Sensei Dan Smethurst (6th Dan) - Club Chief Instructor/Founder

Dan started karate in 1987 under the instruction of sensei Dave Warburton

 Over the years he achieved several top three rankings in regional and national fighting (kumite) competitions and has competed internationally in the WUKF World Championships.

In 1992, at the age of eleven, he passed his black belt 1st Dan and started assisting in the instruction of cadets under Sensei Dave Warburton. It was from this point that his love of instructing others started being honed and developed by sensei Dave over a number of years. He ranks Sensei Dave as the most influential person in his life after his parents.

In 2001, he passed his fighting Judge qualification and, in 2002 became a fully qualified fighting referee and kata judge. He now holds the rank of " SENIOR REFEREE" 

Dan has a wealth of instructing experience both within karate and his professional career.

He regularly attends courses both nationally and internationally and is currently a 5th Dan. He is fully qualified and holds the senior instructor rank within the SSKA  and has enhanced level CRB checks, is fully insured and is fully qualified in First Aid.

In his personal and professional life Dan is an economics graduate, He is a professional instructor in conflict management, self defence techniques in addition to instructing First Aid and the use of defibrillators. He is also is a fully qualified teacher gaining a PGCE in 2010, and in 2011 completed his Qualified teaching and Learning Status with the institute for learning.


Sensei Natasha-Paris Matthews (3rd Dan) - Assistant Chief Instructor /  Senior Instructor

Haslington Club Instructor

"I started Karate in 1997 at Sandbach Leisure Centre under Sensei Dave Warburton. I passed my Black Belt 1st Dan Grading in November 2003 at the age of 12. I then started assistant instructing with Sensei Dave Warburton and really enjoyed it. This is where my passion for instructing started and what I think made me want to become a personal trainer and teach people about fitness and the art of Karate.


I passed my 2nd Dan grading and achieved the highest score in the clubs history of 74/100.

In 2019 I passed my 3rd Dan Grading and beating my last score of 74 and still having the clubs highest score of 78/100.


Also in 2016 I passed my Judge qualification for both Kata & Kumite and then in 2018 passed my Referee Qualification.


In 2016 I passed my grading officers qualification and I am now on the club grading panel with Sensei Dan."


Natasha is a fully qualified Personal Trainer and advises club members in there personal training needs as well as providing guidance on warm up /cool down techniques.

Sensei Garry Lucas (3rd Dan) -  Senior Instructor

Kingsley Club Instructor

I was a late starter in karate, starting with the SSKU in my early 40s. Along with my two daughters we joined Kenshin Ryu in 2015.

Several years ago I had a total hip replacement which prohibited me from competing, but did not stop me from training and progressing to third dan.

Since joining Kenshin Ryu I have completed my the 3rd dan, become a fully qualified instructor, and completed SKU judges qualifications. You will see me instructing and training regularly at all of our clubs.

When I'm not in the dojo, it's normally because I am working in my full time job, as an airline pilot, I am a captain with a major U.K. airline flying the Airbus A320 family.

Karate has served me proud as something I started primarily to keep me fit. It has turned into a passion, coaching and instructing my daughters and our students and refereeing and judging at national events. It is something I really enjoy doing with my two daughters deepening our own bonds and developing great friendships with those around us.

Hannah Lucas (2nd Dan) Assistant instructor

Initially I started karate at 6 years old, joined the SSKU and progressed to first dan at 12 years old.

Since joining Kenshin Ryu I have completed my the 2nd dan, and completed the SKU junior instructors course. You will see me instructing and training regularly at all of our clubs.

I have competed since I was 7 years old winning medals at an wide range of local and national tournaments both in kata and kumite, and regularly partner my sister in pairs and team events where we have also achieved a reasonable level of success.

Mia Lucas (2nd Dan) Assistant instructor

Initially I started karate at 5 years old, joined the SSKU and progressed to first dan at 10 years old, at the time I was one of the youngest black belts in the country.

Since joining Kenshin Ryu I have completed my 2nd dan, again at what was the minimum age, and completed the SKU junior instructors course. I am possibly one of the youngest official karate instructors in the country. You will see me instructing and training regularly at all of our clubs.

I have competed since I was 7 years old winning trophies and medals at a wide range of local and national tournaments both in kata and kumite, and regularly partner my sister in pairs and team events where we have also achieved a reasonable level of success.