Paul Smith - Club Instructors

2nd Dan KUGB
Men's Captain 2008-09
President 2006-07

Paul Smith

Paul started karate at the age of 11 at the local Shotokan club in Tring. He joined CUKC as an undergraduate at Cambridge after a gap in training of three years. At the time he was a tall, gangly 1st kyu who 'blocked with his head', but perseverance paid off and he graded to Shodan in 2006 under Sensei Sherry and Sensei Poynton. He is still tall and gangly, but tries to block with his head less often, and has developed a kumite style known for its reach and for techniques named after his karate heroes. In 2007 Paul became the first recipient of CUKC's 'Most improved' award in recognition of his hard work in training. He graded to Nidan in 2008 under Sensei Sherry and Sensei Higgins.

During his time as a student Paul progressed from the Men's B Team through to the Men's A Team, and while he was President in 2006-7 the Varsity team brought home the Enoeda Cup for the first time in four years in a famous whitewash against the Dark Blues. The club has won the cup every year since then, including in 2008-9 when Paul was Men's Captain. He was for four years in a row part of Cambridge's winning kumite team at KUGB Central Regions and was a member of the Cambridge trio of successive captains (together with Ian MacLeod and Tom Johnson) who twice won gold in team kata at BUSA, and who went on to take bronze at the European Universities Championships in Montenegro in July 2007. He was a member of the senior KUGB England kumite squad between 2008 and 2010, but unfortunately had to take time out due to a knee injury. He is a Full Blue for his achievements in kumite.

Paul has enjoyed every minute at CUKC (even the fitness tests!), but his favourite moment was when Cambridge beat Keio University by the narrowest of margins in their kumite match on tour to Japan in 2007. During the competition Paul was commended by the chief referee for his fighting spirit, height, and range of techniques that led him to victory against his Japanese opponent.

Paul's enthusiasm to learn about karate has led him to become one of our most knowledgeable instructors. He can answer technical questions about most KUGB kata and will be keen to teach anyone the 'Matt Price' or 'Terry O'Neill Special'.

Paul read mathematics as an undergraduate at Trinity College, and completed his PhD in probabilistic combinatorics in 2012. After a two-year sabbatical (or 'postdoc') in Rio de Janeiro, Paul returned to Cambridge in 2014 as a Fellow of Murray Edwards College.

Regular Instructors

Return to Instructors.

Videos of Paul

Paul Smith at Varsity 2008 (kata)
Paul Smith at Varsity 2008
See all videos of Paul.