President Tony Ricketts

Tony Ricketts Sensei Incoming WBKA President as from 1st November 2017

Tony Ricketts Sensei   Martial Arts background will be updated shortly



Carl Withey Sensei (8th Dan Hoshiyama JuJitsu, Atemi JuJitsu)

Outgoing President Carl Withey Sensei as from 1st November 2017

Carl Withey Sensei Martial Arts Background

The first introduction to martial arts for Carl Withey Sensei came when he was about 9 years old, when he walked into the “Austin Judo club” based in the motor companies Longbridge canteen in Birmingham.

He trained there for approximately 2 years. Unable to afford a Gi or undergo any formal grading, the instructors allowed him to train every time he turned up which was twice a week.

Things changed when he moved to senior school and his new friend invited him to his fathers Aikido club (G. William Sensei ) housed at the Hamstead House Community Centre in West Heath, Birmingham. It was a very different atmosphere than the Judo club. He trained there for about three months twice a week but stopped going when his friend’s father had to stop teaching and training due to cancer. G. William Sensei passed away soon after.

Withey Sensei lost interest in martial arts until he was 13yrs old and his father and brother came home from a nights training at Tony Smith Sensei’s Club in West Bromwich and talked him into attending the next class. Two days later he attended Smiths Sensei’s class and became hooked from then onward’s. For the next 16 years he trained under Smith Sensei studying Aikido, Atemi jitsu, judo, karate and weapons (sai, tonfa & jo).

At this stage he held 3rd Dan in Atemi Jitsu, 2nd Dan Aikido. He then spent almost two years training under Eddie Daniels Sensei (karate) with his brother Lee Withey, after which he also ran two martial art clubs (in Rednal & West Heath) with his brother for almost three years.

Then he decided to take a year out and his brother continued to run the clubs for some time after. Just after that Smith Sensei asked him to take over one of his clubs in Lady Wood Birmingham which he ran for 18 months.

He lost contact with Smith Sensei for a number of years after Smith Sensei closed the Ladywood club, he trained at a number of clubs for differing periods of time around the country, preferring to just train and not joining associations or undergo grading.

A lot of this was due to his work taking him to different parts of the country and Europe, and not staying in one place longer than 14 months. This ten year period was a learning experience for his martial arts. It all changed when he gained employment at the University College Birmingham as a lecturer, which allowed his family and himself to settle down in one place. He trained on and off at the Colmers Farm Aikido club under then Packer Sensei (5th Dan) and also with his brother at his leisure clubs in Redditch and Worcestershire. Having joined the Colmers Farm club he did not take any grading due to his work commitments (grading was only done on courses at Easter and summer).

In 2004 came a big move to Australia. Here his three boys talked him in to training them in martial arts, it then snowballed as his brother in-law and his son’s friend wanted him to train them, so a club was opened in Adelaide. Withey Sensei then traveled to Melbourne and Perth on many occasions to train with various master in Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Aikido etc.

Withey Sensei was fortunate in being able to be re-united with his old Sensei, Smith in 2009 and was then re-graded by both Smith Sensei(10th Dan), his grades were also endorsed by the Martial Art Group Australia and several high profile Masters.

Withey Sensei still considers himself to be a student of the martial arts. Withey Sensei has also been training Hoshiyama Sensei as a personal student, again to constantly improve himself as a martial artist. Withey Sensei is the highest graded Hoshiyama Ryu Jujitsu exponent in the world today apart from Sensei himself.

Smith Sensei in 2011 travelled to Adelaide SA and stayed for three months in Adelaide, South Australia giving specialist training at Budo Kan of Australia clubs with Withey Sensei. During the visit (for 3 months) of his old Sensei Smith in Oct 2011. Over many nights of discussions, Sensei Withey was asked by Smith Sensei to assist him in forming and help in the running of the “World Budo Kan Association”. Set up for the preservation of the Samurai Arts as taught by the Masters who passed on their knowledge and skill to Smith Sensei, Reg Bleakman Sensei.

In 2014 Hoshiyama Sensei promoted Withey Sensei to Kyoshi and in 2015 promoted him to Hachidan. He has been a guest at, and conducted seminars in England, Italy, USA and Australia.

Sensei Withey has released a book available from Amazon

This book takes you through one young boy’s training in Aikido and influences of the early masters that came from Japan to the shores of Europe in the 1950’s through to manhood and becoming an instructor in the 21st century. The struggles to keep the original teachings alive against the back drop of the changing world. The honesty and sometimes funny incidents during his training are recounted. The author also details the early years of Aikido as taught by some of Aikido’s greatest teachers of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s such as Abbe Sensei, Noro Sensei and others. He gives his thoughts on the techniques, and the evolution Aikido has undergone over the decades. There are various illustrations of techniques included from Shodai Aikido included in the book in easy to follow steps.