grandMaster Bradley Tatnell
- Taekwondo 8th Dan Kukkiwon
Kukkiwon Master & Poom-Dan Examiner Class 2
- Hapkido 6th Dan (KHF)
- Kumdo 4th Dan
ABOUT GM BRADLEY...
GM Bradley Tatnell (born c. 1967) is the Founder and Head of School of Sun Bae Korean Martial Arts. He is an Australian Master of the Korean Martial Arts of Taekwondo, Hapkido and Kumdo. GM Bradley originally founded the school as Sun Bae Taekwondo and has also been known as Sun Bae Taekwondo & Hapkido. Due to the addition of Kumdo, the school is now known as Sun Bae Korean Martial Arts.
EARLY DAYS - INSTRUCTOR
GM Bradley has been teaching since September 1984, starting as an Assistant Instructor whilst still in high school. He had first learned Taekwondo at a young age from January 1982 in Brisbane, Australia. Soon after, he became a Club Instructor in charge of his own Taekwondo centre (just a shortly after his 17th birthday). That was in March 1985. He was appointed as the Club Instructor of a Taekwondo centre in Wynnum (Brisbane) under Master Chong Chul Rhee. In January 1986, he moved to Indooroopilly (Brisbane) and started what would become a very popular centre, later opening a second centre in Toowong, the centres always totalling approximately 100 students.
GM Bradley attained his 1st degree ("Dan") Black Belt 29 June 1985, personally graded by Master Chong Chul Rhee (also known as the Father of Australian Taekwondo, one of the Original Masters of Taekwondo and also the first Taekwondo Master in Australia). GM Bradley was informed at the time he was the youngest appointed instructor to date by Master Chong Chul Rhee. On 23 March 1991, GM Bradley was invited to grade to 2nd Dan black belt. To explain, this was a system where requesting to grade was forbidden and minimum wait time periods were non-existent. GM Bradley attained his 2nd Dan black belt at the age of 23. He was informed at the time he was the youngest 2nd Dan to date promoted by Master Chong Chul Rhee. Naturally, times have now changed and young high Dan ranks are common place, with a lot less waiting time.
During his journey to 2nd Dan, his Taekwondo was strongly influenced by 3rd Dan (at the time - but approximately 20+ years on black belt) Mr Trevor Dicks, who continued Taekwondo to later attain Master level. GM Bradley never ceased to teach and in December 1994 founded his own school Sun Bae Taekwondo. The school was founded under the international governing body from South Korea, Kukkiwon* and the World Taekwondo Federation* (now World Taekwondo) as well as one of the original Korean Kwans*: Jidokwan*. The inception of the school was made possible with a close affiliation and long-time friendship with Hall of Fame recipient Grandmaster Michael Suan Ho Tan (now 9th Dan). Thereafter, GM Bradley was graded personally by 9th Dan Taekwondo Master, GM Sung Soo Lee and holds Kukkiwon certification from South Korea as well as Jidokwan certification from South Korea. GM Sung Soo Lee graded GM Bradley to 8 Dan early 2022, to become internationally recognised grandmaster under Jidokwan. GM Bradley graded to Kukkiwon 8 Dan 18 January 2023.
Grading examiner regulations were introduced by Kukkiwon in 2022/2023, whereby only licensed masters were eligible to conduct grading test promotions. Previously, 4 Dan and above were eligible. July 2022, GM Bradley successfully completed this accreditation (3rd Class) conducted by Kukkiwon's World Taekwondo Academy in Muju, South Korea, at the famous Taekwondowon. Later in September 2022, GM Bradley travelled to nearby Auckland, New Zealand to complete 2nd Class Master and Poom-Dan Examiner.
Kukkiwon 8 Dan Promotion Test
Grading for 8th Dan Kukkiwon requires the applicant to attend at Kukkiwon in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea and physically test in front of a panel grading. It is usually preceded by a four hour warm-up notably conducted by Kukkiwon grandmasters.
GM Bradley attended Kukkiwon on Wednesday 18 January 2023. The temperature was a modest -5c, some other days rising between -9c and -17c (very cold). It had been quite a year of training for GM Bradley, his training program for 8th Dan commencing and intensifying 12 months earlier in February 2022. All was going well: Jidokwan test conducted by GM Sung Soo Lee passed in June 2022, Kukkiwon 3rd Class Master's test at Muju, South Korea, passed in July 2022, Kukkiwon 2nd Class Master's test at Auckland, New Zealand, passed in September 2022 and finally a live performance in front of all the Sun Bae black belts (with 1st gup red belts also invited to attend). Definitely it was no less than a most thorough preparation for a most important milestone in Taekwondo life - Kukkiwon grandmaster.
