what’s the word?

Don’t take our word for it – here’s what our members say:

Sensei Dave,

I didn’t want to embarrass Nolan yesterday, but I wanted to thank you for all that you’ve done for Nolan since he started with you a year ago. 

At his soccer game this past weekend, another child, unprovoked, was taunting Nolan and even became physical with him. Nolan used his karate to block him and used all his mental and body control that he learned from you, to just leave it at that. He didn’t retaliate with anything physical and didn’t even engage with him verbally. I was in awe of Nolan. A year ago, it would have been a much, much different story.

I attribute his self awareness both in mind and body, to his love of karate and all that you have taught him. You are an incredible mentor and teacher to him and he always wants to make you proud. I know some people just see Nolan’s autism. And you don’t. You see Nolan for so much more than that. You see his spirit and heart  

Karate has changed his life and I’m so incredibly thankful. He’s really looking forward to your tournament. 


Jaime W.

Parent of student

I am writing this review after our family moved from Park Ridge to another town and a 1.5 years’ experience of our son going to karate classes with Sensei Jaime. Words are not enough to describe how wonderful Sensei Jaime and his team have been, and what a positive impact they’ve had on our son’s life. He started attending classes very early, at 3.5 years of age, and very quickly I noticed not only the increase in physical strength, but mostly that the dojo rules had became part of his daily life. This dojo is a place where children have fun, learn karate, self-control, and being kind and truthful. They teach them to try their best to achieve more and more, about main disciplines in life, but also how to enjoy karate. I really appreciated the teachers’ focus on proper technique and positioning (I think it has to do with the fact they teach traditional Shotokan karate) and not just jumping around or fighting like you may see in other places that teach mixed martial arts. Sensei Jaime has quickly become a role model for our son, who misses him terribly now that we have relocated. He is a great teacher, with incredible energy, positive power, and just loves teaching his students karate. I definitely recommend this place – my son has been attending 3 times a week because he just loved it and enjoyed it, which made karate his regular activity, therefore the subscription for unlimited classes made even more sense. I have been trying to find a dojo in our new place for a while now but I believe it will be very hard, if not impossible, to find a dojo like FMA in Park Ridge and to build the relationship that his Senseis have built with our son. A big thank you Sensei Jaime for everything you have taught to our son! And for always smiling!

Theodora P.

Parent of student


I keep a journal for both my kids and tonight I couldn’t help but think about what an absolute amazing impart your dojo has had on my son Tyler this year. 

It feels like yesterday that I started taking Tyler to karate and almost ripping him out of class numerous times due to his inability to listen or focus. He has had almost a complete 360 degree transformation and now Tyler almost leads every class he is in. What your dojo and these instructors have done with my son has been nothing short of amazing, and as a father watching him grow in these classes gives me nothing but joy. 

I truly believe that Tyler will carry on with karate for years to come and that it will always be a positive and enduring part of his life. Honestly, I am not sure that the words thank you give the gratitude for the way I feel about what this school has done with and for Tyler this year. Watching Tyler grow with all of you at Fonseca this year has been one of the highlights of my year. Thank you a million times over for what you have given and done for Tyler. 

Steve R.

Parent of student

Dear Sensei John,

I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate Sensei Jaime and the Dojo. When he was 2, he was diagnosed with sensory integration. He had no sense of pain and a hard time controlling his body. He would run into a wall full force and not feel a thing. He couldn’t tell if water was too hot or not. Once he needed stitches because he jumped off of a porch and hit his head on a clay pot. The whole time in the ER he didn’t cry.

He had tried gymnastics, swimming, and soccer – he wouldn’t even get on the field. He wasn’t able to manage his behavior or emotions in any of the classes. His OT suggested Karate and so before he began I talked with Sensei Jaime and said this could go either way – he could meltdown or do well.

This was the beginning of a great experience. I can’t even tell you how good it feels to see your child participate like other children. A couple of years ago he asked to take more than one class a week. Initially he only took class from Sensei Jaime; then slowly he began to take classes from other Sensei. Each time he has taken a class from someone new, I try to be there to watch or speak with the Sensei before class. He recently took a class from a Sensei new to him. I asked him if he wanted me to speak with her and he said, “No I’m fine” and he was. He takes class with this Sensei every week now.

This year he asked to take competition classes and travel with the team. I was very nervous about him joining; but it has turned out to be the best thing for him. All of the students are focused and so supportive with him. I am very happy that he continues to improve but most important he really likes it. I cannot thank Sensei Jaime and the Dojo enough.

