Steven Cockell

Head Instructor - Auckland

Sensei Steven Cockell is our senior instructor at the Auckland Maai Hyoshi Dojos.
His first experience of “martial arts” was witnessing a friend being bullied at school. Angered by this he told his father who gave Steven a means to boost his confidence. He taught Steve boxing. This was the catalyst to further studies in the Martial Arts and became an addiction.
  Twenty seven years on, he teaches a fusion of Martial Arts drawn from his years of training. The variety of training gives a deeper insight into the various applications of combat. He teaches a variety of classes derived from his successes and failures in the competitive martial arts circuit and urban New Zealand confrontations.
Here is a timeline of Sensei Cockell’s martial arts background
  • At age 13 learnt Lonsdale boxing techniques from his father, who had been a junior amateur boxer in his teens, and was the nephew of the late Don Cockell, British Empire Heavyweight Champion in the 1950's.
  • 1985 - Started martial arts training learning Shotokan Karate under Mr Vaughan Walker, and Mr Brett Hall reaching Brown belt level and fought in many tournaments in New Zealand.
  • 1988 - Learnt kick boxing skills at the Sir Dor Kung Fu Academy in Henderson Valley
  • 1989 - Began training in Ninjutsu under senior instructors Mr Bruce Gyde and Mr Reuben Edwards.
  • 1990 - Met Mr Michael Gent and was impressed with his intense approach and practical application of the art.
  • 1992 - Reached Shodan black belt level – the test took 2 hours and finished with an unarmed test against multiple attackers. Began study of Koto Ryu
  • Started teaching at Mr Andy Miller's school in Te Atatu South.
  • 1993 - Obtained Nidan Black Belt and began study of Gyokku Ryu
  • 1995 - Obtained Sandan Black Belt and begun study of the Kukishinden Ryu
  • 1996 - Mr Gent formed the Maai Hyoshi Dojo's - obtained Sandan black belt that year and began studying Kuki Shinden Ryu
  • 1997 - Obtained yellow belt in Grappling Unlimited Hawaii under teaching by Egan Inoue.
  • 1998 - Advanced to current rank Yondan (Steve states this was the hardest test of his life). The test was 6 hours long finishing with unarmed fighting against 2 spearmen and Mr Gent with a sword!
  • Mr Gent brought John B Will to NZ to train the Maai Hyoshi Dojo in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - Started fighting in NZ Vale Tudo circuit gaining NZ Light Heavy-weight title that year and remained undefeated until 2001 when retired.
  • 2000 - Obtained Blue belt in Machado BJJ.  Received training in the 9 traditional schools of Ninjutsu and weapons training in Naginata, Spear, Rokushako Bo, Katana, Hanbo, Knife and Flexible Weapons. Was entrusted as Instructor of Auckland Dojo after Mr Gent's passing in April 2006. Mr. Cockell continues to uphold his teachings and training methods in the Maai Hyoshi Dojo Spirit.
  • 2007 - Obtained Purple belt in Machado BJJ.
  • 2008 - Began coaching MMA fighters for the Maai Hyoshi Dojos. These fighters compete in MMA events throughout New Zealand.
  • 2014 - Obtained Brown belt in Will-Machado BJJ.
Today Steven lives in West Auckland with his wife Priyanka, who fight often i.e. train together. Steven lives by the philosophy that everyone needs to find an activity to pursue in order to find balance in their lives

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