Sifu Robert McInnes
(8th Dan Tai Shan graded Master)
Kancho (Sifu McInnes ) known for his hard core methods of training and has trained some of the best fighters in the world such as Peter Aerts 3 times K1 champion, Stan The Man5 times world champion, Pedro Rizzo UFC world champion, Yodsanan 3k the WBA 130lbs world boxing champion, Yodumlung the former WBA 122lbs world champion, Daniel Dawson ISKA world champion and K1 fighter, Albert Klaus K1 world champion, Chatchai Paiseetong 3 times lumpinee world champion, The tank (Lort Tung, Sukmongkol Sitchuchork 5 time world champion, Rambo II the ISS Muay Thai Champion, Nick Kara, Judd Reid World Kumite Champion and many more, these are just to n ame a few. Sifu Kancho is one of the very few that has managed to understand and define the art of fighting using traditional methods, and have great success.
His philosophy is that all fighting systems have the same base, its how you evolve that base foundation that will result in success. He has proven beyond a doubt that this philosophy works in all aspects of training and fighting, also in other sports as well. In 1992 Sifu Kancho took on two fighters one 15 yrs old and the other 13yrs old Yodsanan 3k and Yoddumlung as they are known today from 1992 to 2002 these two boys lived, ate, and slept at Sifu Kancho private estate. In this eight year period, both boys whom had never fought before in their lives had straight win victories without a loss all the way to the WBA world title of which they both won. During all this time, only Sifu Kancho trained them using his philosophy and methods of training. Although, we are talking about international boxing, the punching and basic philosophy is the same as Shorin Kempo. Sifu Kancho believes it’s just a case of adapting the traditional movement and evolving it into whatever system or method of fighting you are using. Sifu Kancho started his Martial arts at a very young age and practiced his Martial arts (then Kung Fu) everyday, when he grew up he had a passion that ate at him to learn more…..Sifu Kancho travelled to China where he Studied with Master Shi Zui at Taishan, where he mastered the teachings of Shi Zui for of martial arts( a branch of Shaolin) being until this day the only westerner accepted by Master Shi Zui as an inner student ((or as we know it today Uchideshi).
Sifu’s core style of teaching was brutal and very similar to styles such as Kyokushin , In the 70’s and 80’s this was really never seen in New Zealand and most Karate and Kung Fu systems were semi contact and minimum training was spent on conditioning and bare knuckle hardcore training. This grow much attention to Sifu and Karate and kung fu critics targeted him as an Martial arts extremist. What is considered the extreme back then is now the norm today. Or though Sifu took a lot of criticism in those days yet his Dojo’s produced some of the toughest martial artists in the region. However the stronger the influence of Sifu’s dojo’s and Students came , so did the jealousy and the critics.
Sifu is the first to admit that in those turmoil years , the fine line of Martial arts and the power from the numbers of members was crossed.. Most of Sifu’s top Black belts were Ushideshi on the 1000 day program and the trained 8 hours per day 6 days a week with Sifu. However this created a problem, the Ushideshi or Inner students loved to train but the cost of living in New Zealand was just far to high and most couldn’t afford to take the time of work needed to be an Ushideshi. At this point of time The Inner Students (Ushi Deshi) were becoming very famous and due to Sifu’s himself working the security in some of Auckland’s roughest known Night clubs such as the Crypt for many years and his influence in the Asian communities he was approached to supply security for some of the night clubs , With in 12 months the Ushideshi of Sifu’s dojo’s controlled 90% of Auckland’s security in nighclubs , pubs and restaurants . The whole concept was purly to make a way that the Ushideshi could earn a living to support their Family and training. Those that hired the UshiDeshi where grateful , but there were some that marked it up as a protection racket and Mafia, They began to target Sifu once more. However dispite the critisisum from critics Sifu’s Ushideshi dominated the security scene from the 80’s to the 90’s (10 year span) you could be guaranteed that the Ushi Deshi of Sifu where on nearly all the doors of the Clubs in central Auckland New Zealand.
Sifu felt that New Zealand and his organization could not grow any larger due to population ,cost of living, and mainly isolation from the rest of the martial arts world , he believed his students needed the link with Asia and to see how the real world of Budo is. You must remember back then the internet was virtually no existent and the wealth of knowledge it your fingertips was not there, People thought that Karate was non contact and Kung Fu was like the movies and if you did anything different you where a fake . Despite all this it was time for Global expansion of his system and determination to prove his System of teaching and training worked.
Sifu’s love for Asia is what bought him back in the early 90’s to the land where martial arts evolved and is given the respect it deserves. Sifu has taught every day for decades passing on the knowledge he has acquired through years of training in the martial arts. After living in Thailand Sifu travelled back to China in 1996 he saw that the systems had become very tourism orientated , and with the death of Master Shi Zui so had his system vanished and dwindled away to become more of a Wushu system than a fighting system, At this point Sifu Kancho began to evolve his system of Martial Arts as we new it in to the Shorin Kempo and amalgamated with the Japanese systems as we know today and his Honbu Dojos are famous for.
Sifu Kancho is probably one of the very few in the world that is accepted as an equal amongst the Japanese masters, so much that he leads over 300 japanese Shihans and sensei in the WKO (World KUmite Organization). His skill is unquestionably equal the top masters in Japan. Sifu Kancho can honestly say he has either trained or taught martial arts nearly everyday of his adult life. In Thailand, Sifu Kancho has received numerous awards from people as high ranking as the Crown Prince of Thailand for his achievements in Martial arts and help with charities. He is without a doubt the most recognized westerner in Thailand in the Martial arts and Boxing. Nearly everyone involved in either Muay Thai Boxing or Martial Arts knows of his name. In fact he was Awarded the White Mongkong from the great Khu Yodtong the founder of Sityodtong .