COVID-19: How Enso is Responding UPDATED 9/7/2020

This page contains a log of all the weekly email messages we have sent to our enrolled students since March 11, 2020, when the Chicago area began practicing strict social distancing.

 

Message sent September 7
Dear Students & Families,

Hope everyone enjoyed the great weather over the Labor Day holiday break! We are excited to continue our action-packed September schedule. Here’s what you need to know for THIS WEEK:

  • Tuesday, September 8th is our first Pop-Up Sensei event! The event will run from 6-7:00 PM using our regular class link, but there is a $15 fee to attend, so please do register in advance. Our amazing guest instructor, Sensei George Kotaka, will be joining us from Hawaii — see below for more details on his bio. Please wear your gi and be on time to greet our special guest.
  • Saturday, September 12th is our next Online Kyu Belt Exam. If you’re planning to test, please register by Wednesday, September 9th. You must register any guests in advance. If you’re not testing, please note that there will be no regular classes on Saturday. For those testing, be sure to read our instructions on how to properly prepare for the online exam. We will send log-in times and Zoom info on Thursday.

As always, let us know if you have any questions or suggestions. See you online or in person soon!

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent August 30

Dear Students & Families,

Happy September! To our new students and returning students, welcome! We are very excited to begin our action-packed September schedule. Here’s what you need to know for THIS WEEK:

  • Tuesday begins our new schedule! Going forward, there are no regular classes on Tuesdays. This week, some 1:1s have been moved to Tuesday due to Thursday’s event.
  • Wednesday’s adult class will focus on kumite. Starting this week, the 7:00 PM adult class will focus on kumite training.
  • Thursday is a special Kata Clinic! Tune into our regular class zoom link for a special clinic focused on Heian Sandan. We are suggesting this clinic for those with the rank of orange belt or higher. If you don’t know the kata, this is a great way to learn it. If you think you already know the kata, think again — there are always details to perfect.
  • Friday is our first Partners Class. Our new 6:30 PM Friday class will focus on partner drills, and we highly recommend it for households with more than one student.
  • Saturday through Monday is the Labor Day Holiday. We won’t have any classes or 1:1 feedback sessions this weekend in honor of the holiday. Hope you squeeze in some last-minute summer fun!

Also, please remember that registration is now open for the following special events:

As always, let us know if you have any questions or suggestions. See you online or in person soon!

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise<


Message sent August 23
Dear Students & Families,

We’re excited to close out August and begin our action-packed September schedule! Please see below for details and highlights, and be sure to mark your calendars so you don’t miss any of the fun.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pop-Ups! We will continue celebrating our community with fun training experiences for all, including our outdoor “pop-up dojos” as well as our online “pop-up sensei” guest instructors from around the world.
  • Special Classes: We’re bringing kihon, kata, and kumite to your living rooms in new ways, including: partner classes, women-only training opportunities, “fight scene” events, and focused kata-specific classes.
  • Live Virtual Tournaments: We are gearing up to hopefully offer an Enso-only dojo tournament some time this Fall, as well as an online Chicagoland Karate-do Challenge in late 2020 or early 2021.

SCHEDULE CHANGES

To accommodate these new online training experiences, we have modified the schedule slightly. The new schedule is posted online, but for your convenience we’re highlighting some of the changes:

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays: There will be no regular classes. We will operate on a special schedule to welcome guest instructors and host some of our special training opportunities.
  • Wednesdays: The 7:00 PM class will now be an Adult Kumite Class.
  • Fridays: The 6:30 PM class will now be a Partners Class instead of a Kumite Class. This class will focus on partner drills, such as checking basics, checking kata, team kata, step sparring, free sparring, and timing and target drills. We strongly encourage households with more than one student to participate. Of course, all students are welcome! If you don’t have another Enso student with you, you should come prepared with a good target.
  • All Ages v. Family –– If you don’t see “Family Class” on the schedule, never fear! Our “All Ages Class” is the same thing; this is merely a language change to reflect the fact that youth and adults of all ages may train in these classes, even if they don’t have family members with them!

SEPTEMBER EVENTS
Specific event dates and registration details will be released on a rolling basis. Events with an * require pre-registration, and events with a $ require pre-registration as well as a small fee to cover expenses. So far, here’s what we have scheduled for September:

  • Thursday, Sept. 3rd – Kata Clinic: Heian Sandan
  • Saturday, Sept. 5th-Monday, Sept. 7th – Labor Day Holiday (no classes)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 8th – Pop-Up Sensei $
  • Saturday, Sept. 12th – Belt Exam $
  • Thursday, Sept. 17th – Pop-Up Sensei $
  • Friday, Sept. 18th – Make-up Belt Exam $
  • Saturday, Sept. 19th – Outdoor Training Event* & Belt Pick-Up
  • Tuesday, Sept. 22nd – Women’s Training
  • Saturday, Sept. 26th – Outdoor Training Event $

Details are available on our Events page. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback. We are looking forward to seeing you online or in person very soon!

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent August 16

Dear students and families,

As promised, we’re releasing our new plans for our Fall schedule! These plans will go into effect on September 1st, and we expect them to be in place at least through the end of 2020. Our new class schedule and list of September activities are online, but we’re including the highlights here for your convenience.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pop-Ups! We will continue celebrating our community with fun training experiences for all, including our outdoor “pop-up dojos” as well as our online “pop-up sensei” guest instructors from around the world.
  • Special Classes: We’re bringing kihon, kata, and kumite to your living rooms in new ways, including: partner classes, women-only training opportunities, “fight scene” events, and focused kata-specific classes.
  • Live Virtual Tournaments: We are gearing up to hopefully offer an Enso-only dojo tournament some time this Fall, as well as an online Chicagoland Karate-do Challenge in late 2020 or early 2021.

SCHEDULE CHANGES
To accommodate these new online training experiences, we have modified the schedule slightly. The new schedule is posted online, but for your convenience we’re highlighting some of the changes:

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays: There will be no regular classes. We will operate on a special schedule to welcome guest instructors and host some of our special training opportunities.
  • Wednesdays: The 7:00 PM class will now be an Adult Kumite Class.
  • Fridays: The 6:30 PM class will now be a Partners Class instead of a Kumite Class. This class will focus on partner drills, such as checking basics, checking kata, team kata, step sparring, free sparring, and timing and target drills. We strongly encourage households with more than one student to participate. Of course, all students are welcome! If you don’t have another Enso student with you, you should come prepared with a good target.
  • All Ages v. Family — If you don’t see “Family Class” on the schedule, never fear! Our “All Ages Class” is the same thing; this is merely a language change to reflect the fact that youth and adults of all ages may train in these classes, even if they don’t have family members with them!

