Our Instructors

Ishinryu Karate Australia's instructors are experienced and accredited with the Australian Sports Commission. ALL classes are taught or overseen by a senior black belt instructor. 

Sensei Tony Hails 7th Dan

Founder and Chief Instructor


Sensei Tony Hails is the number one Ishinryu student worldwide. He has been training with Ishinryu for almost 40 years.

Sensei Tony competed for England and later emigrated to Australia, quickly becoming an Australian Citizen. He was an incredible competitor, winning dozens of titles domestically and many at international events.

He competed at four WKF World Championships, two as team captain and achieved two fourth places (team and individual) in 1986 (Sydney).

Impressively he won many Asian Pacific medals, the most spectacular being individual and team gold in 1989 (Sydney), with both finals against the Japanese.

Whilst competing he also coached NSW, and later was part of the coaching team for Australia. He has coached at four senior and two junior WKF World Championships.

Since 2006 Sensei Tony has been the Mentor Coach to the Fijian Karate Federation, developing their squad and coaching staff to greatly improved international performances.

Sensei Tony has instructed on Sensei Ticky Donovan OBE 9th Dan summer course 15 times. He has conducted numerous camps and seminars for Ishinryu in England, Canada and New Zealand.

Sensei Tony Hails is a silver (level 2) dojo instructor, as accredited by the Australian Sports Commission.

Sensei Stuart Kaighin 6th Dan

Karate Instructor


Sensei Stuart began his martial arts with Tae Kwon Do in 1976 where he attained his 3rd degree black belt. In 1986 he joined Ishinryu in Victoria (later aligning with Chief Instructor Tony Hails 7th Dan and Ishinryu Karate Australia). Sensei Stuart is based in Victoria and regularly travels to Sydney for seminars and competitions.

He is currently National Kata Judge A.

Sensei Stuart competed for Victoria at many National Championships. He specialises in kata and kobudo and has won national titles.

Sensei Stuart is a bronze (level 1) dojo instructor, as accredited by the Australian Sports Commission.

Sensei Alison Peachey 5th Dan

Karate Instructor


Sensei Alison has been training with Ishinryu for over 25 years.

She is currently a World Karate Federation Kumite Judge B, Oceania Kumite Referee A and Oceania Kata Judge, the highest graded Ishinryu referee worldwide, ever.

Sensei Alison competed for Australia at the 1999 Oceania Championships (Wellington), winning bronze in her kumite division.

For 7 years she represented NSW and was state champion three times (12 minor placings). A national highlight was winning five consecutive kumite bronze medals at the Australian Open. At age 39 (and with two infant children) she became the NSW East Coast University kumite champion.

She has trained on Sensei Ticky Donovan OBE 9th Dan's summer course in England three times, and has taught at Canadian Ishinryu camps twice. She participated in five AKF national training camps.

Sensei Alison is a silver (level 2) dojo instructor, as accredited by the Australian Sports Commission.

Sensei Alison is a stickler for technical excellence and consistency. She is thorough and realistic about the potential of each student and is skilled at student assessment and multitasking to ensure that all students gain their utmost from each class.

Sensei Leighton Wren 4th Dan

Karate Instructor


Sensei Leighton Wren began training with Ishinryu when he was nine. Over 20 years later he is now one of the outstanding competitors and instructors that Ishinryu in Australia has produced.

Sensei Leighton achieved his shodan (1st Dan black belt) as a teenager. He then took a great interest in the competition side of karate. He was a national age champion at 16, and an intense and impressive adult tournament career followed. He represented NSW for nine years and won four National titles. He also won four Australian Open titles.

He represented Australia at four Oceania (three silver medals), a Commonwealth and Junior World Championships.

Sensei Leighton is a bronze (level 1) dojo coach as accredited by the Australian Sports Commission.

Sensei Cassidy Lynne 4th Dan

Karate Instructor


Sensei Cassidy is an impressive karateka. He commenced training at age five and is now a commanding 4th Dan. He is a traditionalist and an innovator in the dojo.

Sensei Cassidy has assisted Sensei Tony with squad training sessions in Fjii. He has competed in University championships and referees Ishinryu dojo competitions.

He is currently based in San Francisco and Ishinryu is alive and well in this fabulous city.

Sensei Cassidy is a bronze (level 1) dojo coach as accredited by the Australian Sports Commission.