Paul Finn began studying martial arts at the age of 12 in judo, under the tutelage of Professor Seiji Morioka (8th Dan) Founder and Head Instructor of the Musokai Association of Original Japanese Martial Arts. After several years of judo, he broadened his stiudies with Shotokan Karate, training into his late teens with the Thames Shotokan Karate Organization under Sensei Raye Fuller. During this time, he was invited to learn Bujutsu with Professor Morioka. His training incorporated Ju-jutsu, Kenjutsu/Laijutsu and Bojutsu. After a number of years, Paul says he was “proud and privileged to be awarded the rank of Shodan by Sensei Morioka in both Kendo and Bujutsu.”
In his late teens, Paul was diagnosed as suffering from an arthritic condition, which caused him to experience painful inflammation of the joints, particularly the lower back. Unfortunately, this curtailed his martial arts endeavours to some degree, and was frustrating to him, but at the same time, he went on to study law, entering Lancaster Gate Law School, where he successfully passed the Law Final Exams. This allowed him to qualify as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court in October of 1995.
Paul Finn has been a practicing Solicitor for the past nine years, and is employed as the head of Personal Injury Litigation in a busy provincial firm.
During law school, Paul renewed his martial arts studies and became heavily involved in Wing Chun Gung Fu. He originally studied at Moy Yat’s Kwoon in London, and went on to study with Sifu Steve Marie before joining the Kamon organization under the tutelage of Sifu Kevin Chan. In 1996, he visited Hong Kong and the Philippines. During this vacation, he studied at the Yip Chun Athletic Association in Hong Kong, training personally with Grand Master Yip Chun.
After this, Paul continued his studies with Sifu Steve Marie, who introduced him to the art of Jeet Kune Do. At this time, he also began attending Guro Dan Inosanto’s seminars in the United Kingdom, at the Bob Breen Academy in London. He also began attending Sifu Rick Faye’s seminars. These came as a breath of fresh air from the traditional systems into which he’d historically been involved.
In 1997, Paul’s Wing Chun instructor, Steve Marie, left the UK to live in Denmark and Paul began studying (upon Steve’s recommendation) with Guro Ralph Jones of the Kent Kali Group.
Paul Finn has attended numerous JKD seminars at home and abroad over the last 8 years, including summer camps hosted at Bob Breen’s Academy, and Guro Inosanto’s seminars in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bournemouth, Spain, Germany and the United States. He has visited Guro Rick Faye’s Minnesota Kali Group, and the Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts in Los Angeles, California, where he has attended Guro Inosanto’s classes and the IAMA Instructors Camp in 2006. Paul says, “These have been fantastic opportunities to learn, especially at the legendary Inosanto Academy under the direct tutelage of Guro Inosanto.”
For the past five years, Paul has studied as a private student (alongside Guru Raph Jones) with Grandmaster Danny Guba of the Doce Pares system of Eskrima.Kali.Arnis. He has been certified by Grandmaster Guba to 3rd Dan in this multi-system style. Over the past three years, he has trained with Ibu Rita Suwanda, the head of the Mande Muda Pencak Silat Association. One of his goals is to become part of the Mande Muda program and promote the growth of this art throughout the UK.
Recently, Paul trained with Sifu Joseph Lee of the Lee Shing Wing Chun lineage as a closed-door student.
Paul Finn has been teaching part-time for the past five years, and hopes to develop and increase his student base over the coming years.