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ZDK Crosses are given to students as recognition of particular attributes attained or consistently displayed. These attributes include loyalty, courage, strength, honesty, commitment, being a role model and understanding the meaning of the Cross.

The Cross is an important symbol of acceptance into the more senior echelons of the Zen Do Kai family and exemplifies commitment to the protection and instruction of the brothers and sisters in the ranks of Zen Do Kai.

Once having been awarded the Cross, a Zen Do Kai practitioner will wear it (usually on a neck chain) everywhere with pride and honour. It truly affords the individual a sense that wherever one may go, help will not be too far away should it be needed.


Zen Do Kai's legendary Bushido Cross was originally awarded by Soke Bob Jones to two of his protection services men, Dave Milne and Bill Sabotka. During the sixties, as his security firm grew, Soke Bob Jones awarded more of the crosses to his personnel. The early seventies saw Soke engrave the word 'Bushido' onto the cross. This translates literally as 'the way of the warrior'. Suddenly the cross took on a slightly new meaning. The Bushido Cross (as it is still known) was presented by Soke Bob Jones to his higher grade Zen Do Kai students as a symbol of protection of the junior Zen Do Kai brothers (students in the ranks).

This instilled an unrivalled incentive for every new student to maximise his efforts to gain acceptance in "the new family of security". Still today, male Zen Do Kai practitioners train fiercely to earn the honour and privilege of being awarded the Bushido Cross.


The round cross was introduced initially to acknowledge the understanding and commitment of the wives and partners of the security personnel in Soke Bob's protection business. Most of Soke Bob's security staff worked long hours, often six nights a week. Women received the small circular cross, which identified them as 'those who understood'. This cross was developed further during the seventies in Zen Do Kai and the word 'Ishoa' was engraved onto it. This means, literally, 'enlightenment', the perfect blending of mind and body.

The Ishoa Cross was awarded to exemplify their understanding of the men folk training with Soke Bob up to six nights a week. The wives and partners were proud to be acknowledged as members of the Zen Do Kai family.

Soon the first wave of female Zen Do Kai students were also afforded acknowledgement as dedicated martial artists with the presentation of the Ishoa Cross. And, suddenly, this cross took on a new meaning. Its new reverence mirrored that of the Bushido Cross. It too, became a symbol of protection of the junior brothers and, now, also sisters, in the Zen Do Kai ranks.

Today, female Zen Do Kai practitioners are awarded this prestigious cross for their fierce determination in training, dedication and commitment to Zen Do Kai. Just as the awarding of the Bushido Cross is a privilege and honour to Zen Do Kai's male students, so too is the awarding of the Ishoa Cross to Zen Do Kai's female students. Both Crosses are held in identical regard and esteem and are often awarded together in official ZDK family ceremonies.


During the mid-1970's Zen Do Kai had grown to in excess of a thousand students. Many of Soke Bob's first generation students had risen to the third degree black belt level with Sensei titles. Soke Bob furnished them with the right to present the crosses to the second generation students on his behalf. They did this and the Zen Do Kai family continued to grow.

During the late seventies Soke Bob Jones designed a new, rectangular cross called the 'Tomadachi' (friend) Cross. The idea was to gift this cross to lower ranked Zen Do Kai students who are showing great promise as a lead in to them earning the elusive Bushido or Ishoa crosses.


The Kyunnin Cross is the rare administrator's cross.

This Cross, triangular in shape, is a recent addition to the cross family. It remains a rare award today and stands for exemplary business acumen demonstrated in pursuit of advancing the standing (which includes among other things, the standard) of Zen Do Kai and its ideals.

Whichever cross is awarded; the most important thing is the relationship between instructor and student, student and the ZDK family. It is this meaning and intention in the awarding of the cross.