The BN Senior Fitness logo.  Two pictures of seniors exercising with a balance ball, free-weights, and elastic bands.

About Me

Hawkins, Balance Specialist, started his athletic career in high school running cross country as well as indoor and outdoor track. In 1973 after high school he took a self defense class. He wanted to know more about how to take care of himself so he decided to start taking karate. The style he studied was called Japanese Go-Ju Ryu. After many years of training he was promoted to first degree black belt. In 1980 he volunteered his knowledge to the McLean County Rape Crisis Center. Later, he began teaching a Women's Self Defense program at Illinois State University through their Campus Recreation Program from 1980-1985. In January of 1984 he was promoted to second degree black belt. Hawkins was a two-time member of the United States of America Karate Federation of Illinois in the years of 1985 and 1992. In 1985 he became the National Karate Association Grand Champion and was also named the Outstanding Competitor of the Year. In November of 1989 he was promoted to third degree black belt through the Go-Ju- Ryu Karate-Do Kyokal. In November of 1993 he was promoted to fourth degree black belt in the same organization. After the many years of sharing his knowledge with different martial arts schools, he was finally promoted to fifth degree black.

However, in 1986 his life took a turn for the worse when his developed an illness called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. He was hospitalized for three months with total paralysis from inflammation and degeneration of the myelin sheath.

After his bout with this illness he wanted to learn more about how to stay healthy. After hearing about an International Correspondence course in Fitness and Nutrition he started his education on exercise and nutrition. Since then he has received certification through the Cooper Institute, the YMCA as well as the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He continues to increase his knowledge by taking correspondence classes as well as attending seminars on exercise science.

Experience and Qualifications

The Cooper Institute
Certified Fitness Specialist for Older Adults
October 2005 -present