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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 teaching support from Senpai Lloyd and Senpai Cormac with support from 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.

Check out the following video which shows the amazing development of the Dojo at Ashlyns School - click here 


Sensei John in 1987

and 2009

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 Fourth Dan (Yondan) 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 Senior Delivery Manager, and has many other hobbies including bird watching and gardening (when time permits as 2 small children and a wife which are clearly the  priority!) 

John tries to incorporate other styles into training such as Judo and Brazilian Jujitsu for ground work, throws, locks and chokes.

Sensei John has the following credentials:

Ashridge Karate Academy is affiliated 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.



The GKI, and therefore Ashridge Karate Academy takes part in global events, with other dojos from the UK, Sweden, Portugal, Spain and Belgium.

Sensei John with his instructor, Sensei

In 1991: Sensei Len Sim, 4th Dan with John as a 1st Kyu  

In 2023: Sensei Len Sim, 8th Dan with John as a 4th Dan  

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