Frequently Asked Questions
Our organisation was founded by Grandmaster Kancho B W Bradshaw in 1981 in Melbourne, Australia to teach Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, and Chinese Boxing (i.e. Kung Fu) as a total martial art and system of self defence.
Kancho was one of the first internationally recognised Australian-born 10th dan black belts (the highest grade awarded to a living person).
We honour Kancho's legacy by teaching martial arts in the tradition that he established.
There are many reasons to study the martial arts. Here are a few:
- to improve your all-round fitness
- to develop personal discipline and grow in self-confidence
- to meet new people and learn with them
- to be able to defend yourself and others should the need arise
No. In fact, the majority of true martial artists never have to employ the skills they learn. They are mainly looking to improve themselves. We are a traditional martial arts school with a modern outlook that encourages discipline, respect, compassion, and honour.
Jiu-jitsu is the unarmed combat art of the Samurai of Japan. It is the parent art of a number of other martial arts such as Judo, Karate, and Aikido. There are many styles of Jiu-jitsu, each emphasising different aspects of unarmed combat. Our style of Jiu-jitsu, called Tai-Jitsu (Art of the Body), focuses on close quarter combat, utilising throws, joint-locks, grappling, and strangles for self-defence. We have similar throws to Judo and similar grappling to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but we are not the same.
Judo was originally created by Jigoro Kano in 1882 from traditional styles of Jiu-jitsu emphasising perfection of technique and self-defence, along with physical and character development. We have stayed true to the founder's original direction, emphasising kata (forms), purity of technique, and self-defence in our training, with the competition and sporting aspects taking a lesser role. Our style, Kawaishi Judo, also retains many techniques banned from Olympic competition, making for a more complete style.
Judo teaches you how to fall correctly so you don't get hurt when thrown, how to throw a person, grapple, and fight on the ground. You could say that Judo is like jacketed wrestling, but with joint locks and strangles.
As an aid to learning we use a numerical system to classify and sequence techniques rather than relying purely on Japanese terminology. For example, as a new student you are introduced to "the 1st leg throw", then "the 2nd leg throw" rather than o soto gari and de ashi barai.
Chinese Boxing is the fist and foot techniques of Kung Fu. We teach a Southern style of Kung fu, Sil Lum Hung Kuen.
Empty-handed sets or form work, bag and mitt training, as well as partnered free-exercise are all part of the class in Southern style Hung Kuen Kung fu.
Our founder, Kancho Barry Bradshaw, saw that aspects of the three martial arts - Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and Kung Fu - can be combined as a total self-defence system. The circular movements and striking of Kung Fu complement the arresting techniques of Jiu-Jitsu which, when combined with the throws and grappling of Kawaishi Judo, creates a complete self-defence package.
Training in martial arts necessarily involves strenuous exercise, close body contact, and other physical and mental challenges. There is always an inherent risk of injury and physical and mental stress that cannot be completely eliminated.
Some medical conditions may prevent you from participating. As with any kind of physical activity we do suggest you check with your doctor before beginning martial arts training.
A small base level of fitness is required to commence martial arts training with The Federation. You will find that the more you train and push your current limits of fitness the more your capacities will increase.
No. Anyone thought to pose a risk to the existing student base will be barred. We have a culture of respect and request that egos are 'checked" at the door. We will not train someone to become a bully, street-fighter or thug.
However, we do not discriminate on background or occupation. Our students include school and university students, professionals, tradespeople, police and other emergency services officers, doctors, and parents.
We reserve the right to refuse any applicants/participants.
We hold grading assessments twice a year at our Honbu (HQ) dojo in Box Hill.
In each of our martial arts, there are twelve student levels that students must pass through before testing for their first master level grade: the black belt in Jiu-jitsu and in Judo; the black sash in Kung Fu.
The student belt progression in Jiu-jitsu and Judo is:
- white belt (ungraded)
Each of the six coloured belts has two levels, marked by stripes — red stripes for Jiu-jitsu, black stripes for Judo.
This is partly down to each individual student, how quickly you pick up the techniques, how well you remember each technique, how regular your attendance and participation is in class. The minimum period for attaining a Black Belt is around five to six years of dedicated training and depends on passing each grade first time.
It is not just down to knowing the techniques, as your instructor will only recommend for grading students who also demonstrate the necessary respect, courtesy, trustworthiness, and maturity. This is especially true at the higher student levels.
Obtaining Black Belt is not the end of a student's training but rather the beginning of their advanced training; there is always something else to learn.
If you are new, come to your first class with track pants (no zippers) and a t-shirt that you won't mind getting stretched or ripped (hopefully not).
Proper hygiene is required: you must be clean and odour free, with finger-nails and toe-nails cut short. Jewelry, piercings and watches must be removed during class.
Once you commit to ongoing training you will be expected to purchase your own gi (training uniform). As a courtesy, we have some gi jackets available to borrow for new students.
By the time of your first grading you will certainly be expected to have your own uniform and Federation badges. These are available for purchase via your home academy.
Our Jiu-jitsu syllabus includes defence against club, short stick, staff, and knife defence techniques at higher grade levels.
In Kung Fu the higher grades learn a selection of traditional weapons sets, including Hung Kuen's dragon (nine foot) pole.
While the trend is to study multiple styles of martial art, we prefer our students to remain only a student of our school in their developmental years.
Each martial art school is a culture in its own right with its own discourse. It has its own language and vocabulary, as well as its own methodology for choosing, analysing, and critiquing, interpreting, presenting and using knowledge. Each has its own way of thinking, looking at, and presenting knowledge, addressing themes, issues and problems that arise throughout a student's instructional career.
To learn at another school as well would be like having two fathers who do not communicate with each other, each having a different parenting style. Your developmental learning needs consistency and you cannot achieve this if your loyalty is divided between different schools. Students need to spend a few years getting a good working knowledge of one system to help limit the possibility of confusion between multiple styles and clash of organisational cultures.