However, with the plane flight only 7 days away, GM Bradley suffered a horrendous lower back injury to the point where a walking cane was immediately required. That was a Saturday afternoon. The next morning he was graciously accepted by Master (that's master of Asian therapy) Sam Masui into his therapy room. Master Sam was confident and estimated a recovery with 7 days (that's Sunday and the flight was Saturday). Still unable to properly stand in Taekwondo stance, during the week GM Bradley returned to Master Sam and also attended physiotherapist Scott Schulte at Ashgrove Physioworks, also consulting with Doctor David Hunt (an old student and past doctor). Exercises were methodically performed four times per day in between therapy. A final stress test was performed on Friday (the day before the flight). No more walking cane and kicks were going at least to face height.
The grading was on the following Wednesday. Arrival at Kukkiwon was for 10 am training, one hour for lunch, concluding with the exam at 3 pm. This was good, because GM Bradley had not been able to practice any patterns since the accident. Happily, GM Bradley was personally trained (one to one) by the renowned GM Kang Ik-Pil (author of poomsae texts — Director of Poomsae for Kukkiwon and WT). Four hours training — it was an incredible honour.
After meeting Kukkiwon President Lee Dong-Sup, grading was next. The applicants would go in order of country. Hoju is Korean for Australia and unfortunately H is the last letter in the Korean alphabet, meaning GM Bradley would be last on the floor. There were five applicants scheduled for 8 Dan, but one pulled out leaving four. Notwithstanding, it would thankfully not be long to wait, perhaps the low temperatures a deciding factor. The Kukkiwon ceiling soars into the sky actually, but heating was not a problem with large boxes sitting every few metres pushing out hot air.
This grading also marked the introduction of the new basic 8 Dan pattern, GM Bradley having the honour to be the first in the world to perform it at a Kukkiwon test. It is a long wait thereafter of course, news of the successful result coming directly from President Lee Dong-Sup, received by email on 23 March 2023.
A commemorative video has been arranged and may be viewed by all.
COMMEMORATIVE VIDEO - JOURNEY TO 8 DAN (2022-2023)
Master Bradley attained his Hapkido Black Belt 29 March 1998, personally graded by 9th Dan Hapkido Master Sung Soo Lee (recognised as the first Hapkido Master in Australia). Master Sung Soo Lee is the founder and Grandmaster of Hapkido Moohakkwan (Australia) under the international governing body Korea Hapkido Federation (KHF), of which Sun Bae holds membership in both. Master Bradley is also officially recognised by KHF as a "Master" and, so we are told, very much enjoys visiting Seoul and the KHF Masters.
Master Bradley is currently 6th Dan Hapkido Black Belt, attained 28 April 2018, graded personally by 9th Dan Hapkido Master Sung Soo Lee. To validate the rank - a requirement for high Dan - Master Bradley also visited the KHF in South Korea for testing, accompanied by Master Sung Soo Lee, attending the KHF Annual Master's Seminar (camp), 17 may 2019, held in the mountains of Gyeongju - North Gyeongsang.
Master Bradley attained his Kumdo 1st Dan Black Belt 22 September 2012 after being personally graded by Master Peter Rozario (Australian Kumdo Society) and Master Hyun Kyoo Jang (World Kummooyeh Federation). On 20 November 2018, Master Bradley was graded to master level (4 Dan) by Master Peter Rozario.
GM Bradley has attained the level of Master in all three Korean styles (Taekwondo, Hapkido, Kumdo), the result of a life long dedication to Korean Martial Arts. He has continued to teach all levels and importantly, to foster new black belts with the hope that one day they too will reach master level. Sun Bae Korean Martial Arts now represents a school teaching all three disciplines of Korean Martial Arts. Notably, GM Bradley is recognised as a grandmaster in Taekwondo.
In GM Bradley's youth, all forms of competition and tournament in Taekwondo were forbidden, disappointing, but not uncommon in traditional schools. It was not until much later in his 30's did he firstly have the chance to enter competitions, although in the end it only proved on a few occasions.