Terral T.

Parent of student

Dear Sensei John,

On behalf of Alexander and our whole family I just wanted to say “thank you” for the huge impact Fonseca Martial Arts, its instructors, students, and parents have had on our lives.

When I signed Alexander up for Little Dragons 4½ years ago I was thrilled to have found a karate program that had classes at 4:30 in the afternoon—instead of the 7:00 p.m. classes for 4 and 5 yr. olds that the other local dojos seemed to have on their schedule. I signed him up because I was also looking for a sport that focused on discipline and respect while allowing my son to work off his seemingly endless supply of energy. Little did I know that Fonseca Martial Arts would give us so much more—and not just for Alexander but for our entire family as well.

Learning the art of karate from national, international, and world champions like yourself and the other FMA instructors has indeed been a privilege. While he was always pretty shy around you both, Alexander was very proud of the fact that he was learning karate from a world champion and a hall-of-famer. Not only do you teach your students kata, kumite, and kobudo, but you also teach them life skills such as respect, teamwork, camaraderie, confidence, perseverance, good sportsmanship, discipline, and how hard work pays off. While Alexander now has a great foundation in karate thanks to FMA, he also has learned how to be a better person, a determined competitor, and how to be gracious after losing –all thanks to your instruction.

Besides the world-class instruction that Alexander and I both received, it is perhaps the dojo family that has had just as large as an impact on our lives. After spending 3-4 afternoons a week at FMA, Alexander forged wonderful friendships with his fellow students, his younger sister Kerrigan became friends with many younger siblings, and I developed lasting friendships with some amazing parents. Your family-oriented dojo fosters a welcome atmosphere, a true sense of community and belonging, and a supportive environment in which to train. It is a very special place and we miss it greatly.

Best of luck for continued success and we hope that we will see you, your students and their parents at future tournaments!

With great appreciation and affection,

Katherine B.

Student & Parent of student

What I like about the services provided are the instructors. Sensei Salgado, in my experience has a deeper understanding of teaching adults which makes learning more meaningful. He is able to explain the science and details of each technique. Making sure that the adults have instructors who truly understand the needs of adults will attract and keep more members like myself. Thank you for all that you do.

Rick A.


Our kids were so enthralled with John after his program that they lined up for autographs!

It is rare to find a person these days who can relate in such a positive and enthusiastic manner as to command the respect and attention of kids ages 3 – Grade 6. John did just that at his presentations with our clubs. The kids were excited about the subject, eager to learn, and responded well.

The club adult leaders even got into the action! A great time was had by all. This is one event the kids and the leaders agreed must be repeated! Thank you, John for turning a “Friends Night” into a memorable occasion for everyone. I would recommend you and your teaching on “What To Do About Bullies” to anyone working with children.

Vicki W.

FMA Partner

Dear John,

In my quest to find a martial arts school that was right for me, I visited most of the other dojos in Skokie and found many of the classes had only one or two people. I visited yours several times and found it fit my needs perfectly. My search was for a larger class size, where the emphasis would not be on me to compete.

I was extremely pleased with what I saw; and how you, the instructor, made everyone feel a part of each class. For me, at 64, and one of your older students, being able to participate at a comfortable level was important and I can do that.

That being said, I would not hesitate to recommend Fonseca Martial Arts to anyone wanting to get involved with martial arts.




Dear Jaime,

I just wanted to thank you for mentioning in a class over last summer the question, “Do you know your parents’ phone number in case you got lost?” Truth is, we had not set that as a goal but did after I heard this question. And at her age, it did take quite some work to get her to memorize it. Now, my daughter knows my number and we are working on my husband’s. And with another away-from-home vacation coming up, what a wonderful tool for her to have if we get separated somehow.

Katie K.

Parent of student

My 3-year old daughter has been enrolled in the ‘Karate Tots’ class for about 3 months. I have nothing but great things to say about Fonseca. Sensei Jaime in particular is fantastic – he’s like a toddler whisperer. Initially my daughter was apprehensive about the class – it took a few weeks before she was willing to go out on the floor by herself, but she received constant encouragement from Sensei Jaime and the rest of the staff. They do an amazing job of instilling structure in the class and encouraging respect among the children, while still treating them as kids and making them comfortable throughout the class.

Gina M.

