Thread: Kevin Hawthorne Ninja Schools
5/31/2006 8:52am, #1
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
- Melbourne, Australia
Kevin Hawthorne Ninja Schools
Okay...a while back, a bunch of us looked at trying to find the truth about "Shihan" Kevin Hawthorne and his apparant system "Kyushin Ryu Ninjutsu"
Some of us were actually students of his back in the early 80s when there was no other Ninjutsu systems in Australia and therefore no way to verify his claims.
For those of you that don't know who Kevin J Hawthorne is, here is his official bio, lifted using an archive site:
It was winter 1952, when Kevin was introduced to George Palmer, a friend of his father's and a 3rd Dan ex British commando. Sensei Palmer trained Kev, in a system that was a combination of Judo and Jujutsu. He was 5 years old, and it was cold. That was what he remembered. This however, marked the beginning of a lifetime in pursue of martial arts.
Training took place in a hall in Fitzroy for 9 years, until Sensei Palmer relocated to Queensland. Kevin went on to train in the same style, under Max Comp, a 5th Dan ex German Policeman.
In 1964, Kevin enlisted with the Australian Navy. He was 17. Training with Max Comp ceased, as it was too inconvenient to get to the classes. Kevin took up Shotokan Karate, under the guidance of Sensei Paul Guerillot, a 2nd Dan ex French paratrooper.
During his 9 years service with the Navy, Kev was required to travel quite extensively. Although this meant that he wasn't able to train with Sensei Guerillot as often as he wished, he was exposed to many varied forms of martial arts through contact with other Navy recruits. As expected, the recruits came from diverse backgrounds; and for want of a better training environment, they had to train with each other in spite of their assorted styles. While stationed in the numerous bases around the globe, Kev scouted for training halls that taught Shotokan. If Shotokan wasn't on offer, he would train in a different stem of Karate; and if Karate wasn't available, he would take up whatever martial art that was. Tai Chi, Wing Chun, Muay Thai and Taekwondo, were some of the styles Kevin trained in.
It wasn't until 1968, while stationed in Tuson, Arizona, that he got his first taste of Kyu Shin Ryu Ninjutsu. He was training with Tony Redman at the time, who was with the US army Green Beret Special Forces. Both had trained in Shotokan, but were despondent about the direction the style was taking. At the time, many forms of martial arts were standardised for sporting purposes, and Kev felt that it would mean losing tradition and diluting the art. Through Tony, Kev learnt that Kyu Shin Ryu, was a style that wasn't going down the same path and which had values that did not conflict with Kevin's own. However, it took 3-5 years before Kevin made the full transition from Shotokan to Kyu Shin Ryu, as his loyalty to Sensei Guerillot was strong.
Kev's formal training in Kyu Shin Ryu began in a dojo outside the Yokohama naval base, under the tutorage of Sensei Noda. After Kevin left the Navy in 1973, he travelled to Kyushu. During his stay on the island, he underwent extensive testing, which was administered by Grand Master Seito and Master Tononaga. It covered overall proficiency in Kyu Shin Ryu and Kobujutsu (ninja weaponry). Upon completion of the 3 day trial, Kevin was awarded 1st Dan, a teaching certificate and promoted to the office of President of Kyu Shin Ryu in Australia.
To understand the magnitude of that gesture, you need to know that in those days, it was rare for foreigners to be accepted in to the inner circles of a style which is deeply ingrained in Japanese history. 3rd Dan was the highest ranking offered to non-Japanese until late 1970s.
Upon his return to Melbourne, Kev spent 12 months establishing a dojo in Caulfield. In 1975, it opened for business and recruited students to Kyu Shin Ryu Ninjutsu. However, the majority within the martial arts association, advised Kevin, that Kyu Shin Ryu will not be accepted as a legitimate form of martial art, for it did not comply with their regulations. Students of the style were victimised and banned from training and competitions held by the association, and the school was forced out on its own.
