Sensei John Fonseca is Chief Karate Instructor and owner of Fonseca Martial Arts. Sensei Fonseca has been competing in national and international tournaments since age seven and became the first American to medal at the Karate World Championships in almost 20 years. He is the only male karate athlete in the world to win repeat gold medals at the Pan American Games and was the first American karate athlete to win the Paris Open in over 30 years. He currently holds a fifth degree black belt in Shotokan karate. His accomplishments are recognized both nationally and internationally and earned him the U.S. Olympic Committee's Athlete of the Year award for three years in a row and an induction into both the USAKF's and Black Belt Magazine's Halls of Fame.
Sensei Elisa Au Fonseca is Chief Karate Instructor and co-owner of Fonseca Martial Arts. A three-time World Champion, she is the only American woman to win the world championship in karate and the only person to win multiple world titles at a single world karate championship event. Sensei Au Fonseca has been competing since the age of 10 and became a member of the USA National Karate Team at the age of 18. She is an experienced instructor with multiple karate and fitness certifications, and has taught karate seminars all over the world. While living in Hawaii, Sensei Au Fonseca taught at the International Karate Federation (IKF) for over 20 years and currently holds a fourth degree black belt with the organization.
Sensei Salgado is an instructor whose technical knowledge is held in the highest regard. He is a 7th degree black belt in Karate, a black belt in Kobudo (Okinawan Weapons), a World Karate Federation Referee (the only international karate organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee), and has trained numerous national and Pan American champions in his home country of Chile.
Sensei Jean Carlos Vasquez holds a 4th degree black belt. He has obtained the honor of being a member of the Pan-American Karate Federation Coaches, with only 600 coaches selected worldwide. Sensei Vasquez has also obtained a coaching passport from the Venezuela Karate Do Federation, an honor reserved for those coaches of distinguished ability. He is also a member of the of the Shotokan Karate Do International Federation – Evaluation and Technical Commission, reserved for those coaches that have trained national champion athletes, Pan-American medalists, and have fulfilled other rigorous criteria. Sensei Vasquez is also an International Karate Do Coach, an honor bestowed to less than 1 percent of coaches. He was awarded Coach of the Year, a nationally recognized award, by the Venezuelan Karate Do Federation. He has also served as a Coach for the Ecuadorian National Karate Team. Sensei Vasquez is not only a decorated coach, he is a distinguished athlete with many accolades, including World Shotokan Champion, Central American Champion, and a four-time Pan American Champion.
Sensei Jovanni Martinez is a current member of the Venezuelan National Team and has been training and competing since the age of 14. He is a Pan American Games silver medalist, 3x National Champion, Pan American Champion, and Venezuelan Olympic Committee Athlete of the Year.
Sensei Maxamillian Schneider is a Chicago native, and Fonseca's resident judoka. He has spent the last 18 years practicing judo, and started wrestling 8 years ago. Sensei Max won the gold at the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010 and the 2015 USA Senior National Championships. He's also a Division 1 wrestling veteran and two-time Illinois high school state champion. He has won matches on six continents and hopes to continue competing in hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics. Sensei Max's approach to grappling is dynamic and incorporates features of many other disciplines. He'll work with clients to develop their style to match their individual strengths. From reinforcing self-defense skills to supplementing grappling techniques, Sensei Max can work with any capability level. He has experience with all age ranges, as well as students with disabilities.
In 1982, Sensei Ed Kress began training under Grand Master Fred Degerberg in self-defense techniques derived from dozens of martial arts, including Boxing, Muay Thai, Catch-Wrestling, BJJ, Kenpo Karate, Jeet Kune Do,and Kali. Sensei Ed teaches advanced Degerberg Blend classes at Degerberg Martial Arts, where he holds the rank of 7th degree Black Belt. He is now teaching personal safety classes and workshops at Fonseca Martial Arts in Evanston. Sensei Ed developed the Act in Self Defense Program with the help of local law enforcement officers and directors of campus security. It focuses on teaching personal safety at school, work, home, and on the streets. He has trained thousands of adult men, women, and high school and college students to improve their personal and situational awareness and to physically defend themselves using a wide variety of Martial Arts techniques.
Sensei Pedro Gonzalez is from San Fernando, Venezuela. He has been teaching karate for almost 17 years and training high level competitors for 10 years as a main coach for the state team. Many of Sensei Pedro's students have gone on to become Venezuelan National team members.
Sensei Jaime Gamboa started training in Shotokan karate at the age of 4. He has competed in many junior and adult state, regional, and national level competitions winning medals in both kata and kumite. With a background in Goju-Ryu and Shito Ryu, Sensei Jaime achieved his Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) in Shotokan in 2004. In 2010, he earned his Nidan (2nd Degree Black Belt) while pursuing his business degree at the University of Illinois Chicago. In 2015, he received his Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt). His goal is to inspire his students to aim for excellence inside and outside of the dojo by applying karate's principles of self-discipline and hard work.
Sensei David Rasof is a Sandan (3rd degree Black belt) in Shotokan karate. He began his karate experience as a Little Dragons parent in 2007, watching his son Jake (black belt). Later that year David and his wife Miriam(black belt) decided to give it a try. Sensei David has taught karate for over 8 years and has coached youth sports for 10. He has competed and won medals in both kata and kumite. Sensei David is the Wilmette dojo manager, one of the main instructors, and teaches martial arts and karate at local schools. Sensei David is available for private lessons on all aspects of karate and self defense. Sensei David trains regularly and believes spirit and effort are the keys to successful karate.
Nathali was born and raised in Manizales, Colombia. She came to the United States when she was 17 years old to pursue her degree in communications at UIC. She loves karate and has practiced since she was 12 years old. She is very passionate about karate and eventually would love to be certified as a WKF referee.
Sensei Juan Cuervo was born in Valencia, Venezuela, He started practicing karate in 1996 and is a 3rd Dan black belt JKA. He was a instructor in the JKA Hombu Dojo in Venezuela for more than 10 years. When he was just 16 years old, he opened his own dojo in Valencia and taught in both dojos. Sensei Juan has practiced under many well-respected sensei including Ueki, Tanaka, and K. Shiina, who was the examiner in his 3rd Dan test.
Sensei Ray Tanaka currently holds a Nidan (2nd Degree Black Belt) in Shotokan Karate. He began training alongside his two children who also hold black belts in Karate. Sensei Ray currently teaches the Saturday Little Dragons and all-ranks Family Karate class on Saturday mornings at the Evanston dojo.
Sensei Greg Krasick has trained in Shotokan karate for over 10 years. Sensei Krasick has competed in many local and national tournaments. He also competed in the Stockholm Open in 2010 while studying abroad in Sweden. He holds medals in both kata and kumite. Sensei Krasick first started teaching karate in 2008. In 2011, he taught karate in Bloomington, Illinois while attending Illinois State University. He also taught karate to children with disabilities with Sensei Jeff Kohn through the Karate Can-Do foundation. Sensei Krasick graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Special Education in 2013. He truly enjoys teaching karate to all of his students and watching them progress. His goal is to help students build confidence, discipline, and the ability to believe in themselves.
Sensei Mariana Gaona has been practicing karate for seven years and is a 1st degree black belt. She is currently enrolled at DePaul University and is obtaining her undergraduate degree.
Sensei Max Segal has been training at Fonseca Martial Arts since 2004. He is a 1st degree black belt and USA Junior National Team member. Sensei Max has won silver and bronze medals at the Junior PKF Championships as well as a gold medal at the Junior International Cup in 2016.