Parent of student

Sal HernandezSal Hernandez
23:54 11 May 24
My 3-year-old daughter has been going here for about 2 weeks now. Excellent curriculum (with excellent Sensei), even for the little ones. My little one is always ready and super excited for class, so they're definitely doing something right. Highly recommend.Edit: just over 2 years now and the growth is apparent. We're very pleased in our decision to enroll her here. She gets a structured class that promotes and instills lots of good character traits (most notably discipline), where she can make friends and develop her confidence. She has participated in tournaments and won medals. If you're thinking of enrolling your child, do it. They have trial classes, if you're still on the fence. Still very highly recommended.Edit 2: Hitting the 4 year mark and we're just as pleased as we were when she started. Karate has helped with her discipline and confidence tremendously. She is now part of the competition team and we look forward to whatever the future with Fonseca holds. Can't stress enough, how excellent this school is. You can't go wrong enrolling your child at any of the Fonseca dojos.
Justin GoldfarbJustin Goldfarb
14:20 04 May 24
I cannot express enough how wonderful the senseis are at the Evanston dojo. They are very thoughtful, present, and make sure the kids have a great time. My son, generally, has a difficult time following rules, but he looks forward to karate every week.
Idania GonzalezIdania Gonzalez
01:40 17 Mar 24
For our daughters, Fonseca Evanston Dojo has been a place where they have been able to improve self-esteem and security. They learned something new everyday, they have fun and they've made new friends. Sensei Oswaldo has made each class interesting for them because he shows interest in them. Sensei Oswaldo brings out the best qualities in the students. As parents we are proud to see the interest that our children have taken and wanting to improve at their young age.For our daughters, Fonseca Evanston Dojo has been a place where they have been able to develop their self-esteem. They have fun, have made new friends and have taken a lot of interest in Karate.Sensei Oswaldo has made each class interesting for them by showing them his interest and bringing out their best qualities.As parents we are very proud to see our daughters' interest in becoming better at Karate at their young age.
Chet FarleyChet Farley
13:59 16 Mar 24
The teachers at Fonseca, especially Sensei Lopez, are so fantastic. I’ve been bringing my two boys here for the last year and he and his team are fantastic with building the confidence of their students, fostering acceptance and kindness, effort, and perseverance. Highly recommend!
Gretchen BadamiGretchen Badami
15:14 20 Feb 24
THE BEST! We recently joined Fonseca, and couldn't be happier! Sensei Oswaldo is EXCELLENT with the little kids to keep them engaged and having fun while still laying the foundations for the movements and respectful ethos of Martial Arts. I was initially hoping my son would enjoy going once a week, but he wants to go EVERY DAY! He loves it that much! The community of the Evanston Dojo is friendly and helpful. So incredibly glad that we joined.
Allison LevinskyAllison Levinsky
16:47 16 Jun 23
I cannot say enough positive things about this dojo. Fonseca does a phenomenal job of creating a supportive environment that builds self-confidence. The instruction is so strong and caters to a diversity of needs. All children are treated with kindness and respect. The change I have seen in my child since he started karate at Fonseca is incredible. I appreciate that the dojo does not pressure the children, but instead encourages them to do their best and to be the best that they can be each day. What I love the most about Fonseca is the warm and welcoming community. We are big fans!
Jessica GrofmanJessica Grofman
03:53 07 Jun 23
My daughter is encouraged, guided personally and highly professionally, expertly trained, treated always as a growing individual while learning as part of a hard-working team that is also a loving family home away from home. As a family, we could not ask for more passionately dedicated, hardworking and impressive people than the Fonseca coaches/managers who welcome every age and type of learner to come in their doors! Go, Team Fonseca!!
We are so happy we stumbled upon Fonseca Martial Arts in Evanston. Kids learn karate, while building character and community. Sensei Oswaldo has the perfect balance of making the classes fun and disciplined. The membership model makes it easy to fit the classes to our evolving schedule. Highly recommend!
Lia BermanLia Berman
12:44 26 Apr 23
We started to take our kid to Fonseca at the suggestion of a friend to work on balance, focus and a way to get that aggression out. I cannot begin to explain how wonderful this experience has been for our entire family.Not only has he gained confidence, improved on balance and focus, but he is bringing those aspects home with him! The Sensei is beyond kind, and has a way to get the kids engaged while having fun at the same time. Parents even get to play on the weekends and I am seriously considering taking the adult classes for my own focus and agility.We are forever FONSECA! 10/10 would recommend!