SEPTEMBER EVENTS
Specific event dates and registration details will be released on a rolling basis. Events with an * require pre-registration, and events with a $ require pre-registration as well as a small fee to cover expenses. So far, here’s what we have scheduled for September:

  • Thursday, Sept. 3rd – Kata Clinic: Heian Sandan
  • Saturday, Sept. 5th-Monday, Sept. 7th – Labor Day Holiday (no classes)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 8th – Pop-Up Sensei $
  • Saturday, Sept. 12th – Belt Exam $
  • Thursday, Sept. 17th – Pop-Up Sensei $
  • Friday, Sept. 18th – Make-up Belt Exam $
  • Saturday, Sept. 19th – Outdoor Training Event* & Belt Pick-Up
  • Tuesday, Sept. 22nd – Women’s Training
  • Saturday, Sept. 26th – Outdoor Training Event $

Details are available on our Events page. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback. We are looking forward to seeing you online or in person very soon!

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent August 9

Dear Students & Families,

We had such a great time at Saturday’s outdoor training! The spaced-out trees in that little nook near Buckingham Fountain really do provide an ideal outdoor training space — centrally located, shaded, and with natural individualized training areas to help students maintain their distance. We’re going to stay there for another week — please be sure to pre-register for this Saturday, August 15th. A link is available to current students in the Online Dojo.

We’re also in the midst of planning our Fall schedule. We’ll release all the juicy details next week, but here’s a preview of some things you can expect:

SPECIAL EVENTS: We will continue celebrating our community with fun training experiences for all, including:

  • Pop-Up Dojos – Training outdoors in more environments and neighborhoods!
  • Pop-Up Sensei – Guest instructors from across the nation and the world!
  • Live Virtual Tournaments – Opportunities to compete online and in real time with friends from both Enso and other dojos!

SPECIAL CLASSES: We’re thinking of new ways to bring kihon, kata, and kumite to your living rooms, including:

  • Kata Classes – One class, one kata, unlimited details!
  • Partner Classes – Are you in a household of two or more karate students? We have a special class just for you, full of partner drills!
  • Women Only – We’ll offer some women-only training opportunities for our ladies!
  • Fight Scene – Choreograph, record, and edit a fight scene like you see in the movies. Join your Enso friends in this special class!

We are still putting the final details on our plans, and we may release these activities on a rolling basis. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback. We are looking forward to seeing you online or in person very soon!

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent August 2
Dear Students & Families,

It’s great to see students keeping up the karate training – way to go! We hope you are feeling strong and energized in every class. We have just a few reminders this week:

  • July winner! The winner of our July at-home challenge prize — a new kicking pad — is HARSHIL!!
  • August registration: If you’re not on auto-renew and you haven’t already done so, please register for your August training option.
  • This Saturday: Please remember to pre-register and review the safety rules for our special outdoor training event taking place on Saturday.
  • New password: Please see your email for the new online dojo password this month

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback. We are looking forward to seeing you online or in person very soon!


Message sent July 26

Dear Students & Families,

We’ve officially made it through 4 months as an all-online dojo. What an accomplishment!

We’ve said it before, and we’ll continue to say it again and again — We are so impressed with the ways our students, parents, and instructors have adapted to this unique and historic situation. It is a privilege to be part of your journeys as karate-ka, and we hope we are a steady presence in your family’s life during an otherwise uncertain time.

This week is the last week of July, and the beginning of August. In August, here’s what we anticipate:

  • We will continue providing online instruction, with very limited changes to our schedule
  • We will continue to organize special outdoor training events at different locations throughout the city
  • We will continue with our monthly fee structure

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback. We are looking forward to seeing you online or in person very soon!

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent July 19


This Saturday, about 25 Enso students gathered for our very first in-person training since March 12th — holy cow! It was a hot, humid, and sticky afternoon, but everyone trained really hard and enjoyed the wide open space. We almost forgot what it was like to do a whole kata with full stances without worrying about knocking over a lamp!

We had a lot of fun seeing each other in real life, and we felt safe doing it by wearing a mask and maintaining social distance. So much fun, in fact, that we’ve decided to host another outdoor training event this coming Saturday, July 25th, from 2:00-3:00 PM. Full details and pre-registration link are provided below.

Also, we know that “back to school” is an especially challenging time this year. Every school district, every family, every teacher, every student is facing a stressful start to what’s sure to be a strange school year. As educators and parents ourselves, we understand first-hand how overwhelming this all feels. You are all in our thoughts. We hope that Enso can continue to be a steady presence in your family’s life during these tumultuous times. We plan to continue providing online instruction for the foreseeable future, as well as to continue exploring safe ways to train in-person.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback. We are looking forward to seeing you online or in person on Saturday!


Message sent July 12

Dear Students & Families,
We are well into a hot Chicago summer! Thanks to those who shared how they are beating the heat while keeping up with karate training for last week’s challenge. We are so grateful for our dojo’s perseverance and fighting spirit, which has been especially tested in the last several months.
While we were disappointed to cancel the in-dojo training that was scheduled for last Saturday, please know that we are working diligently to determine how we move forward in a way that is safe and provides our students a great experience. We truly appreciate your patience and encouragement.
This Saturday, July 18th, we hope to see many of you at our Outdoor Training Event (details sent to students via email). In the morning, we will run our usual Saturday Zoom classes and then, in addition, hold this special outdoor training. Pre-registration is required.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback. We are looking forward to seeing you online or in person on Saturday!
All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise

Message sent July 5

Dear Students & Families,

You’ve been waiting patiently, and now we’re excited to share Enso Karate’s Training Guidelines for In-Person Training During Phase 4 of Chicago’s COVID-19 Recovery.

