GKCglobal Uchi-Deshi Program Testimonials
I’ve just arrived home after a fantastic week of training & living under Sensei Michelle & Paul Enfield , I’m really exhausted due of the long trip, but everything I can say is I’m glad to have done it.
From the very first moment, both Paul & Michelle showed a great disposition to host me at their residence, and I’m very grateful for that.
I arrived to San Diego on a Sunday night, and Michelle had the courtesy of picking me up at the airport, after that, we reached their residence just in time to have some sleep after the long trip.
Next morning we were already set for training, so we did, like the 6 following days, without wasting any little bit of time.
The level of knowledge that I had the honor of receive, is above every thing I could have experienced before, working hard every aspect that conform the art of Okinawa Goju Ryu, reaching some days the amount of more than 5 hours of training.
I also had the privilege of being witness of the fantastic karate programs they develop at Goju Karate Center for kids, teens and adults, it was an inspiring experience that will be very helpful for me as a karate instructor in the years to come.
As to the personal attention received, I have to say that I really felt like at home in Enfield's’ residence, with both Paul & Michelle were willing to make my stay comfortable & easy.
I really recommend any serious martial artist, especially Goju Ryu Karate practitioners, to take this Uchi Deshi program. I’m sure it won’t disappoint even the most demanding student.
Ivan Garcia, Spain
I was first lucky enough to train with the Enfield's’ in late 2018 in Birmingham in the UK, and was thoroughly impressed by them both - so much so that I happily traveled to train with them again when they returned to the UK in 2019.
That session was enough to convince me to ‘take the plunge’ and go to train with them as an uchi-deshi for a period of two weeks, so in January 2020 I travelled to California, intent on improving my knowledge of Goju-Ryu.
From the outset both Paul and Michelle couldn’t have been more welcoming to me, and their willingness to share their knowledge (and its depth) blew me away. The availability of their training equipment in the garage, and the dojo itself in Carlsbad, meant that I was able to train every day quite easily (in several cases more than once a day).
It was a thoroughly engrossing 2 weeks for me, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the experience to anyone wanting to improve their karate knowledge - in fact I was so impressed that I’ve already agreed to come back again next year.
James Concannon, Scotland
When I first saw the videos of Sensei Paul on YouTube I was struck. At this time I had some trouble with my Karate, I left my former Dojo, and there I was. No direction, no Sensei. I checked his homepage, found the Uchi Deshi program and signed up. It took a year to come true, was worth the waiting. I did not know what to expect, the only thing I knew was, I want to me him. During our exchange of emails, I noticed his very kind and easy way of answering my requests. That somehow impressed me too.
Now after a couple of weeks, at his residence and the experiences I gained, I don't know how describe my feelings and my impressions. He changed my view to Karate completely. I, again, discovered my deep love to Karate and a tremendous motivation to explore it under his guidance. These weeks were one of the best experiences I ever had in my whole life. What impressed me most, was not the way he teaches but his integrity, his values and simplicity in character. Sensei Michelle is very unique too. Very welcoming, vivid and funny. She has an amazing way to work with kids. We had lots of fun and good talks.
There is so much more to tell, but the best way is to sign up and get your own experiences. For me, I can truly say, something has changed in my life. I took so much with me, not only for Karate, also for my personal growth.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Michael Holzer, Austria
I met Sensei Paul and Sensei Michelle when my instructor invited them to Canada to run a weekend seminar. I was impressed with the level of their skill and knowledge, and I wanted more.
I spent a week living with the Enfield's while training. My focus was to obtain a deeper level of understanding of Sanchin Kata in preparation for my shodan belt test.
Sensei Paul delivered everything I expected and more. I had access to their garage equipment which I could use at any time, as well as their dojo, including several types of hojo undo equipment I had not used before. Sensei Paul was quick to answer any questions I had on any subject.
The Enfield's were amazing hosts and I can’t say enough about how grateful I am for the opportunity to learn, and to be invited as a guest in their home.