Kevin returned to Japan in January 1978, to consult with Sensei Noda and the school in Kyushu. He was advised to close the school, only to reopen 6 to 12 months later, under a different name. So it was under the banner of Vital Karate, that Kev discretely taught Kyu Shin Ryu. Although there were some controversy and suspicions, it was more difficult for the association to openly persecute the school. More students signed-up and the school grew under the false name. 12 of the best students were hand picked by Kevin and trained privately. It was only within this exclusive group, that it was acknowledged that Kyu Shin Ryu Ninjutsu was taught.
It wasn't until 1982, when the ninja boom hit the US, that Kev was given permission by Sensei Nakagawa to openly teach Kyu Shin Ryu. (That is why Kev sometimes joke, that we owe much to the Ninja Turtles).
Kevin operated under Kyu Shin Ryu Ninjutsu for the following 5 years. In the meantime, the most influential instructor in Kev's life, Sensei Noda passed away. Younger instructors who had less affinity with Kev took over. Nevertheless, when Kevin decided to sever ties with the school in Kyushu and form Kevin Hawthorne Ninja Schools in 1987, it was not without regrets.
Kevin Hawthorne Ninja Schools went from strength to strength in the past 15 years. The school currently has in excess of 700 members, and has graded 2,614:1st Dan, 571:2nd Dan, 123:3rd Dan and 3:4th Dan black belts. Kevin himself has achieved 6th Dan
Okay, now according to Mr Hawthorne, he claims to be taught by a number of instructors in his above bio, right?
Well...after some initial snooping, this is what we found...
1) Sensei George Palmer (Judo) Note: At present this man does not seem to exist. No Judo school I enquire into has ever heard of him. No JUDO forum has any info on him. Though funnily enough there seems to have been a "Charles Palmer" at that time...an australian Judo Champion for that matter...but there is no record of him training a Kevin Hawthorne. And I find it hard to believe that a man would forget his sensei's first name after 9 years of training together though.
2) Sensei Max Comp (Judo) Note: Again, can find no information on this man. He seems to be complete fiction...as immigration hasn't got him listed.
3) Sensei Paul Guerillot (Shotokan) Note: This seems to be the only Legitamate Claim. BUT his time with Sensei Guerillot only seems to be 4-5 years. Not quite enough to give you a 6th dan.
4) Sensei Noda, Master Tononaga and Grand Master Seito. (Kyushin Ryu Ninjutsu) Note: Not a single thing to show me these men has ever existed. No one in Japan has ever heard of them. At the time of whe Kev says he was in KyuShu, the shihan of the on only Kyushin Ryu system seems to be (quote "...Yoshinori Eguchi, who received recognition during the formation stages of modern Judo by Dr Jigoro Kano in the early 1880s. Dr Kano selected techniques from the five major Jujitsu schools - Yoshin Ryu, Kito Ryu, Takenouchi Ryu, Daito Ryu and Kyushin Ryu. As such, Eguchi Shihan became one of Dr Kano's closest disciples in the early Judo formation stages. One of the senior students of Eguchi Shihan was Minehiko Nakano..." the problem is that Kyushin Ryu is a JUJITSU school and NOT a NINJUTSU school.
No Sensei Noda or Seito
5) Tony Redmen...have searched online through US military records to the best of our abilities and have no Green beret around 1968. This seems pure fiction.
6)Australian military records show in fact thtat there was a Kevin J hawthorne from Carlton that enlisted in the navy but no records show him traveling to Japan. Having said that...the next strange item is the information on the navel base... For one Yokohama Naval base seems to be incorrectly named. It was formally known as the US Naval Housing Activity, Yokohama. Which was for the stay of US soldiers only (no Australians as long stay residents) the naval base itself is called "Yokosuka" naval base and not Yokohama.
Unable to understand, we actually asked for a copy of his military records, and would you believe that the WHOLE TIME HE WAS IN THE NAVY....he never left the base here in Melbourne. Actually that is a lie...he left it twice for 14 days each time on annual leave...28 days is not really enough to give you 6 dans in a martial art as well as visit Arizona and Japan...