As you know, Enso will remain an Online Dojo for the month of July. But we are also operating on special schedules for the three remaining Saturdays in July to offer limited in-person training for those who wish to participate:

  • Saturday, July 11th — Dojo Training. In-person training at the Chicago dojo will be offered for a maximum of 10 students per class
, and those classes will also be livestreamed via the usual Zoom link. Please note the three classes will run on a special schedule to allow us time to clean and disinfect between classes.
  • Saturday, July 18th — Outdoor Training Event (2:00-3:00 PM). We will run our standard Saturday Zoom classes and then, in addition, host a special outdoor training event near Buckingham Fountain. More details to be announced next week. Mark your calendars!
  • Saturday, July 25th — Dojo Training. Same schedule as July 11th, unless we announce otherwise.

We will open registration for the first dojo class on Wednesday. Before then, please take time to review Enso’s new guidelines carefully. They include information on our safety procedures, as well as on our special schedule, how to register online, and our expectations of students. We expect all students choosing to participate in our in-person trainings to acknowledge that they have and understood these guidelines, which are everyone’s responsibility to implement well.

Thank you for your patience as we experiment, learn, and make changes. We truly appreciate it. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback.

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent June 28

 

Dear Students & Families,

It’s hard to believe that July is almost here — and that we’ve spent nearly one-third of the year practicing social distancing to contain the spread of coronavirus. We are continually re-assessing how to live, work, and train safely in this ever-changing new environment.

This week, we spent a lot of time digging into the Phase 4 rules issued by the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, and the Village of Oak Park. As you may know, Chicago has issued its own full version of the State’s rules with additional restrictions — for example, 25% capacity limits rather than 50% capacity limits for indoor training. There are also different rules for training indoors and outdoors (though both would require masks in Chicago). And there are variations on the guidelines for both gyms and youth sports. The process and requirements for reserving park space is also new, as many clubs and gyms are beginning to move their classes outdoors.

On top of all that are the wishes and considerations of our students; we greatly appreciate the thoughts and questions you all have shared with us. What we’re hearing now is that while we want to train together in the dojo, many people don’t yet feel comfortable doing so. And, more specifically, that training in a mask would be difficult for an activity that is so centered on breathing.

Taking all these factors into consideration, we have decided that Enso will remain primarily online for the month of July. However, we are continuing to develop plans to train safely at the dojo (with the option to participate via Zoom) on Saturday, July 11th and Saturday, July 25th.

On Saturday, July 18, in addition to Zoom classes (not in the dojo), we will hold an outdoor training as a special event in the afternoon. Like our annual beach trainings, this event will provide an opportunity to train together in a unique outdoor environment.

We will announce further details about these changes next week.

Thank you for your patience as we experiment, learn, and make changes. We truly appreciate it. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback.

All our best,

Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise

 


Message sent June 21

Dear Students & Families,

Thank you for sharing so many sweet photos of the fathers in your lives. We miss seeing you in person, but training online has certainly allowed us to peek into each other’s homes and lives in new ways.

We know you may be wondering about our plans for training in July. Like you, we continue to follow the news about COVID-19 and the “Restore Illinois” plans and guidelines. We are currently in Phase 3, which does allow for some in-person, outdoor training. Governor Pritzker has indicated that as soon as this Friday we might move into Phase 4, which we think will allow for some in-person, indoor training. (Specific guidelines for Phase 4 have not yet been released.)

Enso will continue to take a cautious approach to re-opening. We know from our surveys that many of you are not interested in in-person training just yet, but we also know some of you are willing to give it a try within the state’s new guidelines — which include social distancing, limited class sizes, increased sanitation, and other measures to keep us safe.

Here’s our plan: In July, we will hold in-person trainings on three Saturdays (July 11, 18, and 25).

  • If we are still in Phase 3, these classes will be held outdoors at locations TBA (2 times in Chicago and 1 time in Oak Park).
  • If we move to Phase 4, these classes will be held indoors at the Chicago dojo.
  • Online training will also continued to be offered on Saturdays. If we’re in Phase 4, we will live-stream the in-person class. If we’re in Phase 3, a different, concurrent class will be offered online.
  • Specific class schedules and in-person training rules will be released soon. We will ask all participating students to commit to following the new guidelines.
  • Tuition options and fees will remain the same for July.

This change is in some ways very small — We are only modifying our schedule for three total days in July, and we will remain a primarily Online Dojo for another month. But, in other ways, this change feels very significant. It will be the first time we’ve trained side-by-side in three months — and it feels a whole lot longer. This will be an experiment to test out our new procedures in a limited way so we can be ready for a potentially more robust re-opening in the future.

We ask for your continued patience as we study the state’s guidelines as they are released, and then develop and communicate our own procedures with all of you. We’ve said it many times, and we want to say it again: We are so impressed with your strong spirits and so humbled by your dedication to Enso and to karate. Thank you for your friendship and support!

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent June 14

Dear Students & Families,

Thank you for joining us yesterday for our All-Dojo Spirit Training!! It was great to see the whole dojo come together and cheer each other on. Your spirits continue to inspire us every day.

As always: The training continues. Don’t forget that our next Kids-Only Meet-Up is tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 PM, and this week’s challenge is a Father’s Day Challenge!

We miss seeing you all in person so much. Until we can get back together again, we will see you online.

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent June 7

Dear Students & Families,

Last week felt like a year. As we read the news, watched the protests, listened to friends, and reflected on our own lives and our own leadership both at the dojo and as educators, we felt heartache, despair, shame, rage, and sadness. We want the Black community to know that we stand with you. We believe Black Lives Matter.

This year, the bonds we’ve created at Enso and beyond have been more important than ever. Thank you for being amazing and being part of our dojo family.

We are looking forward to next Saturday, when the entire dojo will gather together for our All-Dojo Spirit Training in place of our regular 10:00 AM class. Later that afternoon, we’ll continue with our Belt & Certificate Pick-Up in the South Loop and Hyde Park. See below for all the details.

We miss seeing you all in person so much. Until we can get back together again, we will see you online.

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent May 31

Dear Students & Families,

This weekend, our community experienced some great joys followed by some deep turmoil.

On Saturday morning, 48 of our students participated in Enso’s first-ever virtual belt exam. They demonstrated the highest standards of Enso — determination, strength, control, endurance, and spirit.

By Saturday evening, fires and looting were occurring in the neighborhoods where many of our students live. We are incredibly saddened that the actions of some individuals have directly impacted the safety and well-being of many in our community, and have overshadowed the purpose of the protests. We are heartened, though, to know that many people in the Enso community have been in touch with one another — to offer help, to offer love, to offer a spare room or a free ear. The bonds of this diverse community are strong, and we are thankful for each and every one of you. Stay safe.

