Enso Elite Karate Team makes strong showing at 2017 AAU Karate Nationals

The Enso Elite Karate Team participated in the  2017 AAU Karate National Championships which was held in Raleigh, NC June 29 – July 1, 2017.

Our team took home 47 medals (16 gold, 20 silver, 11 bronze), and many of our athletes landed in 4th or 5th place in huge, tough divisions. We are so proud of how hard our athletes worked all year to prepare themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally for this intense week. Be sure to check out some of the live stream videos we posted on our Enso Karate Facebook page.



Sensei Jay (35-44yo) — 1st place senior kata

Sensei Denise (35-44yo) — 3rd place senior kata, 1st place team kata

AJ Cesar (15yo) — 1st place kata, 2nd place kumite

Angel C. (13yo) — 3rd place kata, 3rd place kumite, 1st place team kata, 2nd place team kumite

Brianna S. (9yo) — 2nd place kata, 2nd place kumite

Christine C. (14yo) — 3rd place kata, 1st place kumite, 1st place team kata, 2nd place team kumite

Davian B. (11yo) — 2nd place kumite, 2nd place team kata, 2nd place team kumite

Dominique C. (16yo) — 1st place kata, 1st place kumite

Elaine C. (18-34yo) — 1st place team kata

Gabriel M. (9yo) — 2nd place team kumite

Gabriel T. (12yo) — 1st place kata, 1st place kumite

Katie C. (18-34yo) — 1st place team kata

Kepler B. (15yo) — National team athlete

Maile N. (12yo) — 3rd place kata, 1st place kumite, 1st place team kata, 2nd place team kumite

Mateo N. (10yo) — 3rd place kata, 2nd place kumite, 2nd place team kumite (X2)

Maxine Ivey (13yo) — 2nd place team kumite

Milo P. (10yo) — 3rd place kumite, 2nd place team kumite, 2nd place team kata

Pamela W. (55+ yo) — 2nd place senior kata

Richard S. (11yo) — National team athlete

Ryan D. (12yo) — 3rd place kumite, 2nd place team kata, 2nd place team kumite

Suna H. (8yo) — 3rd place kumite

Toby N. (17yo) — 3rd place kumite

Victoria G. (16yo) — 3rd place team kumite

Zachary G. (13yo) — 1st place kata, 1st place kumite, 2nd place ippon kumite

2017 Chicagoland Karate-do Challenge: Tournament & Seminars Announced

The Chicagoland Karate-Do Challenge is an invitational karate tournament which will take place on Sunday, March 26, 2017.

Athletes can compete in kihon (beginners only), kata, kumite, team kata, family team kata, and team kumite. With your support, we will be able to host a successful event with a high level of competition offering athletes the chance to test their skills, forge new friendships, and make new connections.

Registration information can be found here. We hope to see you in March!

Linda Donner
Jay Nacu
Denise Nacu
Tournament Hosts and Organizers

This tournament is hosted and organized by Nisei Dojo and Enso Karate, and licensed by AAU USA. 

Enso Elite Karate Team Wraps Up Its 2014-15 Season

For any sport, a national championship is the time and place to test one’s abilities and aim for success among top athletes from across the country. Our karate team has attended tournaments throughout the season, both local and regional, and have trained multiple hours to prepare mentally and physically for the high level of competition at Nationals.
This year, we sent a total of 33 athletes to Raleigh, North Carolina for the 2015 AAU Karate National Championship. As expected, our athletes faced large divisions with other athletes who share the same drive and passion for the art. From June 30th to July 4th, our team of athletes, coaches, and officials worked hard and represented the dojo well. All in all, we took home 39 medals (10 gold, 14 silver, and 15 bronze)! Congratulations to all participants of the AAU Karate National Championships!

But our season didn’t end there! The 2015 AAU Karate Junior Olympics was held in Chesapeake, Virginia. We sent a smaller team of 9 athletes to participate in this event and took home 16 medals (5 gold, 3 silver, and 8 bronze). The Junior Olympics has been a great place for our students to face tough competition at a smaller scale than Nationals.

Our weekend concluded with our students who took part in the team trials for the AAU Karate Junior and Senior Team. A great showing from all! Letters with results will be sent out in the next few weeks.

As the season comes to a close, we often like to reflect not on how many medals we’ve earned throughout the year, but other awards and lessons that have a more lasting effect: discipline, hard work, resilience, appreciation, confidence, friendship, and respect. The greatest outcome to see from our team is the continuous passion for karate and the improvement of character in and outside of the dojo.

We’d like to thank our sensei who have been encouraging and motivating role models and coaches throughout the year. And of course, a big, big thank you to the parents of our athletes who have always looked out for all of us! None of this would be possible without all of you!

