Coaches and Instructors
Chief Instructor / Sensei Mitchell Akira Kawasaki
Sensei Mitchell, began Judo at the age of five. He is currently ranked Kodokan Hachidan 8th Dan. Sensei Mitchell has held numerous positions within Judo's governing bodies including Vice-President of Judo Ontario, Technical Director for Judo Ontario, Ontario Provincial Black Belt Grading Board and National Black Belt Grading Board. Sensei Mitchell has held the position of head coach for the Ontario Judo Team, National Paralympic Judo Coach and he has also been a headline Instructor at Camp Olympia.
Sensei Mitchell has held numerous Canadian Championship titles, not only in Judo but also in freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling and gymnastics; all talents which he employs while instructing Judo. Sensei Mitchell also competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics in Greco-Roman Wrestling. For the year 2000 he was awarded Coach of The Year (he coached both the female and male Athlete of The Year for the same year).
Sensei Kawasaki's educational background includes an Honours B.P.H.E. Degree from Lakehead University and N.C.C.P. Level 3 Coaching Certification.
Recognized as one of the leading Canadian Training Centres, Kawasaki Rendokan Dojo was also instrumental in bringing the 1993 World Judo Championships to Hamilton's Copps Coliseum.
Kawasaki Rendokan has been developing young athletes for over three generations. While it is a very competitive club, it also caters to the family. With several families participating together in both Senior and Junior classes. We offer instruction for both the Olympic hopeful and the recreational player.
Sensei..."He who has gone before"
Thank you to all of our Senseis who continue to unselfishly donate their time and expertise.
Sensei Ron Hampson
Sensei Ron Hampson started Judo in 1961 under Sensei Mitch's father Harry Kawasaki. Part of a Judo family with his Mom, sister and two brothers. Ron attained his Shodan in 1973, Nidan in 1978 and Sandan in 2013. During his competing days Sensei Ron was a member of Canada's National team, a local and Ontario Champion many times, National Champion in 1976, 1978 and 1979.
Sensei Ron followed Sensei Mitch to Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. During his time at Lakehead University, he was five time GPAC Champion, Male Athlete of the year in 1977 and Honour Athlete in 1979. After the Olympic boycott in 1980 Sensei Ron took time off to build his business and have a family.
Upon his return to Judo, Sensei Ron felt the need to give back to Kawasaki Rendokan. He enjoys his time instructing and coaching at Kawasaki Rendokan. He spends may weekends refereeing tournaments as a National C referee. Sensei Ron lives in Paris, is a Financial Planner with Freedom 55. Married to Fern and together they have four children and three granddaughters.
Sensei Herman Vermeiren
Sensei Herman Vermeiren is the longest member of Kawasaki Rendokan Judo Academy (56 years). He started Judo at Kawasaki Judo Club in 1960 at the age of 27 after immigrating from Belgium. Sensei Herman obtained rank of Shodan in 1966, Nidan in 1968, Sandan in 1972, Yondan in 1978 and Godan in 2006.
Through his career he was involved in the development of many successful provincial and national (junior/senior) champions - some competed with the national / pan-american teams.
As a Judo Veteran, Sensei Herman participated in the following World Championships in -90kg division: in 2006 in Tours / France (silver medal), in 2008 in Brussels / Belgium (silver medal), in 2009 in Atlanta / USA (silver medal), in 2010 in Montreal / Canada (silver medal), in 2011 in Frankfurt / Germany (gold medal).
In 2009 he won gold at Pan American Championships in M10 -90kg division.
At the age of 82, Sensei Herman competed in the 8th International Judo Federation (IJF) World Veteran Championships in Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida USA on November 18, 2016 and won a special GOLD medal competing in the 80+ year old division.
Sensei Herman Vermeiren received Rokudan 6th Dan in 2019 by Judo Canada.
He sums his judo career by saying: Judo is my life.
Sensei Al Warburton
Sensei Al Warburton started judo in 1966 at a summer school program. Instructor was Masao "Harry" Kawasaki.
Sensei Al joined Rendokan Judo Academy in 1967 at the Ottawa Street Y. He moved with the club thru the Barton St. location, Kenilworth Ave, Onteora, and currently the CJCC.
Sensei Al received rank of Shodan on August 13th 1979, Nidan on May 23rd 1994 and Sandan on August 20th 2009. He is NCCP Level 2 Judo Certified.
Sensei Al married a wonderful girl he met at judo. Chris is a brown belt (retired) and the mother of their two sons. They tried judo but it was not the sport for them.
