An Australian Martial Arts Pioneer. Our Federation Founder.

Kancho B.W.Bradshaw, 10th Dan Grand Master.
1939 - 2010

Kancho Barry (“Brad”) Bradshaw, Grand Master 10th Dan in Jiu-Jitsu, and Senior Professor, 9th Dan, in Judo and Chinese Boxing was the founder of the Australian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and Chinese Boxing Federation of Instructors (AFI).

Before founding the AFI, Kancho was a teacher for the Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne (from 1968 until the 1980s) and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and Karate Instructors Association of Australia (from 1969 until the late 1970s) and served that organisation as Regional Director, North Division from 1977.

Kancho was a life member of the Kawaishi Method Judo Australia and the International Teachers Association of Martial Arts (ITAMA). He was an affiliated member of the World Jujitsu Federation, Jiu-jitsu America, the Canadian Jiu-Jitsu Association, the American Teachers Association of the Martial Arts (ATAMA) and the Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame (AMAHOF).

In 1996 he was the First Vice President (Australia) to AMAHOF, and in 1997 he became President of the Australian Sokeship Council, a lifetime appointment.

Kancho was one of six government-appointed members of the inaugural Martial Arts Board of the State of Victoria. The Board was a governing body appointed by the State government to oversee and supervise all martial arts activities governed by the Martial Arts Control Act 1986. His appointment position was renewed, unopposed, until the dissolution of the Board in 1996.


Barry Bradshaw was born on 10 February 1939. His martial arts training began in pre-school at the Chinese Church of Christ with formal lessons in Chinese Boxing (Kung Fu) at the Young Chinese League, North Melbourne and at the Chinese Church of Christ, Carlton, Victoria beginning in 1946.

Professor Wally Strauss teaching a young Barry Bradshaw

Professor Wally Strauss teaching a young Barry Bradshaw

In 1950 he began training in Jiu-Jitsu under Aubrey Bailey at the Victorian Railway Institude, Flinders Street Station, Melbourne.

Not long after, he won first prize in a “gold belt championship” held for all Judo/Jiu-Jitsu Academies in the area. The brash young stalwart was noticed by Professor Wally Strauss who invited the lad, with his instructor’s clear support, to train at Strauss’ own dojo. Brad, as he was known in martial arts circles, took up the offer and stayed with Professor Strauss for more than thirty years as his personal disciple.

By 1957 he had graduated to instructor level teaching his own class at Bluff Road, Hampton, Victoria as well as continuing formal lessons with Professor Stauss at least three times a week.

Close personal tuition continued under Professor Strauss and Kancho went on to gain positions of authority within the organisation and began representing it externally. In 1960 he began work with the Melbourne City Council and was appointed chief coach for Martial Arts. He established martial arts schools at five of the community centres in the greater Melbourne area, raising and appointing black belts as instructors over the following years.

In 1963, Professor Strauss appointed Kancho weapons instructor in Bo, Jo, Jutte, Tanbo and Sword.

Kancho Bradshaw throwing Shihan Tom in Kata Guruma, 3rd shoulder throw

Between 1967 and 1968 Kancho Bradshaw established YMCA Judo schools in the north eastern region of Melbourne, again raising black belt instructors for these areas over the following years. In 1968 he joined the Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne at teacher level, and was officially appointed a director.

In 1970, Professor Strauss awarded Kancho 5th dan grades in Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Kenjitsu and Aikijitsu and appointed him Chief Instructor, North Division of Melbourne. The 6th dan grades in these martial arts were awarded in 1974 and in 1980, 6th dan Ido. Kancho was made Regional Director (with Grade Authority) of the Jiu-jitsu, Judo & Karate Instructors Association of Australia under Master Strauss in 1977.

The Australian Federation of Instructors

The Australian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo & Chinese Boxing Federation of Instructors (AFI) was the culmination of a dream, as seen by Kancho Bradshaw, providing a total self-defence program for his students.

During the 1960s and 1970s, as Chief Instructor and then Regional Director for Professor Strauss, as Sifu for the Chinese Youth Society, and as chief coach of martial arts with Melbourne City Council, Kancho rapidly developed his organisational and teaching skills. He established numerous Academies, and displayed outstanding executive and managerial skills on behalf of Australian martial artists and the martial arts in Australia.

