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A MORE DETAILED BIO OF MASTER FOSTER
As a practitioner, Joe Foster was first introduced to the martial arts in 1973. He has formally trained in Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Shaolin Fist-Way Kung Fu, Chinese Kenpo, Tracy Kenpo, American Kenpo, Kanzen Kenpo, Traditional Weapons, Non-Traditional Weapons, Sport Karate, and Kenjute. For over four and a half decades he has also exchanged ideas with a plethora of black belts from different martial arts systems. Joe Foster had the privilege of learning from many excellent martial arts teachers. His most famous teacher was the late American Kenpo Senior Grandmaster Edmund Parker.
Joe Foster trained privately at his school in Canada and at the Parker home in Pasadena California and, upon the Senior Grandmaster's passing in 1990, he also represented the Parker family and International Kenpo Karate Association (IKKA) in many different capacities including teaching around the world for a number of years. Joe Foster was responsible for introducing American Kenpo to Canada in the early 1980’s and was the only Canadian ever to be a personal black belt student of Senior Grandmaster Edmund Parker. In choosing a different path for himself and his students, Joe Foster formally introduced a completely new martial arts system in 1993 – originally referred to by his school’s name; two years later called “Kanzen Kenpo”; and evolving into what we now know today as Kenjute.
As an athlete, Joe Foster is a former martial arts black belt champion in weapons, forms, and fighting having won a sundry of championships in Canada, the United States, and Europe. His martial arts competition days were in the 1980’s. He also played numerous competitive sports at the varsity high school and club levels including AAA hockey, baseball, football, track, badminton, basketball, and volleyball. He won many athletic awards including being honoured as the first “SPECTRA Award” inductee in 1980 for the top city-wide graduating male high school athlete as voted on by the conference coaches and media.
As a teacher/coach/official, Joe Foster has been professionally teaching martial arts since the 1970’s. He has educated thousands of students of all ages and ranks (including many high ranking black belts) through his school, demonstrations, seminars, written manuals, training videos, public venues, and guest appearances for other martial arts organizations. Joe Foster has taught and tested students from Austria, Belgium, Channel Islands, Canada, China, England, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. He has also taught extensive defensive tactics skills to military personnel, security guards, and police officers – including his city's first police ERU (SWAT) team in 1992. Joe Foster's background in security work over the years (as a security manager in numerous bars) afforded him the opportunity to be in the middle of thousands of threatening situations and hundreds of real physical confrontations. These involved using defensive tactics against a myriad of attacks containing punches, kicks, grabs, holds, stabbings, bottlings, a shooting, weapons takedowns, multiple attackers, and in varying environments. This influenced how Joe Foster designed the Kenjute system. Further, he has gained widespread experience as a referee, coordinator, arbitrator, announcer, and tournament promoter by attending a large number of “open” martial arts competitions over the decades. Under his guidance and expertise, countless personal students have also won championships at the regional, state, national, and international levels. A graduate from the University of Western Ontario in 1983, Joe Foster applied his degree in physical education to many aspects of Kenjute training. Among the first wave of coaches to be certified through Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) in the early 1980’s, Joe Foster also found time in the early to mid-1980’s to coach a number of non-martial arts teams including elementary school track & field, high school volleyball & basketball, and “club level” volleyball & basketball. He has a proven history of consistently producing top quality martial arts students and world-class black belt graduates.
As a leader, Joe Foster has been a martial arts school owner since 1982. He was the former Canadian Director for American Kenpo under Senior Grandmaster Ed Parker (1984 – 1990); former Canadian IKKA Regional Director for the International Kenpo Karate Association (1991-1994); President of the World Kanzen Kenpo Federation (1995 – 2004); President of the World Kenjute Federation (2004 – 2014) which evolved into Kenjute International (2014 – present). Joe Foster has been a martial arts franchisor, international black belt examiner and lecturer, seminar host, tournament promoter and official, security consultant, and supporter of over 25 different community groups and charities (over $50,000 raised). Joe Foster has also been an actor, fight choreographer, and author of a many training manuals and videos. In his high school days he was both the Athletic Association President and Students Council President.
As a martial arts professional, Joe Foster has often been recognized over the decades for his martial arts involvement in a myriad of newspaper articles, radio, and television interviews. Additionally, he has appeared in a number of martial arts magazines including: “Fighter International” (USA), “Inside Karate” (USA), “Sport Karate” (USA), “American Karate” (USA), “Black Belt” (USA) 3X, “Official Karate” (USA), “Svenska Fighter International” (Sweden) 2X, “Cinturon Negro” (Spain), and “Action Martial Arts” (Canada). He received formal recognitions for his talents from the his city’s Mayor (Tom Gosnell), Premier of Ontario (David Peterson), Prime Minister of Canada (Brian Mulroney); and a recipient of the “Outstanding Young Londoner” award in 1986. In 2008 Joe Foster was also featured in the Ontario Service Safety Alliance magazine known as “The Safety Mosaic” regarding defensive tactics and dealing with violence in the bar industry. For his martial arts prowess, pioneering, and vision, Joe Foster has been nominated and inducted thirteen times into ten different international martial arts organizations "Black Belt Halls Of Fame” including: Canadian Nationals Hall Of Fame (Martial Arts Excellence - 1988 - Toronto), Canadian Karate Hall Of Fame (Pioneer Award -1989 - Toronto), World Karate Union Black Belt Hall Of Fame Award (Master Instructor Of The Year - 1998 - New York), World Head Of Family Sokeship Council Black Belt International Hall Of Fame (Master Instructor Of The Year -1998 - Florida), World Head Of Family Sokeship Council Black Belt International Hall Of Fame (Founders Award - 2000 - Florida), USA International Black Belt Hall Of Fame (Master Instructor Of The Year - 2000 - Pennsylvania), World Kenpo & Martial Arts Federation International Black Belt Hall Of Fame (Master Instructor Of The Year - 2000 - England), United States Martial Arts Association Black Belt Hall Of Fame (Supreme Master Of The Year - 2001 – Maryland), EUSA Black Belt Hall Of Fame (Pinnacle Award Of Success - 2001 - Pennsylvania), North American Black Belt Hall of Fame (Master of the Year Kenpo Award – 2001 – California), Florida Hall of Fame Martial Arts Brotherhood (International Master Award – 2001 – Florida), Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Fame and Spirit Awards (Outstanding Contribution to the Martial Arts Award – 2001 – New Jersey), and World Karate Union Black Belt Hall Of Fame (Grandmaster Of The Year/Kanzen Kenpo - 2004 - Pennsylvania).
Fifty years later since first being introduced to the martial arts, Joe Foster brings a mountain of experience, authenticity, knowledge, ability, and creative work to the Kenjute system. When it comes to comparing his background to Founders, Sokes, and Grandmasters of other martial arts, the credentials of Joe Foster speaks for itself.