Kevin Martin is Navy Vietnam vet and did his mainstream training in Bando. He also teaches different blade arts and firearms. Pretty much an all around instructor, even has survival classes that are taught every now and again. His white belt certs are the hardest anywhere I have ever seen. No bullshit, no politics unless you want to talk about his split from mainstream BANDO and Dr. G.
I hate to necro post, but I was under the distinct impression that Kevin was totally removed from Bando by Dr. Gyi (Bando grandmaster) long ago.
I went to OU, in Athens, and was fairly involved in the local MA scene there. Though I was only passing friend and training partners to some Bando people. It was abundantly clear to me Kevin was a person to avoid and whose name would always cause a groan and some bitching.
I never had a run in with him, but everyone who did, Bando affiliated or otherwise, regretted it.
facts/ Kevin Martin
Kevin Martin claimed to have invented bando his own personal martial art after the concept of hunting men. he is a vietnam veteran who did his service in the navy on a boat not on hunter killer teams deep into places we were never supposed to be. after his return to usa he resumed running his landscaping business while studying under dr Gyi at ohio university for 9 years specializing in knife fighting predominately using one foot gurka blades a foot long. he is/was also a concealed weapons instructor in athens county known for carrying a 380 pocket raven as well as a 45 and a shotgun never far away. he boasts of being the best blade fighter in the world the only military consultant for k-bar knives he stands about 6'4 280 lbs a large man with long arms and even longer legs he is an extremely dangerous opponent and is normally armed as he goes about his daily business. not a kind man but an extremely cunning one. i know him personally but have never trained under him and his so called style. he worked security at the ohio univ halloween parties yearly i believe he contracted cancer of the neck while ago and went to michigan for treatment and he survived but decided to move to michigan and do his thing. currently he is off the radar as the other post suggested he does not have a good reputation and should be avoided if possible.
Your first post was a Necro of some bullshit bando thread??? Idiot.
Unfortunately both FMA_Brain and Budomaster71 are correct. When I originally posted this article Kevin had a running school and what appeared to be several students. I only went there to study Khukuri and knife work in seminars and posted on what I saw when I was there. However what I saw when I was there and what he did when I wasn't were 2 very separate things I came to find out. He and I parted ways some time back after he did develop throat cancer and was treated. Where he is now I have no idea, I just know he school is no more in Athens, Ohio.
This is my first post, in fact, I've never even been on this site before. That said, I came across this thread, searching Google for Kevin's old USA Bando site, and felt an overwhelming urge to add my two cents:
I trained with Kevin Martin for over two years while I was a student at OU. We trained every Thursday and Saturday, often for 4-6 hours at a time. I also traveled with him to knife and gun shows to help him promote the school. All things considered, I knew him very well.
Though I was about the same age as his sons, I considered him, at the time, to be one of my best friends, and had a tremendous respect for him as my instructor, and the incredible amount of knowledge he had.
What I loved about Kevin was his grittiness; on multiple levels, he was the dirtiest, most abrasive son of a bitch I've ever met in my life. This same characteristic, however, also made him real, and surprisingly easy to work with, as long as you didn't cross him.
Kevin always referred to Bando, to me anyway, as a martial system--not an art. I found this ironic, however, as the word, "artistic", is about the only way to describe the man's gruesomely original ways of injuring, maiming, and killing people. He once told me, no matter who you're standing next to, even if it's your wife or your mother, always imagine how you could kill them. He REALLY liked F-ing people up (which ultimately, in part, lead to our falling out).
The guy on this thread who said he had a tough white belt test wasn't lying. I don't remember all the specifics, but it included 300+ rounds of bare-knuckle sparring, hours of hard target knife training, mastery of nine Bando systems...he even made us write essays on Bando, and historic bayonet battles. Getting a blackbelt under Kevin would be at least a 15 year commitment, but if I'm not mistaken, no one's ever stuck around that long.
I never heard Kevin claim to have invented Bando, that wasn't my experience. He talked about Dr. Gyi like he was a super hero in the realm of Bando, but he bad-mouthed him as a phony in the same breathe. That said, Kevin never once even implied that he originated Bando. Maybe he started doing that after I left...I dunno.
Funny you mentioned "people hunting"...he took me to some nasty parts around Columbus a couple times to practice stalking people...I learned a lot, but it was always an unsettling experience.
Kevin Martin is a word-class bullshitter, but when it came to martial arts, he was very practical, and only preached what he practiced. Even at 50 something, he always sparred with us...big, scary mother F-er, who broke my ribs, wrist, knuckles...
I have dozens of stories about Kevin Martin--some flattering, some frightening, and some that, if he saw I posted on this board, he'd find me, and beat the **** out of me. Beating the **** out of someone, by Kevin's definition, was literally beating someone until they **** themselves...I have no doubt he's beaten people to the point of losing control of their bowels, which is part of the reason he has such a notorious reputation around Athens, OH.
I decided that as much as I liked the guy, and as much as I loved the crazy **** I was learning, I didn't want to wind up doing something under his direction that I would regret. That said, I paid him everything I owed him, quit very abruptly, and cut off all ties with him.
If you're considering being a student of Kevin Martin's, I guarantee you will become an ass kicker if you stick around long enough...just keep your guard up, don't screw him over, and make sure you pay him.
I'm sorry to hear he has throat cancer - I never wished him any harm - hanging around him all the time just got to be too freakin scary.
Sorry for the long ass first post on a dead thread - It's just been years since I've talked with anyone who's trained with Kevin, and I couldn't help myself.