We hope karate continues to provide you with a great source of stress relief and a positive community. If you haven’t already, please register for one of our new June offerings — Basic, Standard, or Unlimited — ASAP. The new schedule begins tomorrow.

Here’s what’s coming up this week:

  • Monday: Karate Olympian Sakura Kokumai joins Enso. Tomorrow from 5:45-6:15 PM, we will have an Olympian with us on Zoom! See your email for details, including a modified schedule.
  • Thursday: Two New Class Options.
    • Family Karate for New Beginner Students (ages 6 and up). 5:00-5:45pm. We’ve added a new family class just for students who are brand new to karate. If you know any friends who may be interested, please send them our way!
    • Black Belt Teens – Kata and Kumite. 6:00-6:45pm. We have also added an advanced kata and kumite class taught by Sensei Elaine, Sensei Toby, and Sensei AJ. This class is just for our teens.
  • Friday: Happy Hour + TRIVIA! (21+). Be prepared for 7 rounds of pop culture trivia about the 2000s!!
  • Saturday: Belt & Certificate pick-up. We have pick-up locations in Oak Park, Hyde Park, and South Loop – see email for details.

We miss seeing you all in person so much. Until we can get back together again, we will see you online.

All our best,

Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent May 25


Students & Families,

A very happy graduation wish to all our students who are celebrating the completion of grad school, college, high school, 8th grade, or any other major educational milestone! You probably weren’t able to celebrate in all the ways you imagined you would, but this spring will certainly be unforgettable. Your hard work will still lead you to a bright future. Congrats!

We have three big reminders as we close out May:

  • This is a truncated week. There are no classes today in honor of the Memorial Day holiday. There are also no classes on Saturday, when we will be holding belt exams. Be sure to train hard Tuesday through Friday!
  • June registrations are due by May 29th, and we need everyone to take action. Because we’re moving to a monthly schedule, we need everyone to take action if they wish to continue training. We’re happy to answer questions about our new monthly training options.

Enso Karate is hosting many social events in June – a list is included below and always available on our Events page as well.

We miss seeing you all in person so much. Until we can get back together again, we will see you online!

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent May 17

It’s hard to believe it’s our eighth week as an Online Dojo. You’ve all been awesome! We have three big reminders as we close out May – with details below.

  • Memorial Day Holiday Break is this weekend! There will be no classes Friday, May 21st – Monday, May 25th. Hope you enjoy some sunshine!
  • June registrations are due by May 29th, and we need everyone to take action. Because we’re moving to a monthly schedule, we need everyone to take action if they wish to continue training. We’re happy to answer questions about our new monthly training options.

Enso Karate is hosting many social events in May and June – a list is included below and always available on our Events page as well.

We miss seeing you all in person so much. Until we can get back together again, we will see you online!

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent May 10


Happy Mother’s Day! To all the moms who train, moms who teach, and moms who support — We appreciate you all!!!

Now let’s dive right in. Today’s topic: Getting ready for karate training in June.

  • This Week: This is Week #7 as an all-online dojo. We continue to be impressed by how hard everyone is working and humbled by your support. See our Online Dojo for our weekly challenge and schedule.
  • This Month: Our May schedule includes a Kids Only Meet-up with a Lego theme (May 18th), our Memorial Day holiday break (May 22-25), and our groundbreaking Online Belt Exam (May 30th). See our Events page for all the details.
  • Next Month: In place of our normal 12-week “summer session,” we are moving to a monthly plan that will give us flexibility to adapt our schedule as needed. Please see all the details.

We can’t thank you enough for continuing to share your feedback with us. The survey submissions, emails, and Facebook messages have been both helpful and heartwarming. Together, we look ahead to brighter days!

See you online!

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent May 3

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!! We honestly don’t see ourselves as super heroes, but we sure are having fun with graphics during our at-home time. We miss seeing you all in-person, so we’re just trying to bring a smile to your face in whatever way we can. 😀
In other news — It’s May! Somehow everything feels a little bit brighter when the weather improves, even during this challenging time in our lives. As this is a new month, we have a new calendar of activities. Please be sure to mark your calendars:
  • Friday, May 8, 7:45pm – ’90s-Themed Virtual Happy Hour for Adult Students
  • Monday, May 18, 4:30pm – Kids-Only Virtual Meet-up – It’s Lego time!
  • Friday-Monday, May 22-25 – Memorial Day Holiday (no classes)
  • Saturday, May 30 – Online Kyu Belt Exam (details coming soon)
Another thing that’s making us feel bright is hearing from all of you. Here are just a few of the wonderful comments we’ve received from students and parents:
  • “We really appreciate your efforts to make sure people’s karate is not affected during this pandemic time. We appreciate that you are doing whatever you can using the tools and technology available to make sure the learning doesn’t stop. We especially love the 1-on-1 sessions; they are very useful.”
  • “Thank you so much for putting in all this work to continue teaching. It’s great to still have contact with all the senseis and dojo members, and the stress relief factor is greatly appreciated. I like the focus on things you can do in smaller spaces and find it useful to work on details that we may not pay enough attention to during regular classes.”
  • “These virtual classes are most helpful — not only to keep us in good karate shape, but also to maintain the Enso community in this unprecedented and most challenging circumstances. Once again, you have shown that your commitment and professionalism are really off-the-chart!”
We can’t thank you enough for sharing your feedback with us — and, of course, for your continued dedication to karate and to Enso.
See you online!
All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise
PS: We know that auto-renew payments for summer session are scheduled for May 23rd. We will be in touch very soon about our plans to move to a monthly schedule and fee system, which we think may work better for both our students and our business during this time. Stay tuned!