Kancho saw the Hung Kuen style of Kung fu (Chinese Boxing) as a perfect blend and adjunct to the self-defence of Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. This was not a dream shared by his Master. Professor Strauss preferred Shotokan Karate to Chinese Boxing. This remained a point of occasionally heated debate for some time between them, until Kancho was granted permission by Professor Strauss to develop this concept in the late 1970s. However the successful merging of the three styles of Martial Arts was not anticipated by Professor Strauss. It was a success that culminated in 1981 where the Australian Federation of Instructors teaching the three disciplines of Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and Chinese Boxing (Kung Fu) was officially founded as an independent organisation under Kancho Bradshaw's guidance.

The AFI celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2021 and continues to fulfil Kancho’s dream today.


Kancho travelled extensively teaching Jiu-Jitsu and Taijitsu to Academies in Hong Kong, Tai Pei and China as visiting Instructor (and Technical Director and Representative of Jiu-Jitsu and Taijitsu for the AFI). He also ran seminars and clinics in the area and visited dojos of the late Andy Lin (Andersen E. K. Lin), Executive Director, ROC Judo Association, Chung Shan District, Tai Pei.

Kancho with Professor Wally Jay

He taught Jiu-Jitsu and Taijitsu to Academies in Hong Kong and outlying areas of China as visiting Instructor (and Technical Director and Representative of Jiu-Jitsu and Taijitsu for the Australian Federation of Instructors) as well as giving lectures and advice to members of these Academies. Chinese Boxing was also represented in these lecture tours where Kancho had to demonstrate his skills firsthand with the AFI Technical Director of Chinese Boxing who also acted as interpreter.

Together with several of his black belt students, Kancho represented his country at Jujitsu America’s 14th annual Hawaiian convention in 1992.

Kancho was Founder and President of the Australian Shihan Kai as the international body of the Australian Federation of Instructors. Through ASK, he was very successful in bringing many high calibre martial artists from around the world for seminars and workshops in Australia.

These included Professor Wally Jay, Master Jan de Jong, Relson Gracie, and Professor Don Jacob, Professor Rick Clark, Professor Duke Moore, Dr Bernd Weiss.

Kancho also ran seminars for, and provided help and advice to, many Australian martial arts instructors to further the cause of martial arts in this country.

Within the AFI, Kancho was Technical adviser to Instructors on self-defence programs, class instruction, lectures, seminars, camps, clinics, and workshops based on his very extensive experience in running and supervising such activities. Kancho personally supervised the instruction of black belt Instructors seven days per week at up to three hours (occasionally more) per session in the arts of Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, and Chinese Boxing.

He also served as Tournament Director and Chief lecturer for functions and competitions held within the Australian Federation of Instructors and the Australian Shihan Kai.

Grand Master Bradshaw was a member of the Australian Coaching Council through the National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS) as a Level Three coach. Although senior instructors could automatically receive Level Three accreditation through a “Grandfather” clause, Kancho made a point of completing each of the Levels of the NCAS courses individually so that none could dispute his credentials nor say that any special dispensations were offered. If his Instructors had to do the course, then he wanted to experience it firsthand as well.

The Master’s further accomplishments included holding the position of Head Coach for the Melbourne City Council Recreation department overseeing and running martial arts programs in all of the Community Centres under City Council jurisdiction. He also maintained an active role in the Committee of Management of several of these centres, resulting in life membership bestowed on him for his services. He was an Instructor for the Officers of Correction for Pentridge and Fairlea prisons running an introductory self-defence course. He ran clinics and seminars for the Royal Institute for the Blind. He was a martial art Instructor for the Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne, and gave lectures and established curricula for holiday programs and self-defence courses at various high-schools and Colleges throughout the metropolitan area of Melbourne.

He was co-founder of the Australian and American Alliance, which ran courses in this country for the American and International Teachers Association of Martial Arts until the sudden passing of co-founder and friend, Bernie Weiss, in 1998. ASK hosted the first sanctioned Australian & USA Alliance Martial Arts seminar to be held in this country under the banner of the International Teachers Association of Martial Arts, and the first internationally recognised Seminar for ITAMA outside the United States.


