Our very own Melbourne based Jiu-Jitsu Instructor, Kancho Barry "Brad" Bradshaw, has made International martial arts history by becoming the first all-Australian Black belt Master teacher to receive the elite status of Grand Master, 10th Dan black belt, the highest grade rank possible in the martial arts.
It was an event billed as the Academy Awards of international martial arts, held once more in Townsville, Queensland on the weekend of November 29th, 1997. This was the second annual Australasian Martial Arts Hall Of Fame, held in conjunction with the World Karate Union Hall Of Fame officiating body. On this occasion, the function was attended by two of the world's leading exponents of martial arts representing the World Karate Union Hall of Fame and, what could be considered, the top 10 martial artists in Australasia.
It was here that Kancho Bradshaw was presented with his 10th dan certificate and ceremonial belt, while the congregation of over two hundred guests, most of whom were martial arts masters in their own right, gave him a standing ovation, not once. but twice on the same night. This Grand Master status will be honoured by the Australasian Hall of Fame and the World Karate Union Hall of fame (USA, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Europe and Australasia) totalling one hundred and forty countries worldwide. Kancho is living proof that we have the Best of the Best here in Australasia, and a world class Master overseeing the Federation Upon receiving the grade, Kancho was, for about the first time, momentarily speechless, as he stood on the dias looking at his newly presented red belt - thankfully such a condition did not last long. Powerful moments that make their mark in history fill you with an awe that makes you realise how significant the moment is. Kancho received his Certification, and gave an inspiring thank-you speech that had the whole congregation on their feet with a standing ovation. You could not help but be proud of the "Father" of the Federation. Strangely enough, neither Shihan Chris, Tom, nor I can recall exactly what the Kancho said when he accepted his 10th Dan honours. Not even the Kancho himself can recall his exact words. We were all just overwhelmed by the honour given to the Head of the Federation of Instructors. After the ceremonies, many congratulated the Kancho and commented that his speech was spot on and the best one of the night, so whatever he said must have been good!
This was history in the making.