Meaghan TowerMeaghan Tower
23:44 20 Apr 23
Joining Fonseca - Evanston has been one of our best parenting decisions to date. It is the highlight of my son’s week. When he is at Fonseca, not only is he having fun and burning off excess energy, he’s also practicing self control, body awareness, gross motor skills - especially bilateral coordination. I was pleasantly surprised how many parallels there are between Fonseca’s karate program and my son’s OT sessions. We also love summer camp (karate on the beach!) and the amazing dojo duels where the kids and get a taste of competing. And while we have had a wonderful experience with all of the instructors at Evanston (special shout out to Sensei Jessie), much of this positive review is thanks to Sensei Oswaldo Lopez. He is strict and ensures that everyone is following the rules and behaving in a safe manner, but he is also incredibly warm and silly with the kids. I believe the very first class we attended, about 4 or 5 children showed up with pictures/drawings/artwork that they made specifically for him. He is adored by both students and their caregivers and has built an incredible community at the Evanston Dojo. We LOVE Fonseca Evanston! It is by far the best investment we have made for our son’s development, confidence and overall happiness.
Liliana Pozo MartínezLiliana Pozo Martínez
22:51 17 Apr 23
My son started at Fonseca a couple years ago being shy and scared but sensei Osvaldo helped him to get confidence and now he’s more strong and confident. We love his classes
Jaime WhiteJaime White
00:25 28 Mar 23
Our family can’t say enough wonderful things about the Evanston Dojo! My son LOVES coming to karate and has so much fun. He has gained self confidence, a hard work ethic, technique, great friends and Senseis that truly care. He especially loves summer camp where he gets to practice his karate at the beach with friends! We couldn’t be happier here. Highly recommend!
Juan MartinezJuan Martinez
23:44 21 Mar 23
My son has been practicing karate for a little over 2 years and couldn’t wait till my younger daughter was old enough to enroll. Sensei Oswaldo is great with kids, keeps the class fun and kids engaged.
Annie UpsonAnnie Upson
17:59 21 Mar 23
This place is great. Sensei Oswaldo is wonderful at working with kids. My son hasn't been into many sports, but he has done so well at karate and has gained a lot of confidence and maturity. They keep the lessons fast-paced and manage to give each kid a lot of individual attention. I highly recommend this dojo!
Dolores FalsDolores Fals
20:13 20 Mar 23
We have been a member of Fonseca for 6 years and do most of our training at the Evanston dojo. I cannot say enough good things about our experience with this dojo over the years. From incredible senseis to great life lessons both in the dojo and during competitions, it has been a rewarding path I would recommend to any family. Our kids have fallen in love with karate, and I can see the positive impact it has had on them not only physically but also psychologically. The culture here is incredible - warm, welcoming, and empowering. You will find great role models, amazing training, and build wonderful relationships for life.
fen yu chanfen yu chan
00:43 31 May 24
Best professor ever. Lives and breathes jiujitsu! Very knowledgeable, engaging and fun for children. Very friendly assistants! Best crew!
Jennifer Yang CainJennifer Yang Cain
23:45 21 Feb 24
Nadezhda VinogradovaNadezhda Vinogradova
23:41 14 Sep 23
I've been taking classes at Fonseca in Evanston and Wilmette for about six years, and clearly it's because I enjoy the environment, the people, and the teaching! If possible, I'd like to ask that Fonseca not move the Sunday morning class with Sensei Salgado to Highland Park. This is too far of a drive for me to do weekly! The Sunday morning class in Wilmette is a great group and I think we all benefit from Sensei Salgado's patient teaching. The way he explains and illustrates the techniques and gives us individual feedback has really helped me grow and understand the movements and their applications, where strikes hit an opponent, how to block effectively or take down someone larger than me... I would really be disappointed to miss the Sunday 10:15AM Wilmette class with Sensei Salgado, but Highland Park is just too much of a drive.Thank you!Nadia
Shana Orczyk SisselShana Orczyk Sissel
03:03 21 Apr 23