ATAMA awarded Kancho 9th Dan Senior Professor, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu and Chinese Boxing in 1995, and presented him with a lifetime achievement award.

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

In 1997, Kancho Barry Bradshaw was awarded 10th Dan Grand Master in Jiu Jitsu by WKUHOF. He was the 1st all-Australian 10th Dan. Gary Alexander's International Association of Martial Artists recognised and endorsed the WKUHOF award in 2004. Read more about the night Kancho Bradshaw became a 10th Dan Grandmaster - 1997 Academy News


Read more about Shihan Peter Morton's promotion to 10th Dan Grandmaster, with this article from the archives - 1998 Academy News


In 1995, the American Teachers Association of Martial Arts promoted Kancho Barry Bradshaw to the Master’s rank of 9th Degree Black Belt, Senior Professor, in Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Chinese Boxing. The presentation certificate bears the names of Professors Duke Moore, Bernie Weiss (then President), Don Carollo, and Helen Carollo. The National Body of the ATAMA and the International Teachers Association sanctioned this international ranking. Such a promotion put the founder of the Australian Federation of Instructors, and the Australian Shihan Kai among the highest Master ranks in this country and the Asian Pacific region. The decision to promote Master Bradshaw to 9th Dan was a unanimous vote by the National Body and it was the first time that the Board voted unanimously on a promotion in the many years since its inception.

The Professor received the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Teachers Association of Martial Arts for his nearly fifty years of excellence in several martial arts while embodying the pursuit of the “perfection of the Human Character”. In accepting the Lifetime Achievement honour in 1995 Kancho stated that these honours not only recognised his own achievements but the continuing contribution, knowledge and skills that Australian martial artists can contribute to the wider martial arts community, and consolidated a bond between Australia and its overseas affiliates.

In 1993, Kancho was nominated for the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame but could not attend to accept the award on that occasion so the induction did not proceed. A few years later, an Australasian Chapter was formed to make the awards accessible to those outside the United States.

Australasian World Martial Arts Hall of Fame

Kancho B. W. Bradshaw was inducted into AMAHOF as the Most Distinguished Australian Martial Artist of the Year, and as Jiu-Jitsu Instructor of the Year on November 30th, 1996, for both the Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame and the World Karate Union Hall of Fame.

The inaugural ceremony for AMAHOF took place at the Sheraton Breakwater Casino Entertainment Centre in Queensland, Australia, as the inductees gathered to find out who would receive the honour of becoming a Hall of Famer.

Nearly two hundred nominations were received for Australasia and it was the task of AMAHOF and the WKUHOF executive board to screen these candidates and come up with instructors whom they believe to be of the highest moral and technical calibre worthy to be honoured.

Then President of AMAHOF, Shihan Brian Gallon said:

“This (Hall of Fame) is solely for the purpose of giving recognition to those who dared to pioneer, to contribute, to achieve and endeavour to be the most outstanding person in the martial arts community. Master Frank Tasetano of the World Headquarters and I would hope our goal is to have an annual Australasian awards and banquet to pay tribute to all those wonderful men and women who excel in their chosen fields, be it martial arts or otherwise. Our organisation is a method by which we encourage our youth to enjoy full enrichment by discipline and knowledge that we attain in our daily lives. An inductee must therefore nominate a candidate. We all come from different walks of life but we share one enormous common bond, and that’s the love of martial arts. Kancho is the epitome of such a candidate.”

The night had all the glamour of an Oscar presentation. Tuxedos and formal attire was the required dress code and everyone looked resplendent in their finest fashion. Nominees arrived at the Entertainment Centre by stretch limousine where they partook of pre-dinner refreshments and mingled with family and guests. Kyoshi (Kaicho from 2010) Adam Bradshaw and Shihan (Kyoshi from 2018) Chris Bailey were the only other Federation Instructors accompanying Kancho to this function, and they looked more like bodyguards protecting the President and First Lady as they flanked Kancho and his wife, June.

