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, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and a black belt in Taekwondo. 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.
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 first person to win multiple world titles at a single world karate championship event. Sensei Au Fonseca, now a fourth-degree black belt, 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, and has taught karate seminars all over the world.
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.
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.
Driss El Mannani is an accomplished karate athlete and coach, to say the very least. He is not only a 7-time Moroccan Karate Champion, he is also a 4-time Arabic Champion, Bronze medalist at the Mediterranean Games (2001), and holds a 5th Place finish at the Karate World Championships (2002). He retired from competition to follow his true passion: coaching. Not only does Driss speak 4 languages, he’s also worked with teams on 3 different continents: Africa, Europe, South America, and now North America. He is the only one coach in history who wins world medals on 3 different continents with his athletes.
Sensei Brian Ramrup is a third degree black belt in Shotokan karate, hailing from Queens, NY, with 20 years of training experience and over 15 years of teaching experience. Brian Ramrup trained at Fonseca Martial Arts from 2006-2009 and has relocated to Chicago to pursue his Olympic Dreams along with team Fonseca Martial Arts. Sensei Brian has been on the United States National team for over 10 years in the discipline of kumite, has represented the United States in all levels of competitions including medaling at national, North American, Pan American, and world level events. Sensei Brian Ramrup also has Masters degrees in both Exercise Science and Nutrition, and has currently completed a Master Degree in Business Administration.
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 Dejan Miloshevski comes to FMA from Macedonia, where he competed on the national karate team and won numerous national and international competitions. He has profound knowledge in martial arts with special focus on the katas and explanation of the meaning of kata movements (Bunkai). In addition to karate, Sensei Dejan also trains in Kobudo and Real Aikido, where he has also achieved the black belt rank. While pursuing his MBA business degree at the University Ss. Cyril and Methodius – Skopje, he started his karate referee career. Today, he is a World Karate Federation judge (WKF-the only international karate organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee) in addition to a European Karate Federation referee, which is the highest karate license in Europe for judging kata and kumite. Sensei Dejan has held seminars and trained numerous national champions in his home country of the Republic of Macedonia, as well as Serbia and Switzerland.
Sensei Oswaldo Lopez hails from Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, where he became a National Team member at age 21. He touts a 4th Degree Black Belt with over 35 years of karate experience. In the competition realm, Sensei Lopez is a decorated champion, with a 6th place finish in the World Championships and 3 Pan American Championship medals in his repertoire. Sensei Lopez is not only a dedicated student, earning graduate degrees in both Accounting and Physical Education, he is also a dedicated teacher. He has over 20 years experience teaching and coaching, and his goal at Fonseca Martial Arts is to develop students to share his love of karate.
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.
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 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.