About Brad

 Brad Hutchinson is an inspiring example of what it means to thrive in the face of adversity and how to transform challenges into triumph.​​

In 1980, at 15 years old Brad was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease. Nine months later, after enduring a series of difficult treatment cycles, the tumour was gone. But the psychological, emotional, and physical lethargy lingered on for over a decade. During that time he functioned adequately, completing high school, and working in the trades as a natural gas fitter. But his spirit longed for more...somehow he was not on the right track in life. 

Then, on a cold November night, his father died unexpectedly. That night, in the quiet space between confusion and pain, his spirit rose and cast a light upon his sacred path. He could clearly see that had wandered far astray. With steely resolve and determination he started to make the trek back. His self-imposed limitations would need to be confronted and let go. He set a course and did not look back.

The next twenty years were a flow of failures and successes that saw him earn a black sash in shaolin kung fu, write and publish three books, marry his soul mate and start a family, earn a number of community recognition awards, be instructing in the shaolin kung fu tradition, and play a leading role as the Executive Director for a transformational organization that helps children and adults to overcome the harmful, long term effects of childhood sexual abuse. Life could not have been more challenging and fulfilling.

Brad felt like he was contributing in meaningful ways to his family, his work, and his community. Not only was he firmly back on his sacred path, he had a full collection of tools and strategies to keep him centred and grounded when adversity tried to knock him off that path. In February 2016 his full collection of tools would be needed as he entered the darkest period of his life.

In June 2015, his voice started to fail. And continued to digress over the next two months.

With nothing visible in the scope, but for some redness, and otherwise feeling healthy and strong, the specialist diagnosed Brad with “strain and overuse” of his voice. It was a logical prescription given his active schedule which included teaching kung fu up to sixteen hours per week, representing The Gatehouse to the media and supporters, speaking on behalf of the public library, and facilitating personal development workshops. Brad was busy.

Through months of voice therapy and rest, Brad went through periods of recovering and losing his voice. In early in 2016 his airway began to constrict and continue to narrow to the point where his capacity to breathe became acute. His specialist ordered biopsy. February 15 2016, Brad awoke from the procedure with a tracheostomy. That would be the last time he would ever breathe through his mouth and nose again.

Within a week he was diagnosed with stage four laryngeal cancer. The submucosal tumour had surreptitiously torn through his vocal chords, destroying them from back to front. The first line treatment for this type of cancer is radiation. Brad did not qualify.

The body had a limit and he had maxed out 35 years ago when they treated him for Hodgin's Disease. Brad only qualified for the last line treatment; a radical, salvage surgery called a Total Laryngectomy. In short, his voice box and trachea had to be removed and his esophagus had to be rebuilt from tissue and muscle in his leg. March 18 2016 the operation was performed. 9 hours on the table under the hands of 6 specialized surgeons Brad’s throat had been reconstructed.

For more than two months Brad had no way to verbally communicate. In that space of silence and inner reflection it dawned on Brad that this was not an obstacle, but somehow a part of his sacred path. For some reason it was an experience he needed to fulfill his purpose. It was a call to rise in the face of adversity. He was right, he did have the tools he needed, not only to survive through the greatest challenge in his life but also to thrive.

After the operation Brad stood and walked within 12 hours. With 9 lines coming out of his body he continued a modified practice of Ba Duan Jin , the thousand year old moving meditation from the shaolin temple that had been part of his daily ritual for over four years.

As his mind began to clear from the heavy narcotics, he started to write, and write, and write. S.T.E.P. into the Creative was born from this writing.  Through the Creative Process he is taking all the knowledge he amassed over the years and formulating the wisdom into a body of work to help people align with their own sacred path.

In due time, Brad will have this work professionally edited and published. For now he is making available via this blog.


Six months post surgery, with a speaking prosthesis—an artificial air value inserted between his new windpipe and throat—Brad is back on the public speaking circuit to share his experience and inspire people to rise in the face of challenge and adversity. We all have one thing in common. We all must face adversity. The only question is, do we expand or contract in the face of it? 

To book Brad for an inspirational session please fill out the contact form Here.
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S.T.E.P. into the Creative 

S.T.E.P. is a creative expression of the knowledge and wisdom Brad has learned and lived over the past two decades--his teaching and training at Beyond Kung Fu  and his time at The Gatehouse  being an integral part of acquiring that knowledge and experience. The material, or the heart of S.T.E.P. is not novel, or new. 

"In the words of Montaigne I offer what H. P. Blavatsky offered in the introduction of The Secret Doctrine : as a preamble to S.T.E.P.:" --Brad Hutchinson

"I HAVE HERE MADE ONLY A NOSEGAY OF CULLED FLOWERS, AND HAVE BROUGHT NOTHING OF MY OWN BUT THE STRING THAT TIES THEM." --Montaigne 

"The way in which the information is forumated and presented is the string. The reader would do well to let their heart guide them toward discovering some of the links and keywords in their orginal form."