Andrew Keith Smith was born in Aurora, Illinois in October of 1954. He is married to his wife of over 20 years, Ramona Smith. They have 6 children, Cherryse, Kellie, Nicole, Justin, Darcel and Mariah.
He is a retired 32 year law enforcement veteran from the Kane County Sheriff’s Office. During his career he was assigned to the Drug & Gang Unit, Juvenile Division, FBI Fugitive Task Force and as a Special Agent Task Force Officer with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Over his career he received multiple awards including the “Life Saving” award, “Medal of Valor”. He was given the nickname “tombstone” after an incident where he fought off over 20 people, in of all places, a graveyard, for over 15 minutes before backup arrived.
Master Smith started his martial arts training in Judo in the 60’s under Bob Corwin. As a judo-ka he always arrived early and sat watching the karate class taught by Master James Chapman. He started training in Isshinryu in 1972 under Sensei Patrick Buckley, a student of the late James Chapman. Sensei Buckley promoted Master Smith to the ranks of Sho-Dan and Ni-Dan.
Master Smith opened his school in 1975 under the name Eastwood Karate Club; the schools name was later changed to the Midwest School of Isshinryu. The program was initially started as a onetime YWCA summer program yet because of its popularity is now over 42 years old.
Master Smith has received a number of local and national awards for his participation in and support of martial arts, and specifically, Isshinryu Karate. He was a recipient of the American Okinawan Karate Association’s “Spirit of Isshinryu” and “Outstanding Black Belt Instructor” award. He has also served on the A.O.K.A. Awards Committee, Promotion and Advisory Boards.
Master Smith has been a student of Grandmaster Steve Young since the late 70’s. In November of 2011 he received his "Kyoshi" certificate from Grandmaster Steve Young. Master Smith received his 9th Dan in Isshinryu Karate in November of 2013. Master Smith has furthered his training throughout the years participating in seminars taught by Grand Master’s Steve Armstrong, Louis Lizotte, Stephen Young, Ron Boucher, Willie Adams, Nick Adler, Toby Cooling, Angi Uezu, Kichiro Shimabuku, Master Sherman Harrell and A. J. Advincula to name a few.
In his retirement free time he conducts computer searches for court services, teaches computer forensics and cybercrime courses at a local college and manages a law enforcement computer forensics lab.