top of page

Keinosuke Enoeda

Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda was born in Kyushu, an island in the South of Japan, on July 4th 1935. He enjoyed sports and was a strong and natural athlete, initially taking up baseball, kendo, and judo, He proved particularly suitable for Judo at which he was very capable becoming 2nd Dan by the age of only sixteen. He was requested to do a demonstration by two top Karate exponents from the famous Takashoku University. The two Karateka, Senseis Irea and Okazaki, so impressed him, that there and then, he decided to channel his energy into Karate. He enrolled at Takashoku University, joined the Karate section, and within two years was the proud holder of Shodan and after only another two years he was Club Captain. One of his teachers was the great Master and founder of modern Shotokan Karate, Funakoshi Gichin, whose instruction and advice is still a source of inspiration to him to this day. He joined the JKA instructor's class which he attended for three years, during which time his main instructor was Sensei Nakayama. He also trained with many of the top Sensei of other schools and styles of Karate. It was this quality of instruction, combined with his spirit and determination, which moulded Sensei Enoeda into one of Japan 's finest ever competitors and instructors. After achieving his aim of becoming JKA Champion, Sensei Enoeda began to receive invitations to instruct in various countries - Indonesia, South Africa, Hawaii - and eventually joined his friend, Hirokazu Kanazawa, to instruct in England. So it was, that in 1965, Sensei Enoeda found himself living in a flat in Liverpool, where he was to spend some considerable time. He was instructing full-time at the Liverpool Red Triangle Dojo, and the quality of instruction and the spirit he engendered was soon to bring the club competition success. If you were there in those early days, you would have found it difficult not to be inspired by the intensity of his coaching. No less inspirational was the intensity of his training - every morning at 7am he would meet with a small group of students and train with them, showing by example that even All-Japan champions need to make training part of the daily lives. These students included Andy Sherry, Terry O'Neil, Bob Poynton, and Bill Christall. Sensei Enoeda went to Australia for the World JKA Championships in 1989 with the British Squad. He would often talk about how his life had changed since he had left Japan to teach in England in 1966. He confessed that he had worried about the changes he would have to face - both in culture and climate - something he had not experienced so much when, for example, he was teaching in Hawaii. The climate there is similar to the Summer months of Japan, where there is a long established Japanese community. At first he found English food strange - he could not believe we make a pudding from rice! - and the British weather! What did emerge from the conversation however was that he had grown to love the British people and their culture, and that he was so proud to be Chief Instructor to the KUGB. He was once asked was he getting used to British food and he replied of course now he even felt British! Sensei Enoeda married in England in 1969, and lived in Kingston, Surrey, with his wife Reiko. His two children, Daisuke and Maya have both graduated from university and are working in England. Sensei lived as an English gentleman, whilst developing the KUGB and on his behalf his students continue to work to make the KUGB even stronger.

Sadly, after a long fight with illness, Enoeda sensei died in 2003. His contribution to the growth and popularisation of English Karate is second to none. He taught thousands throughout his life inspiring many to reach their potential. As with many traditional Japanese instructors he was a good humoured humble man outside of the dojo but inside of it a different character again. Sadly the likes of Sensei Enoeda are now disappearing from our dojos, leaving a void for us all.


bottom of page