About the Author

By Paul 'Batman' O'Brien
B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Adv. Dip. OBB, Cert Clin. Med. Pn1, PN-SSR, PN-NCA, M.AFPA, M.ETCMA, M.C.Th.A.

Paul J.O'Brien in Yorio Armour appearing at the Experience Japan Festival

Paul ' Batman' O'Brien, is a Yondan (4th Dan) level instructor of ZNKR Iaido, and Yondan (4th Dan) level instructor in ZNKR Jodo for Dublin Kendo Kobukai. O'Brien was also awarded Sandan (3rd Dan) in Musō Jikiden Eishin-ryū (無双直伝英信流) under the International Division of the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai before leaving that organisation to join the ZNKR. 

O'Brien is a direct Iaido student of Peter West, 7th Dan Kyoshi, studying the Harasuke-ha line of MJER under the direction of Oshita Masakazu Sensei, 8th Dan Kyoshi. Within Jodo O'Brien is a direct student of Elena West, 6th Dan Jodo, studying under the direction of Ueda Kayako Sensei, 8th Dan Kyoshi.

O'Brien was consistently published in the martial arts world for nearly 20 years years. He had a regular column and numerous feature articles in Irish Fighter magazine (the largest selling martial arts publication in Ireland) until it ceased publication in 2020. He has lectured on the Samurai, their history, culture, armour and weapons in Dublin City University, and University College Dublin and as part of National Events such as the Experience Japan Day held on the Farmleigh Estate.

He is the former President of the Iaido Association of Ireland, and its former Secretary. He is currently Secretary of Dublin Kendo Kobukai.  

As a former member of the Kenseikai Dojo and current instructor in Dublin Kendo he has had the privilege of performing Iaido, Hyoho Niten ichi Ryu and Jodo for the Lord Mayor of Dublin, former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the Japanese Ambassador etc as part of national festivals (in front of 30,000 people), such as Experience Japan Day, and at international events. 

O'Brien is a two-time Bronze Medalist in Iaido at UK Taikai, and has represented Ireland at multiple European Iaido Championships. He received the Fighting Spirit Award from Oshita Masakazu Sensei at the Masamune Taikai in 2015. In 2023, he won Fighting Spirit (Teams) at the Europen Jodo Championships.

O'Brien is also dojo-cho (dojo leader) for Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu in Ireland, having studied the style since 2011 and receiving direct instruction from Kajiya Takanori Soke, (12th headmaster of Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryū) from 2014 onward and was authorized to open a study group for Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryū by Soke in 2014.

O'Brien previously studied various martial arts including Shotokan Karate, Judo, Aikido and others. He has a particular interest in Reality-Based and modern combative systems. He studied under the leaders and pioneers of these fields; including Sgt. Jim Wagner (Instructor: U.S. Marshals, FBI, SWAT, US Army Military Police, US Marines etc), Dennis Martin (WW2 Combatives, founder of CQB Services, along with Lofty Wiseman, Regimental Sergeant Major of 22nd SAS), Lee Morrison (Founder of Urban Combatives), Mick Coup (HM Army, UK, founder of C2: Core Combatives), Tim Larkin (Former US Naval Intelligence Officer, SAS and US Navy Seals instructor etc, founder of Target Focus Training) and many more. (Reviews of training under all these schools is available in the subscribers section). O'Brien spent 5 years training in these Reality-Based Systems, and qualified as a Level 2 Reality-Based Instructor under Jim Wagner in 2006. 

Outside of his enthusiasm for the martial arts, Paul 'Batman' O'Brien is a successful author, personal trainer, coach, acupuncturist and herbalist, with a successful private medical practice in Dublin. He has written over 20 books on health and fitness, including the ground-breaking "7 Seconds to A Perfect Body" and the revolutionary "Project Dragon", and Samurai Strength which he began work on in 2013. In addition he is the owner and writer of www.Isometric-Training.com, one of the Top 1% websites as ranked by Alexa and www.Meridian-Acupuncture-Clinic.com, the website for his Traditional Chinese Medical practice.

His goal with the founding of Way-of-the-Samurai.com is...

"...to provide a highly informative, detailed and accurate informational resource for those interested in the Samurai, the history and culture of these warriors and the fascinating, rich legacy left in their martial arts and embodied in the beauty of the samurai sword".


Martial Arts

ZNKR Iaido and Jodo

  • ZNKR Jodo 4th Dan - Cambridge, July 2022
  • ZNKR Iaido 4th Dan - Magglingen, April 2022
  • ZNKR Jodo 3rd Dan - August, 2019
  • ZNKR Iaido 3rd Dan - Swindon, March 2019
  • ZNKR Jodo 2nd Dan - Birmingham, July 2017
  • ZNKR Iaido 2nd Dan - Cambridge, March 2017
  • ZNKR Jodo 1st  Dan - Cambridge, August 2016
  • ZNKR Iaido 1st  Dan - Cambridge, April 2016

DNBK Iaido

  • Resigned from DNBK - 2017
  • DNBK Iaido 3rd Dan - Crawley, October 2013
  • DNBK Iaido 2nd Dan - Dublin

Reality Based Martial Arts

  • Target -Focus Training TFT Group One - Nov 2008

Jim Wagner Reality Based Personal Protection Instructor (Level 2)

  • Handgun Survival Instructor - 2006
  • Children's Survival Instructor - 2006
  • Women's Survival Instructor - 2006
  • Improvised Weapons Instructor - 2006
  • Conflict Conditioning Instructor- 2006
  • Terrorism Survival Instructor - 2005
  • Crime Survival Instructor - 2005
  • Knife Survival Instructor - 2005
  • Ground Survival Instructor - 2005
  • Defensive Tactics Instructor - 2005

Fitness and Nutrition

  • Specialist in Nutrition Coaching for Athletes - PN, 2023
  • Sleep, Stress Management, and Recovery Coaching- PN, 2023
  • Nutrition Coach - PN, 2020
  • Power-Plate Personal Trainer - 2005
  • Certified Kangoo Jumps TTR Trainer - 2005
  • National Qualification in Exercise & Health Studies - 2004
  • National Qualification in Personal Training - 2004
  • Stability Ball Fitness Instructor - 2004


  • Chinese Herbal Medicine - August 2013
  • Oriental Body Balance - March 2010
  • Chinese Patent Herbal Medicine - 2009
  • Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine - June 2006
  • Clinical Medicine - June 2006

Digital Marketing

  • Direct-Response Copywriting Specialist - Aug 2019
  • Community Management Specialist - Jul 2018
  • Certified Customer Acquisition Specialist - Dec 2017


  • Irish Martial Arts Commission Level 1 Martial Arts Coach - 2024
  • Irish Martial Arts Commission National Vetting Certificate - 2023, 2018
  • First Aid Certified - 2021, (Sports First Aid) 2021, 2018, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2007, 2004. 
  • Safeguarding Level 1 - August, 2018
  • BA (Hons) - UCD - 2003

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