Ashridge Karate Academy


Ashridge Karate Academy was started by John Foster in January 2015 at Little Gaddesden in the Village Hall. The club moved to Ashlyns School Dojo in October 2015 and is run with the support of his wife, Anna. After training with Wokingham Karate Academy from the age of  16, John wanted to set up a club in his home town of Berkhamsted in order to share his knowledge of this traditional martial art.

We practise traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu, which focuses on effective close-quarters combat.

The karate club is designed for those who want to learn this dynamic and disciplined martial art, or simply get fit! The Academy is open to children from the age of 7, as well as adults.

Please get in touch if you are interested in  classes and require further information.


Sensei John in 1987

Sensei John Foster


John first started Goju Ryu karate training in 1986  until 1992 where he reached 1st Kyu (Brown belt)

A short return to training in 2001 for a year, then John started Goju Ryu again in 2008 and gained his First (Shodan) Dan black belt in 2009.

John is currently a Third Dan (Sandan) black Belt. 

John practises karate where he can, whether this is in the gym, back garden or the dojo.

 He works at Howdens Joinery as a Business Analyst, and has many other hobbies including bird watching and gardening (when time permits as 2 small children and a wife are the  priority!) 

John tried to incorporate other styles into training such as judo and Brazilian Jujitsu.

Sensei John has the following credentials:

  • Martial Arts instructor insurance (2020)

  • First Aid Qualification (2020)

  • DBS checked (2017)

  • Safeguarding Children (2017)

  • GKI Coaching certification (2017)

Sensei John in 2009

Goju-ryu Karate-do International (GKI)


Ashridge Karate Acdemy is affilated with Goju-Ryu Karate-Do International (GKI), which was formed in 1993 by Sensei James Rousseau (9th Dan) and Sensei Len Sim (8th Dan). John has trained under Sensei Len since 1986. The association is dedicated to the promotion and teaching of classical and traditional Goju Ryu Karate Do based on the ideas of Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju Ryu.


GKI, and therefore Ashridge Karate Academy takes part in global events, with other dojos from the UK, Sweden, South Africa, Portugal, Nepal and Begium.


For more information about GKI International see their website www.gki.org.uk. 

An International Gasshuku - a training camp with karate ka across the globe

Sensei Len Sim, 8th Dan with

AKA instructor Sensei John. Picture taken in 1991

Goju-Ryu style


Goju-Ryu Karatedo is a traditional martial art and is an exceptional self defence system. It is one of three styles of karate that originated in Okinawa, the birth place of karate. The GKI teaches a syllabus that is both progressive and demanding, basing its teaching around blocks, punches, strikes, kicks, locks and throws. Read more about Goju-Ryu



The Dojo, Ashlyns School


The Dojo, at Ashlyns School was refurbished and opened in 2015 by RushJudo, a community Judo club in Berkhamsted. We are delighted to have been welcomed into this fantastic purpose built Dojo by RushJudo, who train there the rest of the week. For more information about Rush, see www.rushjudo.co.uk