Message sent April 26

Here’s the story…of a lovely dojo! Thanks so much for continuing to be part of Enso. Sometimes we really do feel like the Brady Bunch when we’re Zooming with you all — in part because of the individual screens, but also because we feel like one big happy family!
This past week we saw our students write messages of thanks to people in our community, compete in a virtual kata tournament hosted by AAU Karate, and gather for fun and games together during our kids-only and adults-only social meet-ups!
This week we continue on our now-routine Online Dojo schedule. Check below for details on this week’s challenge (last chance to enter the drawing for a new Adidas kumite gi!), and stay tuned for announcements about our May meet-ups and events.
See you online!
All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise

Message sent April 19

For those of you not on social media, we also wanted to highlight this special message from our instructors. We all miss you, but we’re all so proud of your hard work and great spirit — keep it up!
We had a lot of fun seeing how people are sparring at home this week, through both our at-home challenge submissions as well as watching you train on screen. It just goes to show that even though it’s not the same as sparring at the dojo with all our mats and equipment, we can definitely still find ways to train hard and have fun doing it!
Below you’ll find all the details for this week’s announcements:
  • Monday @ 4:30 PM is our Kids-Only Meet-Up
  • Friday @ 4:30 PM is the deadline for AAU’s Virtual Tournament
  • Friday @ 7:30 PM is our ’80s-Themed Happy Hour (21+)
  • Throughout the week is our “Thank You Challenge”!
See you online!
All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise

Message sent April 12

We are two weeks into our All-Virtual Dojo experience, and we’re so proud of the great energy we’re seeing on screen! From kinder karate to our adult students, everyone is showing up and working hard. Keep it up!!

We also had a lot of fun at this week’s meet-ups and really enjoyed seeing your at-home fitness routines as part of our first at-home challenge (winner: Daniel!). We also learned from our survey that managing stress and building mental discipline are just as important as making progress in karate right now. Please see our Online Dojo for ways to continue participating!

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent April 5

We made it through Week 1 as an all-virtual dojo!!

We are so impressed (but not at all surprised) by the strong spirit of our students and families. Even though this isn’t what we’re used to, students are showing up and working hard, instructors are volunteering to make videos and provide personalized feedback, and parents are re-arranging living rooms and troubleshooting technology to make it all happen. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you all for your dedication to karate and to Enso.

Another big thank you goes out to everyone in our community who is working to keep people safe and healthy right now. We know we have students, as well as parents and partners of students, who are out there working as doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, as well as drivers, cooks, and other essential parts of our world. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

In Week 2 of our Online Dojo experience, we’re hosting four meet-ups for parts of our community — kids, adults, Enso Elite team members, and the 2020 black belt candidates. We’ll continue to send daily reminders of our schedule as we continue to adapt to this new way of training and communing together. It’s also included again below for your reference.

And, of course, all our Online Dojo information lives permanently at www.ensokarate.com/onlinedojo (check your email for the password) — bookmark it!

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise


Message sent March 29

Dear Enso Karate Community,

Thank you so much for all the kind and encouraging feedback you’ve sent our way over the last two weeks. As we’ve seen the extreme and heartbreaking situation unfold in our city and our world, we are grateful we are able to “work from home” and do our part to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. We are especially thinking about many of the people in our community who continue to provide essential services.

During this time, we have been strategizing the steps we need to take as a small business, working on turning our small living room into a home dojo, managing our other professional responsibilities as physical education teacher (Sensei Jay) and professor (Sensei Denise), and figuring out how to manage home life and school with our children. These times are stressful, but we have hope and faith that we will get through this.

Now that we are officially back from Enso’s “Spring Break,” we want to extend a special welcome to you as we step back into karate training together. As planned, we are launching new online offerings for our current karate students starting Monday, March 30. While we would much prefer to see you all in the dojo in real life, we are excited for new ways to train and socialize with you online.

How long will the Online Dojo last? Uncertainty is challenging. But with so many state and city closure dates changing all the time, we are operating under the premise “until further notice.” Like you, we’re following the news and will continue to follow official guidance from the City of Chicago and State of Illinois.

Transitioning to an all-online dojo experience will continue to take some trial-and-error, and we are so grateful for everyone working behind-the-scenes to make it happen. Thanks to all of our students and families for their patience as we figure it out.

Karate is the thing that binds us together, and karate is all about having a fighting spirit, compassion for others, and the strength and discipline to improve ourselves and the world around us. We are so thankful for all of you and our awesome Enso Karate community — not even a pandemic can break our spirit!

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise

P.S. As we roll out our new online experience, please do reach out with your feedback and suggestions! We would love to hear from you.

 


Message sent March 16, 3:00pm

Dear Enso Karate Community,

The coronavirus has quickly disrupted our daily lives, creating uncertainty and deep concern. The health and well-being of our communities is most important, which is why we have made the decision to suspend our regular classes at least until March 29 (as announced previously).

Our instructors have been working hard to find ways to maintain karate training and keep our community connected. Please read the email sent to all current students to learn about our planned offerings and what you can expect from Enso Karate this week.

As we face this crisis, we as a dojo have so many strengths to get us through. We have an amazing community of students and families, outstanding instructors, and lots of technology and creative ideas! We know that online training is not like being at the dojo, but we hope some new ways to participate will help keep your karate training going and provide some ways to interact with your fellow karateka.

During this very trying time, small businesses like Enso will struggle to stay afloat. We understand that you, too, might be under financial strain at this time. But we ask, if you can, please continue your tuition. The future of the Enso community depends on it.

We truly miss seeing our Enso family at the dojo. Please try our online offerings and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you. Take care and be safe.

All our best,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise

PS: Our first 11 videos have already been released on our new Online Dojo (password sent via email to current students)! And, for our adult students, we’re hosting a Virtual Happy Hour on March 17th at 7pm!

 


 

Message sent March 12, 2:30pm

Dear Enso Karate Community,

Information surrounding COVID-19 is changing very quickly. Since we sent our original message last night, we’ve seen some compelling evidence that it’s important for everyone to stay home — starting now.

And so it is with a deep sense of disappointment — but also with an empowering sense of certainty — that we cancel all training at both the Chicago and Oak Park dojos, beginning immediately. 

For now, we are canceling classes through the end of our Spring Break, which was previously scheduled through March 29. We’ll be in touch regarding whether the dojo will open on March 30 or remain closed longer.

We are already brainstorming creative ways to stay engaged with you and your child as we hunker down over the next few weeks. Please stay tuned as we take a moment to more fully consider options and opportunities available to us.

Stay safe!
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise Nacu

 


 

Message sent March 11, 10pm

Dear Enso Karate Community,

In the face of school closures, event cancellations, and other interruptions to our daily lives due to COVID-19, we would like to share how we are responding at Enso. Here we describe several specific actions our dojo will follow to play our role in reducing the chance of spreading the virus.

