On the 12th December, a presentation was made to dual Olympian Judoka Nathan Katz at the club, to commemorate his retirement from competition and to celebrate his long and distinguished service to Judo as an international representative and an ambassador for Judo and for Australia. The media release follows. 

  • In November 2023 Nathan announced his retirement from international competition after 12 years of representing Australia at the highest level.  The Budokan Judo Club Distinguished Service Award was introduced by the club in 2017, and is dedicated to the memory of Craig Leishman, a member of one of the longest standing families in our club. The purpose of the Distinguished Service Award is to recognise the service to Judo of one of our club’s members through their long-term dedication and commitment to a specific aspect of Judo, one which contributes significantly to the club’s overall performance. Nathan is well-deserving of this award.


  • This was the first time in 21 years of holding Annual Awards Nights, that the club has recognised an athlete for their service to Judo as an international competitor and an Australian representative. In Nathan’s case, his contribution has been much greater than his own competition career.


  • With his parents (Rob and Kerrye) coaching in Melbourne in the late 90s, Nathan was born on the mat there and has never left it. He started Judo formally in 2000 at 5 years of age at Budokan Judo Club which his parents took over in 1998. 11 years later at the age of 16, he fought in his first Cadet World Championship in Ukraine where Rob was his National Coach.


  • This would be the first of 8 World Championships in which Nathan competed, 5 of which were Senior World Championships where he won numerous matches making the top 16. His career highlights are no doubt qualifying for 2 Olympic Games: the 2016 Rio and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games where he also made the top 16, and winning a Bronze medal at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. He qualified for 2 World Masters, and fought for medals in the 2019 Montreal Grand Prix, the 2021 Asian-Oceania Continental and the 2022 Perth Oceania Open. He fought in nearly 40 Grand Slams and Grand Prix’s placing 7th in the Tokyo Grand Slam in 2015 and placing in the top 16 in a number of Grand Slams and Grand Prix.  He also won Silver and Bronze medals at a number of Continental Opens and Continental Cups. In total, he competed in nearly 90 international events. In the local region, he holds 11 Oceania medals, 7 of them Gold, and 18 Australian Championship medals, 10 of them Gold. An amazing career by anyone’s standard. 


  • Nathan has had many career highs and of course also many lows and we shared them all together with equal commitment and enthusiasm. Setting ambitious goals and applying his genuine passion for Judo, with planning, discipline and a stubborn determination, Nathan succeeded in reaching many of these, but others were not met; but that is life’s lesson – about being proud of doing the best you can, of doing everything you can, and he has certainly done that.


  • Off the competition mat, he has always been there for Budokan Judo Club, for Judo NSW and for Judo Australia, assisting in coaching whenever he was available. His generosity extends to such activities as mentoring school children through the Olympics Unleashed program, being an AIS Mental Fitness Ambassador, chairing the High Performance Combat Centre Athlete Committee and most recently acting as a mentor and team leader at the Olympic Change-Maker National Summit.


  • He and Josh have now started their own business, named TeamKatz whose purpose is to provide guidance through presentations and mentoring to inspire and motivate young people to fulfil their full potential in school, sport and career. They are well qualified for this task.


  • We are very proud of Nathan and how he has navigated his career as a Judo athlete and we look forward to participating in the next part of his journey as a coach, a mentor and as a sports media professional.

 Congratulations Nathan on your stellar career, your contribution to Judo and in winning the 2023 Budokan Judo Club Distinguished Service Award.