In 1998, he entered the Asia Pacific Games (Taekwondo), returning with a gold medal. In 2003, GM Bradley personally coached a young female student for Olympic team trials (she was ranked top 4 in Australia). Same year, part of their schedule took them both to the USTU Taekwondo US Open (Las Vegas) - a major world event with 5000+ competitors. GM Bradley entered last moment, taking the opportunity to compete as well, resulting in a US Open silver medal. Mid 2012, GM Bradley entered the Australian Kumdo Cutting Championships (organised by world-wide grandmaster Jang Hyun-Koo) in the Advanced Black Belt Division, even though he was yet to even attain his Black Belt. In a thrilling finish, he tied for the lead and was forced to "play off" in "sudden death" to decide the Championship. The sudden death involved cutting the bamboo mats accurately in different combinations. But the sudden death could not be broken. After 6 attempts, both he and his opponent had made perfect scores. Even though willing to share the title, it was then decided that it should fall to a judges' panel decision (they had run out of mats). GM Bradley was ultimately awarded the Championship. GM Bradley has not competed since, but from time to time can be seen performing in the Sun Bae Demonstration team (see video below).
In GM Bradley's teens he was a noted cricketer. So we are told, it was mainly due to his father's influence, Mr Arthur John Tatnell, an A grade cricketer himself, who would bowl to his son - at some speed - every week in the local school batting nets. This led to representing the state (Queensland - QJCA) in under 15 (1982) and under 16 (1983) as an opening batsman. He had already represented the QJCA South Brisbane team in under 12 (twice), under 14 (twice) and under 16 (twice), each alternate year playing out of his age group. Notably, he was a reserve selection for the under 14 state team in 1981. Of cricket, we are only told one account: at age 14, during the 1982 under 16 State Championships held in Brisbane, batting at number three, he was called to the crease after the Brisbane South opening batsman was bowled out first ball against Darling Downs. His innings thereafter recorded the highest score for the Championship, in a 50 over match, 163 not out - bringing up 150 with a six over mid-wicket. He also played GPS 1st XI in high school - Church of England Grammar (CEGS), now ACGS.
Also an avid golfer, member of Royal Queensland Golf Club, maintains a single figure handicap at age 55+, which he credits to his practice of Kumdo. He has been credited with winning the 2022 Queensland Hickory Foursomes Championship shooting 79 at Royal Queensland (yes, hickory - where the clubs are pre 1935 era and the shafts are made of hickory). In addition, recorded some wins in the handicapped (i.e. "net) divisions which included 2019 Australian Hickory Net Foursomes Championship. Notably, during the Hickory 2019 State Championships, he recorded a "hole in one" from 112 metres with his 46 degree "mashie niblick" (this is about a pitching wedge), a feat apparently not seen to date in Australian Hickory competition since that old era (see the match report here).
GM Bradley is also a high level skier (accredited Instructor with CSIA) and has skied in over 50 resorts and ski clubs in Canada, USA, France, Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia and also South Korea (Muju, near Taekwondowon!). Notable iconic places in the world include: Vallée Blanche, Chamonix (France), Jackson Hole (USA), Mt Potts heli skiing (NZ), Revelstoke (Canada) plus one other we are not allowed to publish except to say its in Canada (apparently a closely held secret!).
GM Bradley is affiliated with Taekwondo organisations:
- World Taekwondo.
- Kukkiwon and World Taekwondo Academy.
GM Bradley is affiliated with Hapkido organisations:
- Korea Hapkido Federation.
- Hapkido Moohakkwan
GM Bradley is affiliated with Kumdo organisation:
- Australian Kumdo Society.
GM Bradley is the Founder & Master Instructor for Sun Bae Korean Martial Arts (Australia) and presently concentrates his time teaching mainly the Sun Bae Instructors. Nonetheless, you can regularly find him visiting Sun Bae centres for impromptu visits, although there is no forewarning. Sun Bae centres include:
MASTER BRADLEY'S BLACK BELTS
- Greg Tatnell (2008)
- Ben Parga* (2013)
- Mark Buxton (2015)
- Shirly Sieh (2022)
* denotes not trained fully from white belt - came to train with GM Bradley from another club (but did grade under GM Bradley thereafter).
TAEKWONDO BLACK BELT DIRECTORY
GM Bradley has trained and graded 171 students to Black Belt level as Master instructor of Sun Bae (1995-present). Prior to that period (1985 to 1994), he had already trained another 19 students to Black Belt.
