Now a professional karate coach, John Gardiner began his journey in Karate in 2000 at the age of 11 and graded to Shodan in the Shotokan style in an examination headed by Masao Kawasoe Sensei from Japan. With the dream of one day competing for England, John moved to the former England coach Sensei Ticky Donovan's Ishinryu to train with and compete with the best at that time.
Sensei Donovan graded John from 1st to 3rd dan in an unprecedented grading examination achievement in 2010.
After winning his first national title at BKF British Championships in 2006 and earning his first England call up at 18 at the U21 European championships in 2007 he went on to earn an England place many times in both Individual Kata and in Team Kata in the senior squad all the way up to the 2019 European championships. Having reached top 7 positions in the K1 Premier league in individual kata and the medal match position twice in Team Kata, he brings a unique level of competition experience to the national coaching team.
In addition to this competitive experience, John also coaches karateka with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities and has worked within SEN schools in Essex teaching Karate as part of the PE syllabus for over 6 years. He has a BA honours Degree in Business Studies and is the chief instructor of JKG Karate.