ACTIONS AT THE DOJO

  • Hand washing. We will ask all students and guests to wash their hands when they arrive and before they leave the dojo.
  • “No handshake” rule. We will refrain from handshakes, hugs, and high fives for now. Of course, bowing is absolutely ok!
  • Class activities. We will modify our training to significantly reduce the need to come into prolonged contact with each other. For example, rather than correcting techniques by touching each other, we will instruct students to provide verbal feedback.

Of course, we reiterate the CDC recommendations to wash your hands, avoid touching your eyes and mouth, and stay home if you’re feeling sick.

PLANS FOR HOLDING CLASS

During this uncertain time, it’s important to keep up your self-care routine — including exercising and spending time with friends. That’s one of the reasons why, at this time, we plan to hold all classes in the Chicago and Oak Park locations as scheduled. (Please be reminded that Enso has a Spring Break scheduled for March 23-29.)

We will of course monitor the situation as it develops and follow the advice of public health officials. If our plans change, we will update our community by email and post on our website.

Like a lot of you, we are concerned. But there’s a lot we can do — individually and as a community — to reduce the spread and support one another. That’s what this message is all about.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us (info@ensokarate.com).

Sincerely,
Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise Nacu

Online belt exams at Enso

Outdoor training events at Enso

In Solidarity with the Black Community

A Statement from Enso Directors Sensei Jay Nacu and Sensei Denise Nacu

Heartache. Despair. Shame. Rage. Sadness. These are the emotions we have been feeling throughout the week, as we read the news, watched the protests, listened to friends, and reflected on our own lives and our own leadership both at the dojo and in our careers as educators. We know we are not alone in these feelings. We see it in the faces of all those around us — at home, on the streets, through Zoom.

We want the Black community to know that we stand with you. We believe Black Lives Matter.

When it comes to systemic racism and injustice, we must all be advocates. We are all part of the problem, and we can all be part of the solution.

Eighteen years ago, we created Enso as a place that values diversity and welcomes everyone. We have always been proud to be a dojo that represents Chicago’s diversity, friendliness, strong work ethic, and healthy sense of competition.  We are so proud of the community that all of us have helped to create. But we also know we can do better, and we are calling ourselves to action to examine how we can fight racism and be more intentionally inclusive.

Beyond our dojo, too, we commit to engaging with our fellow karate-ka to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive karate community. One of the things we appreciate most about karate is that it has given us the opportunity to travel the nation and the world, where we have made many amazing friends. In the spirit of that friendship, we call our fellow karate-ka to action to also listen, learn, and change what needs to be changed.

Since the COVID-19 shutdown began in March, and even more so since George Floyd’s murder on May 25, the bonds we’ve created at Enso and beyond have been more important than ever. Thank you for being amazing and being part of our dojo family. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay in touch.

Sincerely,
Jay & Denise Nacu

Save the date for Kangeiko 2020!

What is Kangeiko?
Kangeiko is a Japanese term meaning “cold training” or “winter training.” The purpose of this tradition is to start the New Year with a high level of effort, renewed excitement and spirit, and a commitment to carry on for the rest of the year!!

What’s the plan for Enso’s Kangeiko 2020?
This special training event will include an intense combination of kata, kihon (basics), and conditioning exercises. Our goal is to complete a total of 2,020 techniques to welcome in the year 2020!

9:00-9:20 AM – OUTDOOR RUN
This optional 20-minute warm-up run will honor the spirit of Kangeiko’s ‘cold weather training.’ We’ll circle the block from Wells to Congress to Financial to Van Buren while wearing our gi!

9:30-11:00 AM – ALL LEVELS TRAINING
Students of all levels (ages 6+) are welcome to participate in this session, which will center on heian kata and beginner/novice basics.

11:00 AM-12:30 PM – ADVANCED TRAINING
Students with a purple belt rank or higher are welcome to participate in this session, which will center on advanced kata and advanced basics. We encourage our advanced students to attend both sessions to push the limits of their endurance and demonstrate their fighting spirit!

CKC 2019: Register, Volunteer, Prepare

The tournament isn’t until Oct. 27th, but you can start preparing for Enso’s biggest event of the year today by taking these three action steps:


REGISTER TO COMPETE
You can download the forms online or pick them up at the Enso front desk.

SIGN-UP TO VOLUNTEER
We’ll provide training for various tasks – we need lots of helping hands!

PREPARE FOR COMPETITION
Our special tournament-prep sessions are designed for students new to competition.


Event Information

TOURNAMENT DATE
Sunday, October 27, 2019

REGISTRATION DEADLINE
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

TOURNAMENT LOCATION
CSO Sports Multiplex
1301 E. 47th Street, Chicago, IL  60653

GENERAL SCHEDULE

  • 7:30 AM: Judges and Volunteers Meeting
  • 8:00 AM: Doors open for $5 general admission (free for seniors and kids aged 6 and below)
  • 8:30 AM: Open Flag Kata event starts
  • 9:00 AM: Other events begin according to schedule. Generally, the event will run in the following order:
    • Kihon (Basics) for the 4-12 year olds
    • Kata and Kumite for 4-12 year olds
    • Team Kata
    • Kata and Kumite for teens and adults
    • Team Kumite
  • 10:00 AM: Welcoming Remarks
  • 5:00 PM: We expect all events to conclude by approximately this time.

Specific event times will be sent out to competitors approximately a week before the tournament. Athletes should be dressed and ready to compete at least 60 minutes before their scheduled time.

SPECTATOR FEE
$5 per person
Seniors and Children under 6 are free
Athletes and spectators are welcome to stay and watch events throughout the day!

TOURNAMENT WEBSITE
https://chicagolandkaratedo.wixsite.com/2019challenge


Register to Compete

There are three steps to completing registration: (1) AAU Membership, (2) Event Forms, and (3) Event Payment.  The registration deadline is October 15, 2019.

AAU MEMBERSHIP
Purchase an AAU 2018 membership ($16 for youth; $29 for adults) through AAU’s website. Remember to note your membership number, which will be sent to you via email. **For beginner students who are ONLY competing in Kihon, Enso will purchase an AAU membership for them.**

FORMS
You may download the individual event and team event forms online, or you may pick up hardcopies at the front desk. We’ll have copies on hand at the Oak Park dojo as well. These may be submitted either in-person or by email to info@ensokarate.com.

PAYMENT
Calculate your total amount due for individual and any team events. You may pay online or in person with credit card, cash, or check made out to “Enso Karate.” The AAU membership should be purchased on your own.

