphasis on strength, fitness and skills. He has a plan to work with you and your instructor on a timeline to make sure your at peak condition for your grading.  Please down load and read the document - Black Belt prep document.

This will take you through the best way to use your year and what you

will work on at each training day and in between.

Please bring sparring gear (Boxing gloves 12 oz or over, mouth guard, shin guard, groin guard for men), focus pads, water and a snack to all sessions. 

Contact Peter Smedley at  or on 0418 319 064

Black Belt to 1st Degree 

Your coordinator is Craig Bernotti.

The focus of my training days will be for the prospective gradee's to develop a deeper understanding of the forms up to this level. Both in a technical sense and in a utilisation sense. I will also develop their teaching skills in order to assist them in their roles of an instructor.

Expectations – The preparation time for this grading is one year so the format of the sessions will be that of construction of solid basic structures. 


You need to demonstrate a working knowledge of the grade form by the second training day of this year.

Please bring water and a snack to all sessions. 

Contact Craig at or on 0432 862 388

1st Degree to 2nd Degree 

Your coordinator is Michael Clark.

A Message from your coordinator - 

Hi all those who are preparing for second degree black belt,

If you have just done your first degree last year now is the time to start your preparation for your second degree, we have 2 years to get you fighting fit !

We will be focusing on strength, fitness and technique.

My aim is to build a great understanding of pad work for the assistant and the gradee and the ability they have to showcase the skill of the gradee.

Please select your pad holder now so they can be trained to help you display your skill!

​I would like to see you bring your pad holder to the 2nd the 4th  training day each year and on the pre assessment day if you are planning to grade.

Please have a basic understanding of the grade form and your freeform for the first training day as we will be checking these, bring your gloves shin guards and all protective gear.

Each session will consist of combination drills, fitness drills, pad holding technique, sparring and form development.

Bring an open mind and a will to learn.


Mick Clark

Please bring sparring gear (Boxing gloves 12oz or over, mouth guard, shin guard, groin guard for men), focus pads, water and a snack to all sessions. 

Contact Michael Clark at or 0417 518 869

2nd Degree to 3rd Degree 

Your coordinator is John Rizzo.

A Message from your coordinator - 

BJMA 3rd Degree Expectations


  • Students to display a level of competency equal or greater than their total years or training.

  • Display a thorough understanding of previous grade forms and current grade form with the ability to perform them at any time throughout the training days and grading itself.

  • Develop skills to construct and deconstruct both grade and personal forms.

  • Display an understanding of the “delta formation and execution”.

  • Understand and appreciate the significance of the Sensei teaching title, its expectations and responsibilities.

  • Attend a minimum of 3 of the 5 State Training Days in a calendar year, with 2 of those training days to be accompanied by your Delta crew for students attempting rank that year.

  • For those not attempting rank that year, attendance to 2 State Training Days is expected.


My aims and objectives as 3rd Degree Coordinator for Forms and Delta’s.



 ·         To educate and emphasise the importance of breathing, relaxation, posture and movement.

·         Pass on principles and underlying messages from previous grade forms and current grade form.

·         To educate and emphasise form tempo and the use of your body in forms and understanding of body auto kinematics.



 ·         A strong focus on the Delta’s visual appearance and realism.

·         Maintaining and controlling the centre of the Delta.

·         Quick, concise and accurate striking techniques.

·         Back awareness.

·         Being mindful of where to execute chocking and ground techniques.

·         Being mindful of termination techniques.

·         Displaying forceful yet controlled techniques.

Please bring, delta assistants, water and a snack to all sessions. 


Please make sure you have the most current copy of the ZDK Syllabus & Requirements Logbook - use this as a guide for preparation and assessments in each of the years training between 2nd and 3rd degree​.

Contact John Rizzo at or 0408 417 047

3rd Degree to 4th Degree 

Your coordinator is Sam Cardaci.

A Message from your coordinator - 

Once earning your "Sandan" grade, it is a good time to start your training to 4th Degree “ Yondan” as soon as possible:  Students should not take this (or any other grading) lightly as past graders have found it to be quite difficult. “Failing to plan, is planning to fail”. Through the fourth-degree program, we will help you, but it's not just about grading requirements, it is about the journey in becoming a master of one self. Be able to see and feel what is required for your training and see this reflection in your students.


Yondan grading is a physical as well mental grading and students will be tested in both disciplines.  The shear amount of work required in learning new skills and techniques will absorb you mentally. Please remember that physical fitness is a key to succeeding at this level. In addition, you will be required to prepare your partners so that they are able to assist you in making your grading look strong.  This is very important and the effort you (and your helpers) put in will make or break your day. Choose your partners well and ensure the student and partners have the capability and understanding of the history and purpose of weapons they will be using.



  • To achieve a sound knowledge and understanding of the katana (Sword)

  • To Demonstrate advanced skills in martial arts training and weapons.

  • To extend the understanding of the freeform.

  • To attain probationary (Ho rank) through set requirements and level of practicality.

  • Ability to have increased awareness.

  • Define specific grading requirements to receive full 4th degree.

  • Balance, coordination, timing, focus, speed, strength, power, awareness, distance, relaxation and structure will be the focus of the grading.

Please make sure you have the most current copy of the ZDK Syllabus & Requirements Logbook - use this as a guide for preparation and assessments in each of the years training between 3rd and 4th degree​.

Please bring, weapons, hakama, obi, delta assistants, water and a snack to all sessions. 

Contact Sam Cardaci at or 0413 050 877 

4th Degree grading format

4th Degree to 5th Degree

Your coordinator is Hamish Preston.

Kyoshi Hamish will be working together to not only prepare you for your 5th degree but to give you a deep understanding of the journey to becoming an upper level master.

Please make sure you have the most current copy of the ZDK Syllabus & Requirements Logbook - use this as a guide for preparation and assessments in each of the years training between 4th and 5th degree​.

Contact Hamish Preston at or 0423 789 262 

6th Degree to 10th Degree

Your coordinator is Billy Manne.

Soke Billy Manne will be working with all higher ranks at each training day.

You will also work with the Zen Do Kai Masters Panel to design a grading plan, assign mentors, asses and assist in your progress in the years between grading.

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