Chief Instructor and founder of Kiryoku.

6th Dan since 2016
35+ years


Paul Herbert has been training in Shotokan Karate for 35 years and holds the senior grade of 6th Dan. A professional instructor, Paul has run the Kiryoku Dojo in southern England since 1996 and has coached students to innumerable grading and competition success. Over the years he has produced not only senior black belts but English, British, European and World Karate champions. With a direct Shotokan lineage and rich heritage gained under the Japanese master Enoeda Sensei, Paul is one of the UK’s most prominent and exciting instructors teaching to over 350 individual students each week.

Link to Enoeda Sensei and the Japan Karate Association (JKA)

Like many senior Karateka, Paul is a former member of the JKA. He was instructed and graded up to 3rd Dan by JKA European chief instructor – Enoeda Keinosuke (9th Dan) and remains the Japanese icons final senior student.

Paul instructed numerous classes for Enoeda Sensei at the renowned Marshall St dojo which was not only the JKA European headquarters, but also recognised as a centre of world excellence. He also taught for Enoeda Sensei when his dojo relocated to the historic Budokwai – the oldest martial arts dojo in Europe. Paul was graded to 4th Dan by JKA World chief instructor Masaaka Ueki (9th Dan).

Between 1996 and 2004, Paul represented JKA England teams at 18 international championships. These included 7 JKA European championships and the captaining of the England squad at the 2004 JKA world championships in Tokyo. Paul was not only the first JKA England individual male kata champion, but also a member of the first ever JKA England team selected by Enoeda Sensei for the 1996 European ‘Miyazaki’ Cup in Belgium. Paul was also a five x winner of the ‘Enoeda Cup’, as well as JKA Shotokan Cups in Norway and Germany.

Having visited numerous dojo in Japan, including the old JKA Honbu in Ebisu, the current JKA Honbu and the notoriously tough Takushoku University. Paul has trained with many of the iconic Japanese sensei from the early JKA ‘golden eras’ including Enoeda, Kanazawa, Abe, Tsuyama, Ueki, Mori, Shirai, Tanaka, Osaka and Yahara plus many more.

Success in Competition

As a competitor, Paul was involved in tournament Karate for 20 years, spending over half this time as a full England and Great Britain international. During this period he represented his country all over the world.

With over 200 eventual competition honours to his name attained at both national and international level, Paul initially retired as the unbeaten JKA national Kata champion in 2004 at the age of 29.

Paul was invited onto Sensei Ticky Donovan’s U21 England Squad as a brown belt in 1989 and eventually retired as England captain and competitor number 023 at the 9th JKA World Championships at the famous Budokan, Japan in 2004.

However, in 2019 Paul was selected to represent Karate England at the 8th WUKF World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia. Following a fifteen year hiatus from competition, Paul became World Karate champion taking Gold in the men’s individual open weight Kumite.

In the Media

Over the years, Paul has been repeatedly featured both nationally and globally in publications including Traditional Karate magazine, Shotokan Karate Magazine, The Shotokan Way, Combat Magazine, Boxing Monthly and Martial Arts Illustrated. Highlights of Paul competing and teaching have now received over 20000 views on YouTube.

Away from Traditional & Competition Karate

As well as being a former ABA boxing champion, Paul has validated his skills as a pragmatic martial artist and authority on effective personal protection by working over the years in numerous conflict environments – employed by various law enforcement groups, national newspapers, certificated debt recovery companies and from working as a close quarter bodyguard. Today, Paul still trains weekly with a professional boxing coach and also coaches his own MMA based combat classes at the Kiryoku Dojo.

Present Day

Paul was introduced to the highly respected martial artist Dave Hazard (Shotokan 7th Dan) in the late 1990s through Enoeda Sensei. Consequently, Paul has been a member of the laters Academy of Shotokan Karate since 2004 ensuring not only the continuity of Enoeda Sensei teachings and philosophies but combining the progressive coaching methods and pragmatic concepts of the dynamic Sensei Hazard.