For anyone who’s really passionate about karate and wants to take their training to the next level, I highly recommend the GKC Uchi Deshi program.
Sanjay Seegobin, Canada
I can't say enough about my stay in Carlsbad with Sensei Paul and Michelle Enfield. Wonderful hosts, made me feel right at home. The karate training was second to none. It was an honor to be in the presence of a true karate master. Sensei Paul has a way about him that I have only seen in the few great karate masters I have had the honor to meet. Not only was their karate unparalleled, but I had a surprise lesson I was not expecting, just observing Sensei Paul and how he treated his wife and others taught me something about being a good man. It was truly an honor to be accepted to the Uchi-Deshi program, I would highly recommend this opportunity to any serious karateka who would like to expand their knowledge from a true karate master.
Glen Stainer, USA
I had the Good Fortune to receive a wonderful gift for my 60th birthday from my students and friends at The Karate Studio. My gift was too spend a week with Sensei Paul and Sensei Michelle Enfield, and partake in the GKC Uchi Deshi program. Sensei Paul and Sensei Michelle made staying at their home such a delight. They went out of their way to make me feel at home. While visiting and training at their dojo, their students were respectful and they went out of their way to make me feel welcomed. I recommend the GKC Uchi Dashi program to any serious martial artist that is looking to further their knowledge on Karate in general, and in Goju Ryu Karate-do specifically. It would be an honor and a privilege for me to repeat this visit sometime down the road and hopefully bring my wife Lisa Melendez, Sensei with me. Many people are looking to Okinawa to partake in seminars and visit different Dojo, so they can get a taste of the Okinawan martial art culture. I was fortunate enough to visit the Enfield's and receive valuable instruction that will impact my karate training forever. Arigato Gozaimashita.
Nelson Melendez, USA
I first visited Goju Karate Center when they hosted Patrick McCarthy for a seminar. I felt that having the opportunity to train with both he and Sensei Paul Enfield, I would be stupid not to do what I could to get there. With only a couple of days in their regular classes (which Sensei Paul and Sensei Michelle graciously allowed me to join in as a visitor), I knew I had to come back for more!
Spending 5 days in the Uchi-Deshi program has been one of the most worthwhile experiences of my entire karate career. Not only was training tailored to my goals for the trips, but even material that I wasn't focused on was freely brought to my attention. Being an extremely analytical practitioner, I was so grateful for the number of ways that Sensei Paul and Sensei Michelle were able to convey their teachings.
By my request, we spent plenty of time on kata details, some on application practices, and even a session with less popular (or less common) hojo undo equipment. Probably my favorite aspect of their teaching style is that they show the reasons for specific methods of movement and give plenty of guidance and helpful feedback where necessary.
Even spending time with me helping with ideas for personal and professional growth, Sensei Paul and Sensei Michelle both have made such an impression on my practice. I continue to plan future trips, and always look forward to spending time with Karma and Roland as well!
David Gambrell, USA
Hello. My name is Paul Musolf. I have a few questions about makiwara practice."
That was the first message i sent to Paul Enfield and Goju Karate Center. I had no idea how much that one sentence would change my view of karate. During this conversation, I made the decision to seriously pursue makiwara practice. Up until this time I had only second hand knowledge of makiwara use. My initial thought was.....[Big knuckles and calluses = good karate.]
I was so wrong. Over the next year I practiced makiwara consistently and arduously on a daily basis. I used GKC makiwara DVD (A Guide to Makiwara). as my primary resource. Asking questions when necessary. All I wanted to do was learn to hit really hard. Instead I learned about my own proper structure when striking, correct energy transfer without "energy leaks", absorbing energy, and yes, fist and body hardening (only as a side effect though not the primary reason for training).
Those personal discoveries left me with the next obvious train of thought If I was wrong about makiwara practice and it's real purpose then what else might I have misunderstood about karate? That question has led me to study coconut training "Iron palm", learn the skeleton's of 3 goju kata: Sanchin, Gekisai dai ichi, Seiyunchin. Explore "Connector" drills as a vehicle to link kata and kihon in a cohesive way.
