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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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Paul Herbert - 5th Dan

Former English, British and International Shotokan Champion

Paul Herbert is one of the UK’s most prominent and exciting Shotokan Karate instructors. For nearly three decades he has both trained under and taught alongside many of the world’s finest instructors in both traditional and sports Karate. Above all, he is very proud to be one of the final senior students produced by the legendary Keinosuke Enoeda Sensei (9th Dan).  Besides his own training, Paul currently teaches throughout the week at his Kiryoku dojos and as a guest all over the UK and Europe.

A professional instructor, Paul has coached many of his own students to numerous competition and grading merits. He has produced numerous Dan grades, national champions and international competitors who have competed up to World Championship standard.  He has also had the honour of teaching classes and coaching squad training sessions at Enoeda Sensei’s Marshall Street and Budowkai clubs.  The Marshall St dojo recognised at the time as not only the JKA European headquarters, but also the centre of Shotokan world excellence.  The historic Budokwai dojo is renowned as the oldest martial arts club in Europe, where many of the most distinguished figures in the history of the martial arts have both trained and taught.

As a competitor, Paul was involved in tournament Karate for 19 years, with 10 of those spent as a full England and Great Britain international. During this period he represented his country at 18 major international championships, amongst them 7 JKA Europeans and a JKA World Cup. With over 200 competition honours to his name attained at both domestic and international level, Paul retired as the unbeaten JKA national Kata champion in 2004 at the age of 29. Paul has stated in numerous interviews that the highlight of his competition career was winning the KUGB British championship for Enoeda Sensei’s dojo in 2003, just weeks after the Japanese icons death.

Paul has twice made the long journey over to Japan for training and international competition. In 2000, he spent an extended period training daily with Senior JKA instructors at the honbu dojo in Ebisu. His second trip to the land of the rising sun came in 2004 when he captained England at the JKA World championship at the Budokan in Tokyo. During this visit, Paul trained at the infamously tough Takushoku University and also at the new JKA honbu in Idabashi. In his time practicing Shotokan Karate, Paul has trained with many Japanese sensei from the ‘golden era’ to present day. Amongst them Enoeda, Kanazawa, Abe, Tsuyama, Ueki, Tanaka, Osaka, Yahara and Kawasoe.

Over the years, Paul has been featured in numerous publications including Traditional Karate, Shotokan Karate Magazine, The Shotokan Way, Combat and Martial Arts Illustrated to name but a few. And as well as previously holding an ABA boxing title, Paul has validated his skills as a serious martial artist and authority on effective personal protection by working in realistic conflict environments for various law enforcement groups, national newspapers, certificated debt recovery companies and from working as a close quarter bodyguard.

To this day, Paul continues to practice and study martial arts daily with his personal development coming under friend, mentor and long-time ‘Enoeda Protégé’, the highly respected and renowned Sensei Dave Hazard (7th Dan). Over the years, it has become Paul’s objectives to contribute to the advancement of Shotokan Karate by adding his own personal knowledge of contempory coaching methods to the already thorough teachings of Sensei’s Enoeda and Hazard. Paul is currently working on a definitive Karate text with friend and respected writer/karate-ka Shaun Banfield.