Sensei Andy Wightman


He was born in Hackney, London in 1967. He is married to Jill and has two children, Leanne and Amy (herself a Nidan). He is the founder, owner and Chief Instructor of Willow Shotokan Karate.  

He first began training in Shotokan Karate with Bukonkai Karate International (BKI) in Luton in 1983. His first Instructor was Sensei George Strong (now a 5th Dan).  Having also trained with Karate legends Terry O'Neill and Dave Hazard during the 1980's, he decided to move away from Karate for a number of years to concentrate on other interests.   Returning to Shotokan in 2003 he was awarded both Shodan and Nidan by SKA Chief Instructor Sensei Roy Richards (6th Dan), in 2006 and 2008 respectively.  

In 2010, he left SKA to set up SHINRI Karate Schools with Sensei Gareth Richards (5th Dan) and Sensei Phil Culley (4th Dan).   In 2011, following a physical and technical grading he was awarded his 3rd Dan.

After more than 10 years as an instructor he was awarded the rank of Yondan by the IMASA in 2017.

Now living in Brixworth, Northamptonshire, he runs Willow Shotokan Karate clubs in Northampton.

Willow Shotokan Karate

This interview was written and illustrated by one of our students - Robert Dickson (Shodan)