Kevin O'Connor

From The Martial Arts Encyclopedia

Article by Dave Humm.

Kevin O'Connor

Summary

Kevin O'Connor is a UK martial arts instructor and former head of the British Karate-Jitsu Association. The BKJA made many questionable claims of legitimacy, as documented in the article on Leslie McLean, and O'Connor shared responsibility for most of those claims. In addition, he was jailed for 15 months for collecting at least £33,000 in benefits and allowances for disability while actively teaching martial arts classes.


The Facts

In 2005, O'Connor was caught on video teaching karate classes while collecting benefits and allowances for a back injury he had sustained in 1994. The injury was real, but as of 2001, he returned to teaching martial arts. He was reportedly capable of executing athletic techniques, including flying kicks and throws.


O'Connor was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment on these charges.


False Claims and Exaggerations as BKJA Head

While he was the head of the BKJA, O'Connor endorsed the claims that the Association had authorization to teach Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū and "Otani Omori Ryu", allegedly an interpretation of existing Omori iai waza by Otani Tomio Sensei. He also endorsed the claim that the BKJA was authorized to issue aikido black belts on behalf of the Aikikai. The disproof of these claims is detailed in the article on Leslie McLean, the former technical director of the BKJA.


Additionally, O'Connor adopted the title of "Doshu", which he claimed only meant "founder". As I informed him, that title is reserved for the head of the Aikikai itself, and was inappropriate for him to use in an aikido school.