Honestly I cannot say enough good things about Fonseca Martial Arts. I enrolled my son for the Little Dragons program about 2 years ago when he was 6 years old. The transformation I have seen in him through his development in karate is nothing short of incredible.He's moved quickly through the program, made the transition from Little Dragons to the Youth Program & now he's a member of the junior competition team. All of the instructors are phenomenal with the kids. The classes remain fun and age appropriate while still maintaining the discipline and respect that are the hallmarks of karate. My son participates in the quarterly Dojo Duels to help refine his skills in a low pressure competition environment. Dojo Duels are a fun introduction to competitive karate, allowing students to learn about competition in a very fun way. All the participants are recognized and receive medals, but they still recognize the top competitors in every age group as well. You can really go as far as you want with Fonseca. If you want to learn & compete at an international/ Olympic level you can, as many Fonseca students compete on the world stage. John Fonseca himself is a legend in the sport and you will find him working in all the dojo locations and providing the students with his expertise. My son never misses an opportunity to to train with Sensei Fonseca. In fact, my son competed in the Fonseca Cup last fall. It was his first high pressure competition. He didn't place and he was devastated. Sensei Fonseca saw him devastated and distraught. He took my son aside and gave him an epic pep talk that changed everything and was the catalyst that led my son to want to join the competition team.We love Sensei Dave at the Wilmette Dojo, he clearly cares about his students and really invests his time in their development. My son often arrives early or stays after class (by choice) because he is so eager to learn from him. Sensei JC is also a big hit with my son. He teaches class in Wilmette 3x a week & he's also one of the competition coaches.We've taken advantage of the private lesson opportunities (at my son's request) so he can perform at his best in competition. He will be participating his first AAU tournament in a few weeks. He has his team Fonseca gear, he knows he has the best coaches supporting him & he loves every moment. That's how I know it's the best dojo around, it fostered a real love and passion for the sport in my 8 year old.
debora perezdebora perez
23:32 20 Apr 23
We have the best experience with Karate classes since we started coming to this dojo. My son loves coming to his classes and he has learned a lot and improved his behavior and self control also. Thank you very much to Fonseca Martial arts and all the teachers for their patience while teaching the kiddos!!!
Kimberly BakerKimberly Baker
21:55 29 Mar 23
We absolutely love fonseca martial arts. Sensei Dave has been so kind and patient with our 5 year old who has rare genetic disorder and attentional difficulties. He’s learned so much, and most importantly, he has fun. Our 3 year old daughter also takes classes there and it’s really helping her confidence. It’s been such a positive experience, and we can’t recommend it enough!
Rohit KapuriaRohit Kapuria
21:03 29 Mar 23
Great location, amazing sensei. Sensei Dave is phenomenal. My son has been coming here for two years and has grown a lot during his time at the dojo. Very patient and teach good skills.
Bridget TucekBridget Tucek
03:24 17 Mar 23
My daughter has learned so much about the art of karate at this dojo in a relatively short period of time! The Sensei are all extremely caring and knowledgeable and they ensure that classes are run efficiently and compassionately. Students of different levels work together to mentor one another and learn new skills. Truly a wonderful experience watching my daughter learn from her Sensei and other classmates who are so passionate about what they do!
Charlie BurtCharlie Burt
02:26 05 Jul 18
Sensai David is handing his martial arts business in a big way at this dojo. My children are internalizing discipline, respect, hard work, self control and most importantly self esteem. Sensai David has a great rapport with the kids as well as making developmentally appropriate demands on them. And my kids even get to learn self defense in the process!
Nuttapol PhosThaiNuttapol PhosThai
22:20 17 Jun 24
Very nice place
Paulina VazquezPaulina Vazquez
01:28 17 Jun 24
I am so grateful to have found this place! I am the mother of a child with autism💙, and even though it took my son a few sessions to integrate into the class, the senseis (teachers) were always attentive and motivating my son to participate in the class and that day arrived when my son I feel safe being part of the group! That security was thanks to the senseis, the healthy and pleasant atmosphere of the place, the respect that exists between their colleagues and the senseis, the professionalism with which they teach the classes. These classes are excellent for my son because they teach him discipline, to take turns, help him with the coordination and strength that his body needs, to have confidence in himself and they teach him to be brave🤎🙏. It is important to mention that all senseis are bilingual😃.
Aaron Z.Aaron Z.
16:51 16 Jun 24
Spectacular classes for all ages! Instructors are fabulous. Classes are also different week-to-week, so kids remain interested.
Valeriya KravtsovaValeriya Kravtsova
21:32 06 Jun 24
Wonderful experience. My daughter can’t wait to come every week and we now even come multiple times a week! The teachers are fantastic and we have had a great experience with every instructor. Highly recommend this program for kids, not just for karate but respect and listening skills. Will be going for many months and hopefully years to come!
Kerry PaquetteKerry Paquette
21:57 02 May 24
We love the Roscoe Village Dojo, especially Sensei Guillen and Shaza! They do a great job both teaching a kids and having a little fun. The kids love it and the parents get the benefit of exercise, focus and self control coaching for the kids.
