Tony Williams began his Isshinryu Karate instruction under Phil McElroy at Shaffer’s Team Nashville in 1976, at the age of five. Tony and his father Ron came up through the ranks together under the instruction of Phil McElroy, Jim McDonald, Jimbo Butler, Dave Gabbard, Butch Hill, Roy Vaughn, Trice Fasique, Vince Hicks, and many other great instructors. Tony's father earned his black belt in less than three years, which made Tony more determined to achieve his Sho-Dan. In 1982, Phil McElroy promoted Tony to Sho-Dan.
The Nashville dojo attended many tournaments, which led Tony to become a seasoned competitor by the time he was 18. In 1992, Tony won his first kumite Grand Championship in Windsor, Canada at Albert Mady's Championship Tournament. Tony has won four IHOF Grand Championships over the years, including two back to back.
Tony opened the Lebanon Dojo in 1996, and was recognized as the IHOF Competitor of the Year in 1998. In the early 2000's, the Lebanon Dojo became recognized as an up and coming Isshinryu Karate School. In 2005, Tony was awarded the IHOF Instructor of the Year. Tony has travelled and competed on the IIKA competition team, which won the Don Nagel World Open Karate Championship in Team Fighting in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Also in 2007, Tony won the Harold Long Memorial Grand Championship in continuous fighting. Tony was voted to the IIKA Board in 2009 and is currently the Vice President.
Tony has spent nearly 40 years learning, competing, teaching, and promoting Isshinryu throughout the southeast. In 2013, Tony was promoted to the rank of Nana-Dan.Tony is married to Melissa Williams, and they have three boys: Tyler, Tyke, and Andrew. Tony and Melissa live in Lebanon, Tennessee. Tony works for Metro Water services as an industrial electrician and Melissa is a 911 dispatcher for Metro Nashville.