When I asked Shihan Thaya for something to put on the internet he was typically modest in his response “That’s it. Nothing fancy” he replied. Although I was able to get some information I know that there is more to say about Shihan Thaya – he has been a mentor to Clinton, Pat and I for many years. He always resisted making a big fuss about the Insitute and his teaching; but I have learnt that the best teachers are not always the best known teachers. Shihan Thaya falls into that category of great masters who kept under the radar prefering to focus on learning and growing and then unselfishly passing on their knowledge to their students.
Shihan Thaya started martial arts with Des Westenberg where he trained in Judo and Atemkai Karate. He then began training with Soke Ben Mängels and trained under Soke Ben for 27 years. When Soke Ben moved to the USA, he handed the Institute over to Shihan Thaya who then took over the SAIUC as Director of Training. Shihan Thaya was awarded his 7th Dan which was approved by World British Federation of Martial Arts (WBFOMA). During this time he was elected on the grading panel of the WBFOMA.
Shihan Thaya is the President of the International South African Institute of Unarmed Combat (ISAIUC).