Rachel SalazarRachel Salazar
21:24 30 Apr 24
Our son just LOVES Karate and looks forward to it each week. Sensai is so great with the kids!
Evelia ZavalaEvelia Zavala
15:50 20 Apr 24
Melissa MamuriMelissa Mamuri
15:14 20 Apr 24
My 7 year old and 5 year old sons have attended this dojo for the past few years and we’ve been very happy with the teachers and staff. They truly care about the kids and not only teach them self-defense skills, fitness and coordination, but discipline and self-confidence as well. They are also much better at dealing with children and meeting them at their current level - we tried another dojo before finding Fonseca and they were way too intense/intimidating for kids. Would love it if they added BJJ classes to the Roscoe Village location!
Maria BorisovaMaria Borisova
22:26 14 Mar 24
My son is coming here for a few months. He absolutely loves it. All the teachers (senseis) are very professional and make the classes fun and engaging. Highly recommend!
Gabe VillarrealGabe Villarreal
17:39 25 Jul 23
Great karate dojo with excellent instruction. My child has been going here for approximately 3 years. Over that time, I have seen her gain more confidence and mature as a person. The technique taught here has allowed my child to understand the training and continue to grow in her karate journey. She loves attending classes, private lessons and competing. This is a great place for any age and ability. Love this dojo!
Amanda ZengerAmanda Zenger
01:57 05 Jun 23
My son has been going to Fonseca Roscoe Village for 2 years, and we’ve had a fantastic experience. Sensei Nolys instills good values, hard work and discipline in the kids, but he does so with a sense of humor and approachability that is rare in this field. I’ve seen my son grow so much in his confidence and ability over the past 2 years, thanks in large part to his training at Fonseca.We just had a kids party at the dojo and it was the most fun party my kids have ever been to - I would highly recommend a party here for kids to actually be able to play together.
Danielle CapillaDanielle Capilla
17:44 22 May 23
Fonseca is a treasure- my son really enjoys his classes and truly loves going to class. He had his sixth birthday party at Fonseca so he could show all his friends how much he loves the dojo. Karate has been a really positive experience, building his self control and sense of accomplishment.
Fernando LimaFernando Lima
16:34 17 May 23
This is an outstanding place for karate training. For nearly two years now, my son and I have been participating in the classes here. We're both close to achieving our green belts. Sensei Nollys does an excellent job at engaging the children, ensuring the sessions are enjoyable yet retaining a sense of seriousness when the moment calls for focused work.
Lia BermanLia Berman
16:25 24 Apr 23
Fonseca Martial Arts is FANTASTIC! At the suggestion of a friend we decided to try Martial Arts as a way to find some focus and self control in our kiddo, and couldn't be happier. In just a few short months my kid has become more confident, more in control, and shown more respect than ever before. The classes are just the right length, the moves and the activities require the kids to focus, and the pride they have after an accomplishment is priceless. We could not be happier with Fonseca and Sensei Oswaldo Lopez is simply the best!
Ian HarrisonIan Harrison
00:07 21 Apr 23
Been a 2nd home...My 7 year old has trained with Fonseca for ~2 years and has had a tremendous experience. Developed strength, confidence and friendships. She loves her sensei and considers the dojo her 2nd home.
Olga RojoOlga Rojo
15:07 31 Mar 23
Definitely recommend ., excellent place to learn KARATE my son has been going there for 5 years now; he has become more mature and more responsible he is almost black belt now. Sensei Nollys and Senpai Jose are great with the kids, they keep the clases fun yet serious when it’s time to get to work.
Robert S. KrunichRobert S. Krunich
03:25 30 Mar 23
Such a great learning of a life skill and so much fun for the kids! My 8 year old son loves it! He learned and improved with time while becoming stronger mentally and physically. Karate is great for hand and eye coordinating. Sensei Nolys is a fantastic teacher and a great human being very passionate about Karate. Strongly recommend this Dojo and Fonseca for all ages!
Highly recommend Fonseca. My child has been there for about a year and it has been a very positive community. The sensei's are all consistently kind and caring while also expecting the kids to work hard. They know how to balance and bring together having fun while focusing on learning new skills. It has definitely built character and physical strength for my child.
Michael SorvilloMichael Sorvillo
00:38 22 Feb 23
Solid workout in the Jiu Jitsu class. They have kids and adults Jiu Jitsu. Class is very fun and Coach Tony always there to inspire you. He has thorough program and his teaching helps you work through opponents tactics. Best part is he is always around after class for questions, review, and talk all things Jiu Jitsu.
Fonseca Martial Arts
Based on 47 reviews