The I.P. training allowed me to have confidence in my body's ability to absorb impact. Because of that work I no longer have to worry about severe injury if I miss a target and hit something very hard with my hands. The training was successful. I learned to break coconuts with my bare hands! The connector drills have shown me an effective and efficient way to use limb control during close range confrontations.
For me kata was always just movement for betterment of self. I was under the impression that anything to be found in karate kata that might be practical and useful was very hard to study and to find anything truly useful was difficult indeed.
I had so many questions and had hit a point in my training where video instruction just wasn't enough. I needed to know more.
I attended a seminar in N.Y. hosted by empty cup karate. As helpful as seminars are, I got a glimpse of what was to come( I really learned a great deal of technique and principles but it just wasn't enough. I decided to enroll in GKC uchi-deshi program.
After a long discussion with my family I decided to travel to California and spent 8 days training at Goju Karate Center. In all honesty I could not have a asked for a better training experience than what I had. From the time I arrived I was treated with respect and kindness. I was provided with a learning environment that was accepting, demanding, forgiving, and supportive. In return i was only asked to show respect and to work hard to meet my personal goals. Everything you might expect from a high quality school.
My experience was an individual one -- as is every participants stay as an uchi-deshi. So results may vary by your own personal needs. I can tell you this. Without a doubt. The time I spent as an uchi-deshi. Training with Sensei's Paul, Michelle, Julio, Noah, Mike, Elizabeth and all my other teachers and students at GKC. is an experience I'll never forget. An adventure I would gladly undergo 100× over! I was not only shown Invaluable karate principles that I can put into practice immediately but I've re-discovered my own potential to be the best martial artist i can be.
So I would like to a say that thank you isn't enough. But still... Thank you for sharing your karate-do with me. I am forever grateful.
Paul R Musolf, Chief Instructor/Owner Heian Karate Do, USA
After hosting a seminar with Paul, Sensei and Michelle, Sensei, I wanted to learn more. I spent 15 days with them as an uchi-deshi and the experience was unforgettable! Not only was I welcomed into their dojo to train, I was welcomed into their home. The knowledge that I gained from both Paul, Sensei and Michelle, Sensei, as well as other dojo students, is invaluable. I look forward to joining them again as an uchi-deshi.
Katie Forest, USA
I participated in the program back in March and it was everything I could have hoped for. Sensei Paul and Sensei Michelle are wonderful people and very accommodating. I received all the training, help, advice, and answers I could have needed. This is an experience I hope to participate in multiple times a year. Highly recommended!
Jonathan Kenney, Canada
The Uchi Deshi Program with the Enfields Senseis is an opportunity to believe there is another Karate out there, one more complete and practical. I can say I have become greater Karateka since my time with them. I came back home with new workouts to go on my training in Mallorca. Their Dojo is an amazing place located near the sea, and I can say I left some friends between the students of the Senseis. It was an amazing experience, with a welcoming and familiar treatment. The ultimate experience for those seeking deeper in karate. I will definitely come back.
Albert R. Villa, Spain
My experience with Sensei Paul and Sensei Michelle was outstanding. Everything that I learned training with them felt brand new – even the basics always led to advanced techniques that expanded my karate practice. I received a great deal of individual attention, both at the dojo and in the home. Even after training had completed, training wasn’t completed: I continued to learn long after we left the dojo, in conversation, over meals, and as part of daily life. Sensei Paul and Sensei Michelle both went out of their way to make me feel welcome and comfortable in their home. The deep pool of knowledge that Sensei Paul and Sensei Michelle have is something I look forward returning to again.
