Meet the Team

At Kensho Karate, we pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching. Our instructor team have spent collectively more than 75 years practising Karate and have been teaching for many years.


Learn more about our Instructor Team below:

 Lee Lamb (5th Dan) - Founder and Chief Instructor

Lee's journey in martial arts began at the tender age of nine at the Gateshead Leisure Centre. Over the past 31 years, he has dedicated himself to perfecting his craft and achieving excellence in every aspect of martial arts.

At just 12 years old, Lee earned his 1st Dan black belt and started competing on a national level. His talent and dedication quickly propelled him to become a national champion, and he soon joined the esteemed KUGB National England squad. It was within this team that Lee discovered his passion for competition, which has fueled his remarkable career ever since.

Throughout his illustrious career, Lee has amassed an array of impressive achievements. Among his most notable accomplishments are winning the Commonwealth Kata Gold medal in 2008, becoming the WKF World Cup Kumite Champion the same year, and more recently, securing the WUKF double World Champion title in Kata in 2022, as well as the WUKF double European Champion title in Kata in 2022. Lee's dedication, hard work, and love for martial arts continue to inspire and motivate those around him.


 Phil Mordey (2nd Dan) - Operations Manager

From Karate Dad to Operations Manager! Phil Mordey is a name synonymous with dedication and passion within the KENSHO Karate community. Thirteen years ago, Phil encouraged his five-year-old daughter to take up karate, hoping to instil discipline and confidence in her. Little did he know that this decision would not only transform her life but also his own.

Impressed by the ethos and training at KENSHO, Phil decided to dive into karate himself, initially motivated by the desire to stay fit. Fast forward to 2024, and Phil has achieved remarkable milestones in his karate journey. He is now a 2nd Dan black belt with an impressive collection of medals from national and international competitions in both Kata and Kumite. Notably, he also competed in the prestigious WUKF World Championships in 2023, showcasing his dedication and skill on a global stage.

Beyond his personal achievements, Phil's passion for karate has led to a significant career shift. He now serves as the Operations Manager for both KENSHO Karate and RYUKYU Gi, where he oversees the growth and development of these organizations. Despite his managerial responsibilities, Phil occasionally finds time to instruct, sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience with the next generation of karate enthusiasts. His journey from a supportive parent to a key figure in the karate community is truly inspiring, embodying the spirit of commitment and excellence.


 Zach Sharp (4th Dan) - Instructor

From a young age, Zach's journey with Kensho Karate Club has been nothing short of inspiring. He began his training at just 8 years old, and by the age of 10, he was already competing nationally. By 14, he had taken his talents to the international stage, with his first major competition being the European Championships in Györ, Hungary.

Zach's dedication and skill have earned him a prestigious spot on the SEKA England Squad, where he continues to compete on an international level. His remarkable achievements include being a former National and International Kumite Champion in England, a two-time National Kumite Champion in Scotland, and a European Team Kumite Champion. These accolades are a testament to his hard work and passion for the sport.

In 2022, Zach achieved a significant milestone by earning his 4th Dan Black Belt under the guidance of Christine Pullan Sensei (8th Dan). Beyond his karate accomplishments, Zach has also completed a qualified teaching degree and holds a personal training qualification, showcasing his commitment to personal growth and helping others. Zach's journey is a remarkable example of dedication, talent, and the pursuit of excellence in both martial arts and life.


 John Gough (3rd Dan) - Instructor

In 2010, John embarked on his karate journey, vividly recalling his conversation with Sensei Lee. At the time, he was solely focused on boosting his fitness and had zero interest in belts or competitions. Little did he know how much myperspective would change!

Today, he proudly holds a 3rd Dan black belt and compete in the Veterans category, both nationally and internationally. Karate and Kensho has transformed his life in ways I never anticipated.

Beyond the dojo, he has pursued various passions! He was an avid diver for many years, and continues to stay active by hitting the gym and practicing yoga. Through these diverse activities, I have built a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle, showcasing the importance of staying open to new experiences and growth opportunities. 


Jonny Gough Jnr (3rd Dan) - Instructor & Competition Administrator

Jonny began his karate journey at the tender age of 5, instantly captivated by the fun and welcoming environment at Kensho. His passion and dedication propelled him quickly through the ranks, and by 2012, at just 9 YEARS OLD, he had earned his 1st Dan. As Kensho became part of JKS England, Jonny started competing more frequently. His talent shone brightly, and at 11, he was selected for the JKS England squad. In 2016, he proudly represented the team at the JKS World Championships, securing a gold medal in team kata.

When Kensho departed from JKS to establish their own association, SEKA, Jonny’s journey did not pause. He continued to be a valuable member of SEKA England, competing and earning medals at numerous World and European championships. For over five years, Jonny has been sharing his expertise with the younger generation at Kensho, nurturing the next wave of karate enthusiasts with his teaching.

Among Jonny’s remarkable achievements with Kensho, earning his 3rd Dan in 2022 at the age of 19 stands out, especially since he achieved it alongside his father, John Sr. Additionally, Jonny has twice claimed the title of European Champion in short weapons Kobudo, a discipline in which he is entirely self-taught. His journey is a testament to his dedication, skill, and the vibrant community at Kensho that continues to inspire and support him.


Marian Allan (2nd Dan) - Instructor

Welcome to Marians journey in karate! It all began back in 2010 when she first donned a gi under the guidance of her first Sensei, Lee Lamb. From the very start, Marian found a deep passion for Kata, with Gojushiho Sho standing out as their absolute favourite.

Marians time at Kensho Karate has been incredibly rewarding, opening up numerous opportunities for growth and contribution. One of the most fulfilling roles Marian taken on is teaching, and she is so proud to lead the Kensho Karate classes at David Lloyd in Gateshead, and sharing her love for karate with students of all ages and abilities. It's such a joy to watch these students progress and find their own passion in this martial art.

Beyond the dojo, there's more to know about Marian! By day, they work full-time as a support worker, a role that makes a positive difference in people's lives. Marian also have a love for travel, exploring new places and cultures whenever shecan. And just recently, in April 2024, she earned a Silver medal at the Ryukyu International Open, a moment that stands as a testament to years of dedication and hard work.


Elle Smith (2nd Dan) - Instructor

Elle first stepped onto the karate mat at the age of 9, and it was love at first kick. The discipline, the precision, and the sheer thrill of the sport captivated her right away. By the time Elle was 11, she was ready to test her skills on a larger stage, and so began her journey into the world of competitive karate.

From local tournaments to national competitions, and eventually to the grand stage of international European championships, Elle has steadily worked her way up the ranks. Each competition has been a stepping stone, helping hergrow not only as a martial artist but as an individual. The journey has been as rewarding as it has been challenging, filled with moments of triumph and valuable lessons.

In 2021, Elle earned her 2nd Dan black belt. This accomplishment fueled her desire even further, igniting a passion for the intense training and strategic finesse required in both kata and kumite. The exhilaration of perfecting a kata or emerging victorious in a kumite match is unparalleled, and it continues to drive her dedication to karate every single day.

Elle joined Kensho November 2023 and has progressed to an Instructor in record time and she has cemented herself as one of the family.