ACHIEVED BLACK BELT IN ALL STYLES
TAEKWONDO, HAPKIDO & KUMDO
|Mark Buxton||마크 벅스턴||23 Jun 2018|
|Christopher Gehrke||크리스 게르카||17 Jun 2022|
|John Handyside||존 핸디사이드||27 Mar 2021|
|Andrew Shoebridge||앤드류 슈브릿지||26 Jun 2021|
|Shirly Sieh||셜리 씨에||23 Feb 2019|
|Bradley Tatnell||브래들리 탓넬||22 Sep 2012|
|Benjamin Vickery||벤자민 빅커리||27 Mar 2021|
|Nicole Vickery||니콜 빅커리||26 Mar 2022|
|Steph Bennett||TBA||Assistant Instructor|
|Mark Buxton||마크 벅스턴||Master Instructor|
|Paul Clarke||폴 클락||Assistant Instructor|
|Christopher Gehrke||크리스 게르카||Assistant Instructor|
|John Handyside||존 핸디사이드||Club Instructor|
|Andrew Shoebridge||앤드류 슈브릿지||Assistant Instructor|
|Shirly Sieh||셜리 씨에||Master Instructor|
|Kaisa Suomalainen||카이사 수오말레이넨||Club Instructor|
|Bradley Tatnell||브래들리 탓넬||Master Instructor|
|Benjamin Vickery||벤자민 빅커리||Club Instructor|
|Nicole Vickery||니콜 빅커리||Club Instructor|
|Brendan Whish||브랜든 휘시||Club Instructor|
|Johannah Whittle||요핸나 휘틀||Assistant Instructor|
OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST
Claire Rhiannon Holt (now "Claire Rhiannon Serenity Holt") - Hollywood Actress - Taekwondo Black Belt (2003) - click here to see entire Black Belt Directory - full history.
SUN BAE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- 2003: Team Coach Gold (Indooroopilly) - Inaugural Year
- 2004: Team Coach Gold (Indooroopilly)
- 2005: Team Coach Gold (Indooroopilly)
- 2006: Team Coach Gold (Indooroopilly)
- 2007: Team Coach Gold (Indooroopilly)
Note: 2007 was GM Bradley's last year for entering Championships as a Coach.
OTHER COMPETITIONS - NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL
- Asia Pacific Games 1999 (Gold Coast, Qld, Australia - International): Sparring (Gold).
- US Open 2003 (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - International): Poomsae (Silver).
- Australian Kumdo Cutting Championships 2012 (Brisbane, Qld, Australia - National): Advanced Cutting (Gold).
OTHER NOTABLE EVENTS
- 2023: Kukkiwon Promotion Test to 8th Dan. Training before hand was conducted by GM Kang Ik-Pil (author of Poomsae text and WT & Kukkiwon Director of Poomsae). View the Commemorative video (click here) — Journey to Kukkiwon 8 Dan.
- 2022: Taekwondo Master Course - Level 2, conducted by Kukkiwon's World Taekwondo Academy in Auckland, New Zealand. Attained Class 2 Poom-Dan Examiner certification.
- 2022: Taekwondo Master Course - Level 3, conducted by Kukkiwon's World Taekwondo Academy in Muju, South Korea, at the famous Taekwondowon. Attained Class 3 Poom-Dan Examiner certification.
- 2022: presented with special Citation certificate at Jidokwan Headquarters, Gangnam, Seoul, by President Grandmaster Seung Wan Lee (이승완).
- 2022: presented with 8 Dan Taekwondo Jidokwan certificate at Jidokwan Headquarters, Gangnam, Seoul, by President Grandmaster Seung Wan Lee (이승완). Grading test conducted by Grandmaster Sung Soo Lee in Australia.
- 2019: Masters Training Camp Korea Hapkido Federation, Kyungju Mountain, South Korea. Presented with KHF "Master" Certificate.
- 2019: Moohakkwan (Master Sung Soo Lee) Annual Hapkido Seminar , Sydney Australia. Presented with Achievement Award 13 October 2019 for promotion of Hapkido in Australia.
- 1987: awarded Bachelor of Business - Accounting at Brisbane QIT (now QUT) at age 19 years old.
- 1984: completed secondary education at Church of England Grammar School, at age 16 years old.