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Kevin RocheKevin Roche
22:31 25 May 24
What a fun birthday, all the kids got involved and interested.
01:25 20 May 24
A great dojo for students of all age and abilities. The students are nurtured and encouraged to develop and advance at their own pace .
05:23 15 May 24
My son has been doing karate for almost 2 yrs and he likes it. He enjoys every moment of his training and always looking forward in joining tournaments. Sensei JC and Sensei Gerson have helped him improve his body coordination, focus, discipline and social skills. Highly recommend!
Enkhbat ByambaEnkhbat Byamba
00:04 02 May 24
My daughter's journey at Fonseca Karate has been truly remarkable. In less than two years, she has excelled in both the physical and mental aspects of karate, achieving silver and bronze medals at the National Championship. Beyond the medals, the dojo has shaped her character, instilling discipline that extends to all areas of her life.We are deeply grateful to Fonseca Karate for nurturing her talents and fostering her growth. Watching her evolve into a disciplined and confident individual fills us with immense pride.
Moon LeeMoon Lee
19:27 12 Apr 23
John Fonseca, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, has started a jiu-jitsu program led by Anthony Kalina, another extremely talented jiu-jitsu black belt and instructor. I have known both for about a decade, and recommend them whole-heartedly. If you're looking for quality jiu-jitsu instruction for adults or kids, look no further, you've found it!
Belinda Tobin DuellmanBelinda Tobin Duellman
22:02 09 Apr 23
Updated - Absolutely fantastic experience at Fonseca Glenview Dojo's! Our 4th grade Girl Scout troop recently attended a self-defense class here, and I couldn't be more impressed. The instructor (Gerson) was amazing, striking the perfect balance between fun and practicality. He engaged the kids with age-appropriate information, making sure it wasn't scary for them while still imparting crucial self-defense skills. Our troop had a blast and left feeling empowered and confident. Highly recommend this Dojo for anyone looking to learn self-defense in a supportive and enjoyable environmentOriginal - Our daughter is having a fantastic experience at Fonseca Martial Arts in Glenview. JC is amazing with kids and runs an excellent dojo. I am so impressed with how my daughter has been both physically challenged but also how they instill a sense of respect, responsibility, and striving for improvement in these kids. I highly recommend checking it out for a well rounded - physical and mental - activity.
Danielle KastnerDanielle Kastner
01:05 06 Apr 23
This is the best dojo! Sensei JC and Gerson are amazing. So patient with the young kids. Truly a child whisperer. I joined after my son took a few lessons and it’s been a blast!
Lisa M.Lisa M.
00:50 04 Apr 23
My daughter attended this with her first grade Girl Scout Troop and the kids all had an absolute blast! The instructors were so patient, kind, creative, and skilled. You can tell that they are subject matter experts in the field of martial arts! My daughter was so excited to tell her friends and family about her class and the new skills she learned in class. Thank you Fonseca Martial Arts for sharing a valuable lesson to all our girls!!
Renee CherubinRenee Cherubin
00:12 04 Apr 23
BLOWN AWAY! Fonseca hosted a self-defense course for our 4th grade Girl Scout troop. It was everything I had hoped for and more. Our 10 year old girls left educated and empowered - not scared. The instructors took great care to connect with each young girl and help each understand how to better defend herself. They broke a scary subject down into basic language that they could relate to. They even welcomed the parents to join in on the class, so I joined and loved it. I've benefited from many self-defense courses over the years and this was by far the best I've experienced. The knowledge and passion of the Fonseca instructors definitely sets them apart. My little girls were so excited to return and we are now signing up for more classes. Thank you, Fonseca, for helping to better protect our kiddos and making it fun!
David OulveyDavid Oulvey
20:06 17 Jun 24
I have been a member of Fonseca Martial Arts for over 20 years. The staff is dedicated, competent and accomplished martial artists. A proper attitude is stressed as much as physical accomplishment. All skill levels, all physical abilities are catered to.
Joe HJoe H
14:06 08 Jun 24
Alla WoodsonAlla Woodson
02:59 02 Jun 24
Our son loves learning jiu jitsu at this school mainly thanks to his instructor Tony. Tony is an exceptional sensei as he goes above and beyond simply teaching martial arts techniques. He instills values in kids, fostering not just physical strength but also character development. Overall, although the school is not cheap, it is worth the money. It is well run and professional.
Dan HoweryDan Howery
15:25 08 May 24
