About Us

Paul lives and works in Melbourne as a full-time teacher in KarateDo, TaiChiChuan, and Womens Self Defence. Paul is the Chief Instructor of Heiko Ryu KarateDo. Paul has travelled to the Japanese mainland, Okinawa and China for training on a number of occasions, and continues to do so.

His martial arts CV includes:

  • 5th Dan in GojuKensha 1995
  • 7th Dan from KU founder Patrick McCarthy Hanshi 2011
  • 7th Dan in Okinawa GojuRyu KenKyuKai from Taira Masaji Hanshi 2022
  • 3rd Dan International Philippine Martial arts
  • 1st dan Kobudo
  • Training GojuRyu 1975-present
  • Training Koryu Uchinadi 1995-2005, with special interest in precursor practices to GojuRyu, found in White Crane and MonkFist Chuanfa.
  • Representative of Fuzhou school of Singing Crane Quong Fu
  • Training methodology of Taira Masaji Hanshi from 2011
  • 2017 ShibuCho Okinawa GojuRyu KenKyuKai
  • Former Karate Victoria Referee

Sensei Paul

Paul was the student of Con (Dean) Athanassiou, who may be remembered by Melbourne’s martial artists of the 1960s and 70s. Dean and his father Tony were the principals of the Silver Top Taxi dojo, one of Australia’s first full-time dojos. In 1972 Dean visited Japan to pursue further improvement in the Kyokushinkai style under Mas Oyama. Under exceptional circumstances, Dean was befriended by Ohtsuka Sensei and returned to Australia with a commitment to study the GojuKensha style.

Paul commenced his martial arts training in March 1975 with the GojuKensha club at La Trobe University (Bundoora Campus) and received his Shodan Ho grade after an intensive 3-plus years of training. In his fourth year he was entrusted with the class, but left in 1979 when he graduated, and relocated to Port Hedland (North-West coast of Australia). He established a small club in Port Hedland, and for the 2 years he lived there he persisted with “temperate-zone” training methods under very hot and humid conditions. Predictably the class was small, comprising only the few students who were just as silly as he was! In 1981 Paul returned to Melbourne and opened up a club in Wheelers Hill, in the south-west of Melbourne. With small relocations the club has existed continuously since then. The major dojo is currently in Glen Waverley, and a further branch is located in Keysborough.

The class of 1985

The class of 1985 (Paul back row, 3rd from right) 

In 1982 Dean Athanassiou, the Chief Instructor of GojuKensha Australia left karate and passed on stewardship of the style to one of the senior students. Soon after obtaining his fifth dan, Paul was the first of the original seniors to leave the organization (1995).

He was a founding member of the Goju League of Instructors, (1995-2012+) a non-profit association of like-minded practitioners committed to advancement of Goju Ryu black belts through collective cooperation.

Patrick McCarthy Hanshi

Patrick McCarthy Hanshi


From 1995-2005 the Goju League of Instructors took instruction from Hanshi Patrick McCarthy. With Professor Ohtsuka and Hanshi McCarthy, we had access to the curricula of two of the most prominent Martial Arts researchers and historians of the present age. They translated the formerly “secret” manual of Karate - the Bubishi - to Japanese and English respectively.

However we have also been fortunate to have had exposure to other wonderful GojuRyu masters such as Hibio Tadashi, Watanabe Kenshu, Hokama Tetsuhiro, and most recently and importantly Taira Masaji.

Since 2011, we have been learning with the bunkai prodigy Taira Masaji Hanshi. Paul became a ShibuCho in his group, the Okinawan GojuRyu KenKyuKai in 2017 

Taira Masaji Hanshi

Taira Masaji Hanshi