Inducted into the W.K.U.H.O.F. for 2013
Martial Artist of the Year – Taekwondo
My name is Mahesh Bhana and I hold the rank of 7th Degree Master (Sahyun Nim) in the Korean Art of ITF Taekwon-Do (Chang Hon style) which was founded by the late General Choi Hong Hi in 1955.
I currently run my own Taekwon-Do school (Eastern ITF Taekwon-Do Pakuranga) in Pakuranga, Auckland, New Zealand, which is an official school/club of International Taekwon-Do (ITFNZ). The school was established in 1981 where I commenced my training. I am a qualified Instructor with International Taekwon-Do (ITFNZ) and a licensed Instructor of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF). I have broad involvement within my organisation. I have been a loyal member of ITFNZ since 1982. I consider myself to be a person of good character and standing in my organisation and region.
My experience in the martial arts spans 30 years and is concentrated primarily on the art of ITF Taekwon-Do. However, I have been exposed to other martial arts styles, through mutual association with other practitioners. I have gained most of my experience in Taekwon-Do in New Zealand which has been made possible by training with and attending seminars with local senior Masters and senior ranking Masters and Grand Masters from overseas who have taught in New Zealand. I have also been privileged to have been tested by Masters for all my grades since white belt.
I consider myself to be a traditionalist in the martial arts, yet open minded to different methods of training. For me it is important to evolve as a martial artist whilst preserving the art as intended by the founder.
During my 30 years in Taekwon-Do I have spent countless hours as many of you have refining and training in the art , teaching the art , attending numerous seminars and courses, studying the art and being an ambassador of the art. My experience covers all aspects of ITF Taekwon-Do with a high level of competency and detailed technical knowledge, coupled with rank, I am considered an expert in our art. I started teaching informally as a red belt and have been privileged to have trained with the founder of Taekwon-Do , my senior instructors, visiting instructors, Masters and Grand Masters.
I am also a Senior Examiner within New Zealand and an International Instructor and qualified to grade/test practitioners to 4th Degree Black Belt . I am also a qualified ‘A’ Grade International Umpire for the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF).
In addition to studying the art, I have also undertaken formal and informal study in the area of sports science and teaching methods which has complimented my training and study in the art of Taekwon-Do.
I am the third most senior Dan within International Taekwon-Do (ITFNZ) and over the years have increasingly being involved in the affairs and operations of the organisation and currently hold Directors positions on the International Taekwon-Do (ITFNZ) Board and the Oceania Taekwon-Do Federation (OTF) Board. I also hold the following positions;
- Member of the ITFNZ Advisory Panel
- Member of the ITFNZ Technical Advisor Group
- Past member of the ITFNZ Coaching & Selections Advisor Group
- Instructor Development Officer for Auckland and Northland Region in New Zealand
I am a regular attendee at many events within the ITFNZ calender in any given year, guest instructor on many occasions and involved with many of the “behind the scenes” activity for the organisation.
I started in Taekwon-Do unofficially in 1982 after a neighbour had introduced me to the art which would become a very important part of my life – I have never looked back since.
I began my training in Pakuranga, Auckland where I now teach as the Head Instructor. My original instructor was Graeme (Rocky) Rounthwaite (now Master). In 1986 I received my 1st Dan from Master Young Ku Yun (8th Dan) from Brisbane, Australia. In the same year I trialed for the New Zealand Team for the ITF World Championships in Malaysia.
In 1991 and 1993 I tested for my 3rd and 4th dan’s respectively where I had the pleasure of General Choi Hong Hi (founder of Taekwon-Do) form part of the examination panel along with Master now Grand Master Charles Sereff (9th Dan) of the United States Taekwon-Do Federation. In 1997 I travelled to Denver, Colorado to test for my 5th Dan and attend the Sereff’s World Camp in the Rocky Mountains where I was a guest International Instructor . Five years later I tested for my 6th Degree in Melbourne under Master Leong Wai Meng (8th Dan).
The highlight of my Taekwon-Do career was my promotion to 7th Degree Master in 2008 by the ITF Technical and Masters Promotion Committee. This was extra special as I am the third home grown Master in the history of International Taekwon-Do (ITFNZ) and the third person of indian decent to achieve this rank within the ITF Worldwide.
In 2009 I was awarded the 25 years plus recognition for loyalty and dedication to International Taekwon-Do (ITFNZ).
I was Centre Referee for Patterns (Tuls) competition in the 2011 World Championships held in Wellington, New Zealand, VIP and played host to many Grandmasters, Masters and dignitaries. This was the most prestigious event in the history of ITFNZ.
In October 2012, I was the receiptiant of Life Member Award for outstanding service to International Taekwon-Do (ITFNZ).
My area of speciality and interest is patterns (Tuls), technical aspects of the art, examining, training black belts students and senior dans, developing Instructors and teaching the philsophy of Taekwon-Do (the ‘Do’).
I am fortunate to be an Instructor of ITF Taekwon-Do , I am grateful to our founder the Late General Choi Hong Hi for introducing the art of Taekwon-Do to the world and I am grateful to all the people I have meet through Taekwon –Do.