CONFIRMATION
In the week before the tournament, you will receive confirmation of your registration and and have the opportunity to make any corrections.


Sign Up to Volunteer

Successful tournaments require many lending hands! We are looking for both volunteer referees (black belts ages 15+) as well as volunteers to help set-up, check-in participants, keep score, keep time, and many other tasks that will help this special event run smoothly.No experience is necessary, and we will provide training!

SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER

We love our volunteers, and we try to treat them right! We offer our referees and volunteers:

  • TRAINING! Before the day of the tournament, we host a special 1-hour training for all CKC Referees (Sept. 29) and a special 1-hour training for all CKC Volunteers (Oct. 6). During this time, we outline roles and provide specialized training to your assigned tasks, including the electronic scoreboards.
  • BREAKFAST & LUNCH! On the day of the tournament, we have a break room dedicated to our volunteers and officials. There, you’ll find continental breakfast as well as a full lunch (in past years, we’ve ordered trays of food from Chinatown).
  • SPECIFIED “SHIFTS.” We know not everyone can volunteer for the whole day. At our tournament, you can designate a 4-hour window of time when you’d like to volunteer. For referees, we ask that you commit to the whole day if at all possible — but we’d rather have you for a half-day than not at all! Please click-through to the sign-up forms to see the options.
  • VOLUNTEER T-SHIRT (tentative). We’re still working on finding a vendor that fits our budget, but we’re doing our best to offer our all our volunteers a free CKC t-shirt.
  • FREE ADMISSION. In case it doesn’t go without saying, we don’t expect volunteers to pay tournament admission ($5). If you’re arriving at 8 AM to watch your child compete, but not volunteering until 1 PM — no worries! We’ll have your name on a list at the door, so we know not to charge you.

 


Prepare for Competition

Students should always train regularly (2x/week) if they can! In the weeks leading up to the tournament, we’ll try to practice some tournament situations during regular classes. But if you’re new to competition, we also recommend you attend one of our special tournament-prep sessions, where we’ll take a deeper dive into tournament rules, procedures, and etiquette.

CKC TOURNAMENT PREP SESSION 1
Saturday, September 21st
2-3pm
Register

CKC TOURNAMENT PREP SESSION 2
Sunday, September 29th
4-5pm
Register


Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE “2020 AAU NUMBER”? / DO I NEED TO REGISTER FOR AAU MEMBERSHIP IF I’M ONLY COMPETING IN THIS TOURNAMENT?
To compete in this tournament, a 2020 membership to the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is required — except for beginner students who are ONLY competing in Kihon, in which case Enso will purchase an AAU membership for them.

The fee for youth (17 and under) is $16. The fee for adults (18 and up) is $29. You can learn more about membership benefits and purchase a membership online at https://play.aausports.org.

The AAU membership can be used to compete in any other AAU event between September 2010 and August 2020.

WHAT ARE THE DIVISIONS? / WHY ARE THERE ONLY FOUR BELT COLORS LISTED?
This tournament uses AAU’s four ranking divisions, which wear only four belt colors (white, green, brown or black). AAU places athletes into these divisions based on the number of years they have trained, rather than by the rank they have earned. To make it easier for our students who haven’t competed previously, here is how the divisions break down:

  • Beginners are competitors who have been training for less than 1 year, and they all wear white belts during the tournament regardless of their earned rank. Generally, these students may have earned a rank of 10th-7th kyu (white, yellow, orange and green belts).
  • Novices are competitors who have been training for 1-2 years, and they all wear green belts during the tournament regardless of their earned rank. Generally, these students may have earned a rank of 6th-4th kyu (blue and purple belts).
  • Intermediates are competitors who have been training for 2-4 years, and they all wear brown belts during the tournament regardless of their earned rank. Generally, these students may have earned a rank of 3rd-1st kyu (brown belts).
  • Advanced competitors have been training for 4+ years, and they all wear black belts during the tournament. All dan ranks (black belts) must compete at the advanced level. Some of our more experienced brown belts who have been training for more than 4 years must also compete at the advanced level.

If you have any questions about which division you should register for, please ask Sensei Jay. Please make arrangements to buy or borrow a belt if you don’t have the right color in the right size for competition.

WHAT ARE THE “INDIVIDUAL EVENTS” ALL ABOUT, AND WHO SHOULD DO THEM?
Each athlete should complete one Individual Registration Form. Here is some information about events for which athletes may register:

  • Kihon (Fee: $35), also known as “basics,” is only for Beginners age 12 and under. It involves performing basic techniques (e.g., stepping forward jodan punch, stepping back rising block). This is a great event to showcase your karate basics, power, and spirit! If your athlete cannot yet perform a kata on their own, this is the suggested event for them. **For beginner students who are ONLY competing in Kihon, Enso will purchase an AAU membership for them.**
  • Individual Kata (Fee: $45). Most students compete in this event. It is an opportunity to display the student’s kata(s) that they work hard on in the dojo. This is a great event for youth and adults, at all levels!
  • Open Flag Kata (Fee: $45). This event is only open to black belts ages 15 and up. Men and women each have one division of combined ages. It’s tough competition!
  • Individual Kumite (Fee: $45). Recommended for students who have had experience in free sparring in the dojo. If you are unsure about participating, please speak to their instructor(s) before signing up. Required gear for kumite includes: mouthguard, fist guards, helmet (ages 17 and under; can be purchased or we will have some to borrow at the tournament), cup (for males).

WHAT ARE THE “TEAM EVENTS” ALL ABOUT, AND WHO SHOULD DO THEM?
If the athlete is competing in team kata or team kumite, they should also complete a Team Registration Form. Here is some information about team events for which athletes may register:

  • Team Kata (Fee: $75 per team / $25 per athlete). Teams must consist of exactly three competitors. Teams may consist of all male, all female, or mixed genders. Athletes should find teams on their own. If you would like help finding a team, please let us know. 
  • Family Team Kata (Fee: $75 per team). This is a very popular event among Enso families! Teams may consist of 2-5 family members, though the event fee will be the same regardless of the number of team members.
  • Team Kumite (Fee: $75 per team / $25 per athlete). This event is open only to Intermediate and Advanced levels (brown and black belt competitors). Requires permission from Sensei Jay to register.

