Andy Franz

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Kanryo Higaonna | Chojun Miyagi | An'Ichi Miyagi | Morio Higaonna | Tetsuji Nakamura | Andy Franz | Goju-Ryu Karate of Selah

Andy Franz
First Teacher:Kyle Sonnabend (from 1992-2000)
Second Teacher:Gene Villa (2001 - 2019)
Current Teacher:Tetsuji Nakamura (2019 - Current)
Style:Okinawan Goju-Ryu

Rank:Godan, IOGKF

Other Ranks Held:Shodan, USA Goju

IOGKF Responsibilities:IOGKF-USA Chief Instructor

Dojo Credentials: Head Instructor
Andy Franz was born in 1979 in Yakima, Washington. At the age of thirteen he began attending Karate classes with a friend. During the next few years he trained twice a week at the Dojo under Sensei Kyle Sonnabend. He also spent a great deal of time studying on his own and often traveling to other Dojos around the state studying other systems. Some of the other styles that he explored were, Shotokan-Doshinkan, Aikido, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and White Crane Kung-Fu.

Soon after Andy's first year of training, his school was visited by Sensei Gene Villa. At that time Sensei Villa was a 4th degree black belt in Okinawan Goju-Ryu and was demonstrating the traditional techniques to the dojo. After Sensei Gene's visit, Sensei Kyle decided that the school should join the IOGKF and transition from USA Goju to Okinawan Goju-Ryu.

In 1996 Andy earned his Shodan degree (1st degree black belt) from Sensei Kyle in the art of USA Goju. He was one of the fastest students to earn the rank. Andy kept on training with Sensei Kyle and after two more years, in 1998, earned the rank of Shodan from the IOGKF in traditional Okinawan Goju-Ryu.

Later in 1998 Andy moved to Spokane where he went to school at Whitworth College. During his time at Whitworth, Andy ran a small Dojo, where he trained seven students. This dojo was held in a dorm lounge. Andy also began training regularly with Sensei Gene Villa during his collage years and when his Sensei Kyle Sonnabend retired, Andy was taken as a student of Sensei Gene officially.

In 2004 Andy returned home and opened a Goju-Ryu Karate of Selah. In November of that year, Andy attended the 2004 IOGKF-USA Black Belt Gasshuku in Coronado, California and received his Nidan from Sensei Morio Higaonna.

Andy received his Sandan from Sensei Bakkies Laubscher in October of 2008 at the IOGKF-USA Black Belt Gasshuku in Spokane, Washington.

Sensei Andy received his Yondan (4th Degree Black Belt) from Sensei Higaonna while in Okinawa during the 6th world Budosai.

In 2015 Andy was appointed by the IOGKF-USA Chief instructor, Gene Villa, to become the Administrator for IOGKF-USA.

Sensei Andy received his Godan (5th Degree Black Belt) from Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura at the 2017 Miyagi Chojun Festival in Spokane Washington.

On August 27th 2019, Sensei Andy was appointed to the role of IOGKF-USA Chief Instructor by Sensei Nakamura.

Over the last several years Andy has been traveling and training, taking every opportunity he can to continue studying the art of traditional Goju-Ryu. He is an internationally trained instructor who has trained under masters from the USA, Canada, South Africa, England, Denmark, Australia, Argentina, Germany, Japan and of course Okinawa the birthplace of Karate.


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Call or Text: (509) 961-6766

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