Kancho Bradshaw becomes a 10th Dan Grand Master

Kancho B. W.Bradshaw makes Australian Martial Arts History by becoming the first All Australian homegrown 10th Degree blackbelt Grand Master

  • Article original published in the Academy News 1997 Summer edition

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.

Kancho Bradshaw receives his 10th Dan from Grand Masters Harold Long and Gary Alexander

Being part of our martial arts family, you sometimes do not realise, acknowledge or comprehend the dedication and commitment the Kancho has put into his martial arts life so that you, as his direct and indirect students, can reap of the benefits. Far too often it is taken for granted. But now the World Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame has recognised this devotion to his students and, in doing so, opens up our own eyes to the treasures we have here in our very own home.

Ask Kancho about his new appointment and he'll say with complete humility that he cannot believe it, but just looking at his achievements, we can understand why he truly is a Grand Master and has been acknowledged as one! Shihan Gallon said the promotion of Kancho Bradshaw to 10th dan was a watershed in Australian martial arts.


"He is Australia's first homegrown 10th dan and this really marks the maturity of martial arts in Australia," he said. The two highest ranking Board Members of the World Karate Union, Grand Masters Gary Alexander and Harold Long, have come out to represent the World Headquarters and to specifically present the 10th Dan ranking to Kancho Bradshaw and to accept him into the elite fold of Grand Masters of Martial arts. Both of these gentlemen are also former US Marines.

It was a humbling experience for our Kancho to have peers of such a high calibre bestow such an honour upon him. In addition to his grade promotion, Kancho Bradshaw was presented with the Golden Life Achievement Award for over 50 years in the martial arts which, which in itself is a milestone.

While the achievement award and the grade promotion came as a surprise to Brad, particularly after having received a distinguished award last year, it comes as no surprise to his students and black belt Instructors. Kancho Bradshaw's dedication to the Way of the Martial Arts and development of his students has been and is ongoing for many years. He is always there to teach us, give us advice, fix our bodies, and help us with life's problems.

Many students have come and gone over the years in different classes and locations; many have stayed, some have gone, and others have come back, as Kancho always leaves the door open for them. They have all knowingly or unknowingly been influenced, directly and indirectly by Kancho. He gives unselfishly of himself and always puts his students first. It is good to finally see him get the international recognition that we, here in Australia, have always known all along. We knew he was the best Instructor, and now it has been ratified and confirmed world wide. No one could deserve any less. All of the Federation congratulate Kancho on his 10th Dan Promotion as one of the highest Black belts in Australasia.

Kancho Bradshaw receives his 10th Dan from Grand Masters Harold Long and Gary Alexander
Kancho Bradshaw's Cerminonial 10th Dan Belt

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