Grant Bannister recent inducted to Martial Arts Hall of Fame shares his 40+ year martial arts journey.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:
The improvements in the martial arts industry in the last 40+ years
How to become an awardee of the Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame
The motivating factors that made Grant stay in the industry for a long time
Why martial arts is more than just about self-defence
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People say to me, oh it was really good back in those days. I wouldn't change it. The progression is fantastic.
George: Hi, this is George Fourie, and welcome to another Martial Arts Media Business Podcast. Today I am speaking with Shidoshi Grant Bannister. Now, Shidoshi Grant Bannister has been in the martial arts industry for a very long time, so we're going to have a great chat just about where he's come from, and he's also just recently got inducted into the Australian Martial Arts Hall of Fame. So we're just going to have a bit of a chat about that. Welcome to the show, Grant.
Grant: Thank you, George, and thank you for having me, it's great. I've watched, loved your podcast, and they're really great so I feel honoured to be part of it.
George: That's fantastic, awesome. Let's start right from the beginning, Grant. Who is Grant Bannister?
Grant: I've been a working guy all my life. I was a TV technician. We've got a family of three kids and four grandchildren. I started my martial arts journey way back in 1959 under a guy called Wally Strauss. I wasn’t interested in football and this guy said, “Oh, we're gonna do Judo.” And I said, “Oh, I don't know what it is but I'll do it.” I trained for a whole year with Wally Strauss. I left my martial arts go until I was 29, I think I was when I got back into it. My journey started then and been enjoying ever since.
George: Fantastic. So, 29, and then when did you start on the path of instructing?
Grant: I started with a guy called, with San Chi Kai and Mal Lomax. Mal was very big into once you've got the knowledge, now you start teaching, which is great, I think that happens a lot nowadays. Probably less than two years after I started I was teaching, and Mal asked me to open up my own club, which I did down in Blackburn, and we went from there. Unfortunately, Mal passed away a few years ago. He moved to Queensland in 1996.
I didn't stay with San Chi Kai. Another chap and myself just started training in the garage. After a while we got more and more people coming in and all of a sudden the garage was full and we had to start looking for a hall. Then I thought, well we'll have to start putting something together, make it our own style. We called it Bukido Karate, that was in 1986. We've grown slowly from then, not in a large amount, but in that time I've probably taught thousands and thousands of students. It's been a great journey, I've had some amazing people by my side and that makes you want to keep going. People say to me, “Oh, you're 74 now, it's about time to retire, move around Australia.” But I still get a big buzz out of seeing the kids starting to show respect towards their parents and us. So it's still a journey.
George: For sure. So, 74 years old, wow, that's good going. I want to calculate the years back. So you've been doing martial arts then for the last …
George: Forty-plus? Fantastic. So, forty years, that's my lifetime right now. In comparison from where you started to where things are now, what's sort of the biggest changes and adjustments that you've had to make along the way?
Grant: Back then was crazy, everyone used to belt the hell out of each other and it was really, really, dangerous. People lost kidneys and all sorts of things. Of course, O.H and S would start to come in people realized that they could get sued so it all changed. But it was a good time,
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