I am a single Dad and I was looking for something that I could do with my kids that was kind of "my thing" with them. I enrolled them in Fonseca and they took karate here for about three years rising from white belt to purple belt. I'm extremely happy with our time here and I regret that my kids ultimately wanted to move on.I think Sensei Jaime is fantastic. He's great with kids. I feel that he is very passionate about karate and teaching children. He respects the kids and they respect him.Both of my kids were able to use karate as a framework for learning discipline, self-respect, presenting themselves in performance, and of course how to throw a punch. What struck me about Sensei Jaime is how positive he is and how he's able to draw so much out of the students. I think he's a really great teacher and coach.I have many fond memories of prepping with my kids for their belt tests and watching them earn their next belt up. Watching my kids in tournaments was a great experience and my kids learned a lot about competing. Overall, very positive experience for my family and I would completely recommend this to anyone that's interested in getting their kids into karate.
Tatjana NicinTatjana Nicin
21:23 24 Apr 24
Patrick HealyPatrick Healy
17:21 12 Apr 24
We started our son here at age 3, and his sister wanted to join immediately after. Sensei Jaime has coached our kids for over 2 years now, and he has been an amazing teacher. We would absolutely recommend this place. They are knowledgable and friendly, and Jaime Gamboa has done amazing work on instructing our children, helping them to learn to focus and learn karate
steven danielssteven daniels
00:13 15 May 23
Fonseca has been a wonderful place to learn karate. Both of my children have been attending lessons for over a decade and we couldn’t imagine a place that would encourage them to persevere better. They learn more than just karate. They learn responsibility, resilience, and thoughtfulness. Sensei Jaime has done a terrific job ensuring that they keep wanting to learn and improve.
William WingerWilliam Winger
15:12 02 May 23
After turning 58 years old, I had serious doubts that I could ever get back into the shape I hoped for. I knew that my only chance was to engage in an activity which I loved in order not to feel that working out was drudgery. I looked online and found Fonseca Martial Arts. I am thrilled that I did! I enlisted Tony Kalina, the chief Jiu-Jitsu instructor, as a personal trainer. Together we designed a curriculum which combines fitness and self-defense. Tony is amazing. He is incredibly knowledgeable and proficient in many martial arts and exceptionally adept at explaining the concepts behind the techniques. And he has the patience of a saint. If you want an excellent personal trainer, and to become a part of a great school, look no further. I can’t recommend him highly enough. Thank you Fonseca!
Jenna SellmanJenna Sellman
15:38 25 Apr 23
My daughter attended a friends birthday party here earlier this year and had the most wonderful time, so we had her 3rd birthday party at the dojo! Sensai Jaime and the whole team do a wonderful job. They played lots of games, taught the kids some great moves, brought my daughter up front to help them show different kicks and punches and the whole crew of 20 kids (ranging 3-9 years old) had a wonderful time.We did the full package and the kids each got to break a board, they organized pizza, fruit and juice and it went off without a hitch. They had my daughter at the table to hand out cupcakes to the kids and they also had her hand out goody bags. It’s so well organized, puts your birthday kid in position to be a great host and engages everyone of all levels. We had never done martial arts before, but we have now joined and are at the dojo every weekend. We love it and cannot recommend enough!
Sara GinalSara Ginal
15:24 13 Mar 23
We have had such a great experience at Fonseca Martial Arts. My 7 year old has learned so much about self control and has gained a lot of confidence through her classes.
Lydia MungerLydia Munger
14:23 04 Mar 23
My kids and I all train at FMA and the instruction is top notch. All the instructors are amazing. They truly provide individualized guidance to each athlete and help each participant bring out their very best in each and every class. The karate senseis and BJJ professor all work hard to prepare their students for every possible situation, in competition and in terms of practical self defense skills. The skills my kids and I are learning are valuable not just in tournaments but also in the real world. I cannot say enough great things about Fonseca Martial Arts, their staff, and their programs.If you’re wondering whether there is a place for you and/or your child here, the answer is yes. If someone wants to compete at the highest levels, FMA will support you. If you want to learn something new and get in better shape, FMA will support you. If you want to feel more confident and capable to defend yourself, FMA will support you. If you want a community centered around respect, martial arts, and becoming better people every day, this is the place for you.
Monica WojnickiMonica Wojnicki
03:12 13 Feb 23
This place is amazing on so many levels. Jaime is one of the best if not the best. He is so great with the students and he ran my son's birthday party. He was AWESOME!So great that my son asked to have his party there again.

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