AJBC Applauds Stockley Davis and UWA Judo Club

Japanese in Origin, Global in Enjoyment

Soft diplomacy, particularly with connections to sport, is a well-established means of opening doors
to business and cultural interests. For Japan, Judo is such a sport. The martial art was born in Japan
in 1882, becoming an Olympic sport at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Drawing from historic Japanese
disciplines – such as ju-jitsu and sumo wrestling – modern judo is recognised for its practical fighting
techniques with an emphasis on self-defence with due consideration for an adversary or competitor,
and which also offers healthy physical and mental benefits.

Today more than 200 countries and regions are members of the International Judo Federation, but
in Australia it remains a niche sport with 6800 participants and 187 clubs. The University of Western
Australia Judo Club (UWAJC), established in 1988, it is currently the second largest Australian Judo
club. A volunteer-based organisation, it has regular Japanese coach exchanges on rotation every two
years thanks to a partnership to the private Kokushikan University in Setagaya, Tokyo.

Student exchanges have also taken place with the following Japanese universities – Keio (Tokyo),
Kokushikan (Tokyo), Komazawa (Tokyo), Konan (Kobe), Nagoya and Tokyo, with efforts underway to
formally link with the University of Tsukuba (Ibaraki). Western Australia’s Sister State Relationship
with Hyogo Prefecture (established in 1981) has also proven a valuable conduit for the UWAJC.
In addition to increasing WA’s medal and championship tallies, UWAJC has worked to establish a
Schools Judo Program, leading to Shenton College exchanges with Komazawa University High School
. And in addition to increasing student exchanges between WA and Japan, it is also introducing a
formal exchange program called ‘Judo plus Education’. For participants with a common interest in
judo it combines reciprocal language immersion (where students learn/improve, respectively, their
Japanese or English skills).

UWAJC maintains close relations with the broader Japanese community in Western Australia,
performing for the Japanese Consul-General and at the Japanese Film Festival, Japanese and multi-
cultural festivals, and for visiting Japanese ships.

A driving force behind the UWAJC is Stockley Davis who was one of its founders in 1988, and is
currently President as well as a coach. For his services to judo in Australia in 2020 he received a
formal commendation from the Japanese Foreign Minister. Beyond judo he was Corporate Manager
at Alto Capital (investment and corporate advisory firm for capital raising including venture capital)
for 16 years and is a co-founder of Ex Planta, a company bio-prospecting and bio-engineering plant
compounds; and also a Director of Aboardly a Company providing social connection for backpacker
and International visitors, 18 to 25 years, to local community. Stockley’s passion for judo has
provided a soft diplomacy link between Japan and Western Australia, but it wouldn’t surprise if
business connections were to follow.