Additionally, each nominee was provided with a sponsor whose duty was to look after the Nominees. A task that was admirably carried out by the young brown and blackbelts assigned to these martial arts Masters. Kancho’s sponsor was Jarrod Hudson, a young brown belt who did his Academy and instructor proud through his service to our Kancho. When it was time for the meal, the sponsors escorted the guests to their tables. Opening ceremony speeches took place and each of the final twelve candidates was individually introduced to those present.

After opening ceremony speeches, the meal was served followed by a fashion parade and karate kata, nunchaku, and sai displays. The recipients of the Awards were then announced. Kancho Bradshaw was presented with a Hall of Fame plaque and insignia ring honouring him as the Most Distinguished Australian Martial Artist of the Year and Instructor of the Year for Jiu-jitsu and Judo. But the accolades did not end there. Kancho was also nominated on the Board of AMAHOF as the 1st Vice President of Australia, a position that he accepted.

The night was covered live by American cable television, and a half-hour documentary was subsequently put together. It was also covered on national news and through a press media release.

It was a successful event, not just because of the Awards recognising outstanding Martial Artists but also because it brought Martial Artists together for a common cause: the furthering and consolidation of Australasian martial arts for world-wide recognition and acceptance. This is the true aim of the Hall of Fame;  and the success of the event was a credit to the organisation.

Grand Master Promotion

While Kancho thought that the 9th Dan promotion in 1995 by ATAMA, as well as the lifetime achievement award by the International Association of Martial Arts, or the Most Distinguished Instructor award by AMAHOF in 1996 were all something that was only ever dreamed about, let alone realized, the best was yet to come.

The following year, at the second AMAHOF meeting, Kancho was presented with a grade promotion to 10th Degree Black belt in Jiu-jitsu by Grand Masters Harold Long and Gary Alexander, of the World Karate Union Hall of Fame.

Kancho 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 ever awarded in martial arts.

It was an event billed as the Academy Awards of international martial arts 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. On this occasion, the event was attended by two of the world’s leading exponents of martial arts representing the World Karate Union Hall of Fame and some of the top martial artists in Australasia.

At the official dinner on the Saturday night of November 29th, 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. This Grand Master status is honoured by AMAHOF and WKUHOF representing one hundred and forty countries worldwide. Upon receiving the grade, Kancho was, for about the first time, momentarily speechless, as he stood on the dais looking at his newly presented red belt, but this condition did not last long. It was a memorable moment.

To have these honours bestowed upon him in consecutive years was testimony to the dedication and the high calibre of teaching of Grand Master Bradshaw. As then President of AMAHOF Shihan Gallon said:

“This year, for the first time in Australia, the combined awards dinner and seminar was attended by four 10th Dan martial artists. There wouldn’t be more than about fifty legitimate 10th Dan in the world, so to have four here is a real coup, and one is our very own,” he said. “I’ve been involved in the martial arts for 34 years and have been teaching martial arts for 28 years and I’ve never heard of it happening before.”

The 10th Dans were karate Grandmasters Long and Alexander and Kempo karate Grandmaster Robert Gemmel of New Zealand with the fourth being Kancho himself. Shihan Gallon said the promotion of Professor Bradshaw to 10th Dan was a watershed in Australian martial arts:

“He (Kancho) is Australia’s first home-grown 10th Dan and this really marks the maturity of martial arts in Australia,”

Two of the highest-ranking Board Members of the World Karate Union came out to represent the World Headquarters and to specifically present the 10th Dan ranking to Kancho Bradshaw. Both Grandmasters said it was an honour allowing them to accept Kancho into the elite fold of Grandmasters.

It was a humbling experience for our Kancho to have peers of such a high calibre bestow such an honour upon him.

AMAHOF also presented Kancho with a Golden Life Achievement Award in recognition for outstanding personal achievements and advancement of the martial arts for over fifty years. A plaque was presented to serve as a reminder of a job well done. As Kancho was fond of saying, part of gaining knowledge is a journey of knowing that there is so much more still yet to be learnt and so much more for those who seek it.

It is a journey that we, his students, continue.

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