Sensei Kimberly Ribble-Orr
Sensei Kimberly Ribble-Orr has been practicing Judo for the past 34 years and currently holds a red and white belt rank of Rokudan (6th Dan). Sensei Kimberly became a member of Kawasaki Rendokan Judo Academy at the age of 17 where she truly began her competitive career.
Sensei Kimberly was one of Ontario's world class athletes during the 1990's where she earned over 21 top 7 finishes in international competitions during her career and represented Canada with distinction. Her last competition was the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Sensei Kimberly planned to continue but was in a life changing car accident. The Doctors credit her judo conditioning for saving her live.
Sensei Kimberly is now competing in Kata as part of her life long therapy but as always the competitor she plans on competing at the worlds.
Sensei Kimberly is a NCCP Level 3 Coach Certified, motivational speaker and fitness professional and loves to mentor up and coming young athletes in the club.
Sensei Tom Bricker
Sensei Tom Bricker started judo in 1980 under Nancy Messervey at Burlington YMCA. In 1984 he moved to Sheridan Judo Club in Oakville where he was taught by Sensei Harry Scott. In 1990 he joined Kawasaki Rendokan Judo Academy.
Sensei Tom obtained rank of Shodan in 1988, Nidan in 1993, Sandan in 1999, Yondan in 2004 and Godan in October 2013.
Sensei Tom was a member of the Ontario Provincial Team in 1988, 1994, 1996, 2001 and 2002.
Highlights of his judo competitive career include winning gold medal at 1987 Ontario Winter Games, defeating British Air Force Judo Team during Shimbukan Tournament in 1996 and winning silver medal in 1999 World Master Championships in Welland, Ontario.
He is a National B Referee and had been an active referee for 20 years.
Sensei Tom lives in Burlington. He works as a welder at National Steel Car.
Sensei Al Melloh
Sensei Al Melloh started judo later in life. It was the turn of the Century 2000.
He started off watching his son, Erik, and after a short period of time with Sensei Kawasaki's endorsement began judo himself. His early instruction came under Senseis John Voss and Paul Kerilik. Al continued working with a lot of help from all the instructors trying to learn the spiritual as well as the physical philosophy of judo.
Al achived Shodan status in 2009 and is trying to give back by helping to instruct. Sensei Al and his wife, Kym have three children and two grandchildren.
Sensei Diego Sanchez
Full Bio Coming Soon...
Sensei Dimitri Kim
Sensei Dimitri Kim started Judo when he was 16 years old and got his black belt in 2009. Sensei Dimitri placed 2nd in the 2010 Junior National Championship for -60kg and placed 1st in 2013 Senior National Championships for -60kg.
Sensei Dimitri trained in Japan in 2010 at Tenri University for 2 months with a team of Olympic and World Champions and Medalist competitors and coaches. In 2011 he trained in Kazakhstan with their National team at their pre World Champions training camp. He came back to Japan in 2012 and stayed their for one and a half years working and training judo.
Sensei Dimitri also competed all around the world in places such as Jeju (Korea), Lisbon (Portugal), Miami (USA) and St. Petersburg (Russia).
Sensei Mike Johnson
Former number 2 ranked in the World
Pan Am Judo Champion
Youngest judoka in Canada to receive his blackbelt (Shodan)
Initially taught by Sensei Mas Ishibashi and Masao Harry Kawasaki
Picture Coming Soon....
Sensei Paul Kim
Sensei Paul Kim started Judo when he was 12 years old with Sensei Chiaki Ishii (Olympic Bronze Medalist - 1972 in Munich W. Germany).
Sensei Paul Kim immigrated to Canada in 1974 and joined Hatashita Judo and started competing in 1977 at a Provincial and National Level. In 1981 Sensei Kim moved to Edmonton and joined U of A Judo Club with Yosh Sendas Son's Club. In 1982 Sensei Kim moved back to Toronto.
In 1986 Sensei Kim became a Provincial Champion and in 1988 he joined Rendokan Kawaski Judo in Hamilton. Sensei Kim served as the President of Korean Judo Association in Canada in 1992, helping Korean delegation for World Judo Championships at Copps Coliseum in 1993.
Sensei Kim has offered ongoing assistance with Kawasaki Rendokan Judo Academy since the 1993 World Judo Championships at Copps Coliseum.
Sensei Art Tolliver
Sensei Jim Corney
Sensei Stephanie Kawasaki