Ian Willis was born 11th February 1959 in Morpeth, Northumberland. Having taken up karate after his boxing coach deemed his hair too long for the ring and threatened to act as hairdresser, Ian started studying Wado Ryu at the age of 14 years. He changed to Shotokan in 1978 and attained his 6th Dan with the KUGB, in 2013. In all, Ian has now been training for 43 years.
He competed Nationally and Internationally for many years and was a member of the Northern Region Squad for ten years. He fought for them on many occasions - most notably perhaps at the IKA European Championships in Sardinia two years running, where he gained a 2nd place and a 3rd place in kumite. His competition career spanned 18 years.
Ian still enjoys attending courses whenever he can, with the aim of keeping abreast of current development and therefore maintaining his karate. He has attended the residential summer course at Lancaster for the past 29 years.
In 1994, after 18 years working as a welder at Ellington colliery, after being made redundant he saw this as the ideal opportunity to pursue a life long goal - he decided to become a professional karate instructor and currently teaches throughout Northumberland, in schools and leisure centres. Northumberland karate academy (NKA), of which Ian is chief instructor, has produced some very formidable National and International competitors.
Ian considers his greatest achievement to be attaining his 6th Dan. He trained without compromise and was totally focuses on the task in hand.
Quote: "I feel that karate has provided me with fantastic opportunities and I have met some amazing people over the years. The senior instructors have been a great inspiration in my life, not just my karate".