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Sensei Foster & the history of the Institute

About Sensei Haydn Foster


Sensei Haydn Foster was the Principal Coach of the Institute of Aikido which is a founder member of the British Aikido Board (BAB). 

Sensei Foster began his aikido training some time towards the end of 1956/beginning of 1957 at The Hut Dojo in Uxbridge.

He was awarded 1st Dan by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei in 1960, and 2nd Dan by Mutsuharu Nakazono Sensei in 1962, one of the oldest Hombu grading certificates in the UK. He was awarded 3rd Dan by Masamichi Noro Sensei in 1969.

In 1973, following the demise of the Renown Aikido Society (1966-1969), Sensei Foster was approached by the ex- members and asked to reconstruct the society as the Institute of Aikido. 


As 7th Dan (IoA) Mr. Foster continued to teach at the Hut and directed the annual institute of Aikido Summer School. 



On the 2nd and 3rd of June 2007, Sensei and students from many different organisations gathered together for a course to honour and celebrate Mr. Foster's 50th year in Aikido and his 80th Birthday. 


Sensei Foster's aim was always that others should derive as much pleasure from Aikido as he himself did. He would often say that it is not what I have done for Aikido but more what Aikido has given me.

Sensei Foster's legacy is the Institute of Aikido, which will ensure the continued study of the art which he held dear. 





To him Aikido was a never-ending journey of discovery and learning and therefore we should all now continue our journey in the same spirit. "

Memorial training session for Sensei Foster, Feb 2018

On Monday 12 February Aikidoka from The Hut Dojo and Slough Centre Aikido Club gathered for a  special training session at The Hut in memory of the founder of the Institute of Aikido, Sensei Haydn Foster, who passed away 7 years ago.  


In charge of the evening was Sensei Foster’s grandson, Sensei Paul Foster-Dent, who invited each Dan grade present to take a teaching spot. Also on the mat was Sensei William Timms of the Governing Board of the IoA. The session ended in the traditional way in the bar of The Hut Pub, where Sensei Foster himself had sunk many a refreshing pint with his students after training.

The history of the Institute

Aikido was introduced into the UK 1955 by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei at the Hut Dojo. His first student was Sensei Ken Wiliams. In 1957 Haydn Foster Sensei joined The Hut and continued to teach there until his passing in 2011. 

The Renown Society was formed in 1966 by Sensei Ken Williams after Abbe Sensei returned to Japan. This was the original society teaching Aikido in the UK. The Renown Society broke up in 1969. In 1973 at the request of senior ex-Renown Society Instructors, Sensei Foster formed the Institute of Aikido based at The Hut Dojo.  The Institute is a founding member of the British Aikido Board.



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