LIES LIES LIES...
10/29/2010 12:29am, #2
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
I trained with Kev for about 3-4 years and was awarded my first dan by him, at about which time you are expected to teach a class yourself. I felt suspect because I got a japanese guy to read the stamps on my certificate and he said that they read "Shotokan Ryu", so I didn't feel right about teaching and left. Nevertheless Kev really knows his stuff and is a good teacher, I know many people that have learned from his system and used that knowledge to defend themselves in real life confrontations, always walking away first if it is an option (with a few unfortunate exceptions). Since I left he supposedly got certified by the bujinkan, and now teaches "freestyle ninjutsu". Kev had over 50 schools when i was training with him, and is a good guy, and has many good students whos friendships i miss (with a few exceptions). Dont judge him too harshly as even if so and so didn't exsist, since then he has trained with many police and military personel, and he really knows what he's talking about.
10/29/2010 5:22am, #3
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
Also, a tad wierd that you left the school as it you didn't feel what the teacher was doing was right and then went on to praise the teacher anyways...
Btw, very well researched OP :)
2/09/2011 8:24pm, #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2011
hi all i fourght in 1986 or 84 in aust kung fu championships the eelimanations were at goldon lion school kevins pupial kept punching , after the bell william cheung yelled were is keven big kev packed himself badly , and bill kicked them out worst school in oz apart from barry pangs more from the old days soon by the way the govt has tried to close him blueboy
2/10/2011 12:59am, #5
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
- Sherwood, OR
5/10/2011 11:21am, #6
- Join Date
- May 2011
So does K Hawthorne schools still exist? I trained with him from around 1993 - 2001.
I must admit as It was the only Martial Art I ever Studied, that I loved it, It was practical and served me well two times, one of them involving a Junkie with a Syringe.
I have actually just come and joined this forum today coz I was looking for somewhere to train in Ninjitsu and it looks like K Hawthorne is not around.
Does anyone have any reccomendations for Ninjitsu in Melbourne?
5/10/2011 4:16pm, #7
I recommend you go to noobie town and introduce yourself/ask your question instead of resurrecting a long dead thread.
7/26/2011 3:10am, #8
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
So that is how I can have praise for him. He mostly claims to teach self defence/confidence building skills, which he does quite adequately.
8/11/2011 8:41pm, #9
- Join Date
- Aug 2011
Lies Lies Lies , that what Kevin Hawthorne tells, he is full of crap, and like a child when he gets caught out, he brings in his lawyers. Makes claims he has a students who has 27 assault charges against him , including Police. iF true shows the sort of low life scum bag kev's teaching.
I use to be a senior student for kev, till I joined the Army. Travelled around the country promoting his crap, even appeared on TV .
Kevin got drunk one night and let slip how he was ripping people off, never left Australia, never studied Ninja Training.
Kev could never tell the truth , and when he couldn't get his own way or was challenged. he would kick students out. Ask Peter P( name with held).
If you ever meety a Guy called Kevin Hawthorn who claims to be a Ninja , turn arouns and run , check your hip pocket and make sure you still have your wallet, cause he will rip you off.
8/15/2011 12:41am, #10
- Join Date
- Aug 2011
Another thing I have learnt , was in the 80's 2 KH Instructors went to Sydney to do a seminar in Epping NSW, They ripped their contact off thousands of Dollars. Ran a crap seminar with people walking out and asking for their money back.
When the conatct asked for his money, Kev got his lawyer to threaten to sue the guy.
Kev is a gutless fake, he's getting Old , hopefully he will retire soon,
The y attempted to set a Dojo up at epping squash courts, NSW, the owner was a druggy, and was working with the Instructor to supply speed to the students. The owner was arrested , the instructors ran back to melbourne , the squash courts demolished and turned into office blocks.