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.

Jay & Denise Nacu