Michael Kory Green, New York, USA
We came with a few senior members from our dojo recently to study with Sensei Paul and Sensei Michelle in the Uchi-Deshi program, training both at the dojo and at the Enfields’ home. The training was challenging and insightful for all of us. They both have an incredible depth of knowledge of Goju Ryu, martial arts, and physical training in general. The Enfields are expert teachers in addition to their martial skills, and are extremely gifted at tailoring instruction to the needs of the specific student. Each member of our dojo came away with individualized instruction and deeper insight into karate practice. The training we’ve all received has already created a sea-change in at our own dojo, raising the overall level of engagement and training. Sensei Paul and Sensei Michelle were extremely generous hosts, welcoming us all with open arms and ensuring everything about our stay was taken care of. They have a lovely home, with a room for everyone, in a quiet, safe neighborhood with tree-lined streets. Even their animals were open and friendly. We recommend this experience to any martial artist who wants to deepen and enrich their study, and any instructor looking to raise their own level of teaching.
Matt & Janelle Stanley, Empty Cup Dojo, New York, USA
I had an incredible experience staying and training with Senseis Paul and Michelle Enfield. I received tons of individual attention and personalized instruction that has left me with a better understanding of how I can apply principles and techniques to develop my karate practice in general, and particularly my kata, to the next level.
The depth and intensity of training exceeded my expectations, and I’ve already seen significant improvement as I’ve worked on applying what I learned during my week at GKC. I also got a lot out of training with their students, who are highly skilled, very welcoming, and like Senseis Paul and Michelle, extremely generous in suggesting ways to improve my technique.
Staying with Paul and Michelle was pleasant and relaxing and very conducive to focusing on training. They have a wonderful, spacious home with friendly, affectionate pets, a great back yard area, and also a very well equipped space for training. I look forward to returning to visit and train again soon, and recommend this opportunity highly for karateka of any level.
Cade Steinmetz-Silber, New York, USA
At the outset I didn’t quite know what to expect from the uchi-deshi program. But as I started this testimonial, sitting back in the sun on Carlsbad station waiting for the train to San Diego, and then on home to England, I was struck by just what a range of experience it had offered. There are of course the testimonials of prior students, like this one, to give some idea of what one might get from the experience. But, at the same time, it is so personal I think it will always be unique to each individual that has the opportunity to take part in the program. I left further along the path, having had one of the most memorable karate experiences of my life. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.
Mine was a short but sweet visit. I was met 5 days earlier on a Monday afternoon by Sensei Michelle. A short hop to the dojo on the other side of the tracks, and we were soon in lively discussion over coffee. The dojo sits at the corner of a colorful complex of boutiques and eateries, and, as I found out later on, both the upstairs café and the corner bar make for convenient places to grab a bite (would recommend the baja fish tacos) with Sensei Paul after morning training.
Soon the karate began. I quickly learned from the sequence of children and teenage classes that followed, how a deep commitment to respect, etiquette and commitment is nurtured at all levels of the dojo, led gently but firmly from the top. In the adult class this manifests as the warmest of welcomes, a meditative start, and structured formality that focuses the mind all the way to the farewells. It’s all balanced by a sense of lightness and friendship.
For me the training offered the opportunity for tweaks and adjustments, exploring timings and emphasis, as well as common themes between kata in execution and application. We covered a lot of ground, but not too much, with enough time to reinforce key points before moving on, and altogether much greater than the sum of the parts.
But the experience goes well beyond the outstanding class training or even the uniquely detailed one-on-one sessions. Staying with Sensei Paul and Sensei Michelle, is an opportunity to get to know two inspirational people on a personal level and share life experiences, to say nothing of making friends with Karma and Roland, two of the most affectionate and well-trained dogs you could hope to meet. And let’s not forget Bill, the master of the kitchen island.
It is something special to be able to discuss everything from teaching methods and motivational psychology, through to the history of karate, and Sensei Paul’s unique experiences. Whether in the van, over a quiet cup of coffee in the morning, or while throwing the ball for Karma and Roland in the park, the discussions never ceased to reward
The evenings of Japanese take away or home cooked dinner around the dining table, reached a pinnacle with Sensei Paul’s spaghetti bolognese, a hearty red, a glass of single malt, and laughing over “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”. Who wouldn't love it.
This has been used before, but in the words of a famous Californian “I’ll be back”…. if they’ll have me that is.
Reuben Tooze, England