ON THE DAY OF THE TOURNAMENT, WHAT TIME SHOULD I ARRIVE?
One week prior to the tournament date, you will receive a schedule of event times. Athletes should be dressed and ready to compete at least 60 minutes prior to their scheduled event times to avoid rushing and allow time to warm-up. CKC tournaments have always run on time.

Enso Athletes Earn National & International Honors

This summer was an incredibly busy season for the Enso Elite Tournament Team, which had more than 40 athletes attending the AAU National Championships in July, as well as more than a dozen representatives on the AAU National Team, which traveled to Hungary and Slovakia in June. Here is a brief summary of our travels and results!

 

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL SPORT FEDERATION (ISF) HIGH SCHOOL COMBAT GAMES – BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

AAU US National Karate Team brought just nine athletes to this competition, and three were from Enso Karate: Christine Conanan, Maile Nacu, and Zachary Gin. Christine and Zachary both earned bronze medals in kumite. They qualified for the games based on their impressive performances at the ISF USA Team Trials in March 2019. The International School Sport Federation (ISF) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and promotes the values and interests of education through sport.

 

WORLD UNION OF KARATE-DO FEDERATIONS (WUKF) WORLD KARATE CHAMPIONSHIPS – BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA

Twelve Enso students competed at this year’s WUKF world championships as members of the AAU US National Karate Team. They qualified by either earning an individual medal at the 2018 AAU National Championships or through a rigorous team trial event held in Ft. Lauderdale earlier in 2019. Enso’s athletes earned 10 medals at this highly competitive international event, including:

  • Christine Conanan — bronze kumite
  • Sensei Denise — gold kata
  • Maile Nacu — silver team kumite
  • Mateo Nacu — gold kata, bronze kumite, silver team kumite
  • Maxine Ivey — silver team kumite
  • Victoria Gin — bronze team kumite
  • Zachary Gin — gold kumite, silver team kumite

Sensei Jay, Sensei Katie, Kepler Boonstra, Pam Wolf, and Ryan Daly also competed with the U.S. Team in Slovakia.

 

AAU NATIONAL KARATE CHAMPIONSHIPS – FT. LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA

Enso was recognized as the largest team participating at AAU’s 2019 National Championships! Our athletes competed in many divisions, from beginner to advanced and from age 6 to “senior.” In total, we earned 78 medals — 24 of them gold!

We set many records this year, but more importantly our athletes continued to learn many lessons about karate and about themselves. We are always humbled by the love and support shared between our athletes, coaches, senseis, parents, and siblings as we undertake this intense experience. Beyond that, the friendships shared with dojos across the country adds a dimension of camaraderie and sportsmanship that makes the entire experience just so special.

Thank you to all who were part of our journey this season.

2019 Black Belt Exams scheduled for July 20th

Our annual Black Belt Exam is a very special day for our community. It’s a day when students are asked to demonstrate their technique, endurance, and mental fortitude in front of a panel of sensei — as well as their karate peers and their friends and family.

Beyond the physical exam, of course, is the development of character and values that we hold as karate-ka — which students will be asked to reflect on through essays and conversations with their sensei. Each black belt candidate has faced obstacles, gained perspectives, and developed values — all of which will help them through this important step in their journey.

Everyone at our dojo can be part of this process! You’re all welcome and encouraged to attend these open events to support your dojo-mates:

PRACTICE EXAM
Friday, March 15, 7 PM

QUALIFICATION EXAM
Friday, May 31, 7 PM

BLACK BELT EXAM DAY
Saturday, July 20
Morning: Special Seminars
Afternoon: The Exam
Evening: Celebration Dinner

More details will be announced closer to July 20. In the meantime, if you’re curious about what our exam requirements are, you can review the Enso Handbook at any time!

Special News! 17 Enso athletes qualify for 2019 international competitions

Seventeen Enso athletes have qualified for highly selective international competitions in 2019. We are so proud to have our students representing themselves, our dojo, and the United States of America as they travel around the world this spring.

 

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL SPORT FEDERATION (ISF) HIGH SCHOOL COMBAT GAMES
Budapest, Hungary   |   June 16-21, 2019

Team USA is bringing just nine athletes to this competition – and three are from Enso Karate! Very big congratulations to Christine Conanan, Maile Nacu, and Zachary Gin, who will compete in both kata and kumite at the event. They qualified for the games based on their impressive performances at the ISF USA Team Trials in March 2019. The International School Sport Federation (ISF) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and promotes the values and interests of education through sport.

 

WORLD UNION OF KARATE-DO FEDERATIONS (WUKF) WORLD KARATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Bratislava, Slovakia   |   June 20-23, 2019

Seventeen Enso students qualified for the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)’s U.S. Team, which will be competing at this year’s WUKF world championships. They qualified by either earning an individual medal at the 2018 AAU National Championships or through a rigorous team trial event held in Ft. Lauderdale earlier in 2019. Those athletes are:

  • Davian Barber
  • Kepler Boonstra
  • AJ Cesar
  • Katie Coleman
  • Angel Conanan
  • Christine Conanan
  • Ryan Daly
  • Victoria Gin
  • Zachary Gin
  • Maxine Ivey
  • Sensei Denise Nacu
  • Sensei Jay Nacu
  • Maile Nacu
  • Mateo Nacu
  • Toby Nierras
  • Milo Platz-Walker
  • Brianna Santucci

The entire Enso community is behind these amazing athletes. All our students are pushing a little harder in class to help them prepare. All our instructors and coaches are helping them think about strategy and prepare mentally. Many of our dedicated parents are making sure the kids have everything they need before they travel. And of course AAU is helping them prepare and strategize. It’s truly an all-in effort. The cheers in Chicago will reach our athletes in Budapest and Bratislava!

 

Enso athlete Zachary Gin wins two medals representing AAU U.S. Team in Budapest

Great news from Budapest! Enso’s very own Zachary Gin won a silver medal in kumite and a bronze medal in kata at the the Hayashi Shito-Ryu Open International Karate Championships. The event was held on Dec. 9th in Budapest, Hungary, where Zachary had traveled as part of the AAU National Karate Team.

Zachary, 15, has been training with Enso since he was 7 years old, and he earned the rank of shodan (1st degree black belt) in 2016. He has been competing with the Enso Elite Tournament Team since it formed, and he has been a member of the National Team for the last two years.

Congratulations, Zachary, on your impressive performance on and off the tatami!