Paul Keeton


Paul started Judo in September 1988 at the age of 19 after a friend that attended a club in Basford recommended trying judo.

Paul took his first grading on the 29th January 1989 at which he passed his 4th Kyu (orange). He then continued to train four times a week Tuesdays and Thursdays at Six Ways and Fridays and Sundays at Basford under the Instruction of Alan Barker and Robert Camm. Paul continued to grade achieving his 3rd Kyu on 6th April 1989, 2nd Kyu on 14th August 1989 and 1st Kyu on 21st January 1990. He then had to wait over a year before attending a grading in Kent on 10th August 1991 at which he attained his Dan grade. He then continued onto gaining his IBF 2nd Dan on 9th December 1994. Paul also holds Dan grades in Jiu-Jitsu and Sombo. From when Paul first started in 1989 he attended many competitions both at National and International level. His first competition was at Scotland on 28th June, where he did not win anything, but he scored his first Ippon in the first contest that he fought.

On 17th March 1990 he was chosen to represent IBF Great Britain at a tournament in Holland, at which he received a 3rd place trophy. He then carried on competing in numerous competitions throughout 1990 and early 1991 only managing to achieve silver and bronze places along the way. Then on April 27th 1991 he was chosen to represent IBF Great Britain again, this time in Germany. The outcome this time was better than Paul could ever imagined he took 1st place in the u65kg category. Paul then on his return to England continued to win medals at every tournament, on December 1st 1991 he became the IBF u65kg British Champion. His run of medals continued retaining his British title in 1992, Paul then moved to the new weight of u71kg which did not seem to affect his competition results he continued through 1993 attending ten competitions and winning a medal at each. He lost his British title in 1993 due to the weight change but continued to fight through 1994 and in December 1994 he attained the title of IBF British Champion once again for the u71kg weight category. He then carried on competing on and off until 7 March 1999 when he ruptured his tendon Achilles whilst competing at a tournament in Belgium.

Paul formed the White Tiger judo club in 1991 with fellow coach Cath Williams. White Tiger soon became a well known name within the Judo circle as it soon grew to one of the largest and most achieved clubs in Nottingham. Until 1996 when Paul and Cath decided to go their separate ways, this is when the Cobra judo club was born. Paul along with a handful of students based at the Denewood centre worked hard and with the addition of new students soon took over the White Tiger reputation and became the best club in Nottingham. They attended 12 competitions in 1998 winning 296 medals and trophies and 8 competitions in 1999 winning 208 medals and trophies. The club has since moved over to the British Judo Association, which is the best association for students who wish to progress in Judo. The club since it started in 1996 has seen over 600 children through its doors. Yet only a handful that were there at the beginning of Cobra JC are still training with us today, and no-one that attends the club today ever saw Paul compete at National or International level or really knew the extent of Paul’s judo record before 1994. In January 2001 Paul received his BJA 1st Dan and BJA Club Coach Award, followed by his 2nd Dan on 25 June 2012. These will add to the already long list of qualifications and achievements that Paul has worked hard to gain over the last 30+ years.

Since being with the British Judo Association Paul has progressed through the officiating ranks and was awarded the highest level ‘Competition Controller’ on 14 December 2013 and has now been responsible for running many high level events which include National Individual and Team Championships and the UK School Games. In 2015 Paul attended a seminar in Turkey and was awarded a European Computer Team licence that enables him to run official EJU European Cup events.

Following the seminar in Turkey Paul was contacted by the IJF Head of IT and invited to work with the IJF IT Team at the 2015 World Championships in Kazakhstan and many more events followed with Paul travelling to Uzbekistan, China, Germany, Hungary, UAE, Turkey and Russia.