Ishinryu in Australia

Ishinryu Karate commenced in Australia in 1980. Sensei Tony Hails 8th Dan is the Founder and Chief Instructor.

Sensei Tony Hails 8th Dan has only trained with Ishinryu Karate. He is currently the highest graded Ishinryu student worldwide.

In 1975 Sensei Tony began his training at the hombu in England with Sensei Ticky Donovan. He was a keen student and then instructor for Sensei Ticky. Sensei Tony developed into an accomplished kumite competitor and represented England from 1978-1980, winning a silver medal in the Grand Slam International Championships.

In 1980 he emigrated as a 2nd Dan and founded Ishinryu Karate in Australia. He is the chief instructor of all Ishinryu in Australia.

Soon after arriving in Australia the inner Sydney dojos were established. Sensei Tony was a keen competitor and fought in all available competitions with his aim of Ishinryu being accepted into the Australian Karate Federation. After four years this finally occurred, and Sensei Tony began his new international competition career by representing Australia at the 1984 World Championships. 

Sensei Tony dominated the AKF National Championships in the 1980’s, winning seven titles and gaining numerous silver and bronze medals. From 1987—1990 he was the captain of the Australian team and led the team at two World Championships and the Asian Pacific Championships. He competed at four World Championships (placing individual and team 4th in 1986) and won spectacular individual and team gold medals (beating the Japanese in the finals) at the 1989 Asian Pacific Championships.

Sensei Tony represented his country for nine years, winning eight medals whilst competing at nine major international tournaments. Over his 14 year competition career he won 32 titles and 34 minor placings.

Sensei Tony has been a National Coach for the Australian Karate Federation’s (AKF) team since 2000 (and also for lengthy periods in the 1990’s). He continues to coach students from all styles to state, national and international representation. He is one of the highest accredited karate coaches (Level 2, silver) in the AKF, as accredited by the Australian Sports Commission.

Since 2008 he has been the Mentor Kumite Coach for the Fijian Karate Federation, enjoying spectacular success at the 2011 Pacific Games and greatly improved performances at the biannual Oceania Championships. 

Sensei Tony regularly trains and teaches in England and Canada and has been a course instructor and/or participant on Sensei Ticky Donovan’s 10th Dan OBE world renowned Summer Course 15 times. 


Ishinryu Karate Australia has an abundance of accredited, experienced and talented senior and assistant instructors. Come along to any dojo to meet Sensei Tony Hails 8th Dan and see for yourself how quality, coupled with passion, enriches every student and their family.