Congratulations on a successful season for our 2014-2015 Enso Elite Karate Team! For more information about our tournament team, see here. Some pictures and videos can also be seen on Instagram and Facebook. An informational meeting for parents interested in the 2015-2016 team will be scheduled in early fall.
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Enso Karate Students and Instructors Represent Team USA

In the fall of 2014, several Enso students and instructors qualified for and competed with the AAU US Team in international competition. We are so proud of our students who represented the US among elite athletes around the world.

PolandTeamIn October, three Enso students traveled to Szczcin, Poland, for the 5th Annual WUKF World Karate Championships. The four-day tournament included thousands of athletes aged 6-21 from more than 35 countries. The AAU US Team took home 32 medals, including 10 gold. Enso’s Keplar Boonstra, AJ Cesar, and Sloane Stengal all earned valuable experience and made strong friendships during this international competition. Three additional Enso students also qualified for the US Team: Toby Nierras, Charlie Reichert Powell and Josue Reyes.





PolandTeam2In November, five Enso athletes traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii, for the 2013 Honolulu International Karate-Do Championships. All together they took home 7 medals (4 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze). Representing Enso were: Sensei Omaun Covington (2nd place, kumite, Elite Black Belt division for men), Sensei Denise Nacu (1st place, kata, Advanced Black Belt division for senior women), Sensei Jay Nacu (2nd place, kata, Advanced Black Belt division for senior men), Maile Nacu (3rd place, kata, Advanced division

division for 7-8-year-old boys). Additionally, Sensei Jay, Sensei Denise and Mateo took home the gold in the “family kata” event.

We hope they will never forget these experiences, and that they will encourage other Enso athletes to compete nationally and internationally. Thank you to AAU Karate for providing guidance, training and encouragement for all our athletes!

Enso Elite Brings Home 55 Medals from AAU Regional Championships!

GroupOn April 26th – 27th, our tournament team, Enso Elite, competed in the 2014 AAU Regionals in Grayslake, IL. With 45 members on our team, we took home 55 medals in total: 20 gold, 22 silver, and 13 bronze!

Competing among top athletes from all over the region, our students left this experience feeling inspired and filled with excitement as Nationals quickly approaches! We are thankful for the amount of support we receive and effort put forth from our parents and coaches as without them, none of this is possible. We are also proud of the commitment and hard work from our athletes. We understand that preparing and competing for tournaments is never easy, but it is our hope that our athletes continue to become motivated and humbled by the experiences they have.

Way to go, team! With only 2 months left, the countdown to Nationals begins!

Enso Elite Brings Home 66 Medals from AAU District Championships!

Enso Elite athletesOn Sunday, February 9th, 2014, we sent 43 of our athletes to compete at a local state tournament, AAU District Championships, held in Grayslake, IL. With the help of our hardworking coaches and supportive families, we brought home 66 medals in all: 25 gold, 23 silver, and 18 bronze!

At AAU tournaments, our students are fortunate to compete among elite athletes and are challenged to perform at their best. It is our hope that these tournaments not only serve as wonderful experiences in their karate journeys, but also as learning lessons that they can apply in their everyday life.

Congratulations to all athletes! We are grateful to kick off the tournament season on the right foot and we look forward to the rest of the season to come. The road to nationals is well underway!

Over 100 Students Compete in Enso Dojo Tournament 2014

On Saturday, January 25, 2014, Enso held it’s annual dojo tournament with over 100 competitors and were joined by guests from Fonseca Martial Arts, Midwest Shotokan Karate, and Hu Shin Kai. With the help and support of our volunteers and judges, the tournament ran smoothly from 9 o’clock in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon. At this special event, it is our goal and hope that our students are able to gain tournament experience, develop good sportsmanship, and challenge their abilities. At the end of the day, many competitors went home with happy faces and a new story to add to their karate journey!

More pictures can be viewed on our Facebook page.

Dojo Tournament

Enso Karate Dojo Tournament 2014 is Coming!

We are kicking off 2014 with a small, friendly karate tournament that will be held in our Chicago dojo on Saturday, January 25, 2014! We hope that you can join us for a great event that aims to help build healthy competition, good sportsmanship, and tournament experience. This tournament is open to all of our students, ages 4 and above.

In addition to the Saturday tournament, we will also be holding Black Belt Exams on Friday, January 24th, and Training Seminars on Sunday, January 26th.  Details to be announced.

Enso Dojo Tournament 2014 Info

Register online list of domains . three domains of learning .

Team Enso at the 2013 AAU Karate Jr. Olympics in Detroit, Michigan

d552c8a8fe5111e28a3222000a9f17b2_7We had a weekend that we will never forget at the AAU Karate Jr. Olympics and Team Trials in Detroit, Michigan! 12 Enso athletes qualified and competed in the Jr. Olympics and brought home 15 medals (3 bronze, 7 silver, 5 gold).

Some students also participated in the AAU Karate National Team Trials.

We are so proud of all of you. Congratulations!