Enso Karate Co-Directors: Sensei Jay Nacu and Sensei Denise Nacu

Sensei Jay Nacu (Godan, 5th degree black belt) and Sensei Denise Nacu (Yondan, 4th degree black belt) co-founded Enso Karate in 2002. Together, they serve as the head instructors over all karate programs, head coaches of the Enso Elite Competition Team, and the owners and operators of this small community business.

Sensei Jay has been a student of martial arts since the age of 10 and was introduced to Shotokan Karate in 1994. He is a tremendously dedicated instructor, paying close attention to the individual needs of every student, while also encouraging a supportive, energetic, and disciplined training environment for the whole group. By day, he teaches Physical Education at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Read more about Sensei Jay

Sensei Denise began studying Shotokan karate in 1996. From the beginning, the mental discipline and the strict attention to form got her hooked on the art as a “way of life.” She values karate for the many ways it can improve and enhance one’s mental and physical well-being. By day, Sensei Denise is an Associate Professor and Director of the School of Design at DePaul University. Read more about Sensei Denise

Since founding Enso Karate in 2002, Sensei Jay and Sensei Denise have established themselves as leading practitioners and instructors of traditional karate, as well as award-winning athletes and coaches on the national and international stage. Under their leadership, the dojo has flourished, becoming home to more than 200 students and families who are dedicated to improving themselves and learning the art of Shotokan Karate.

Enso’s Instructors

Sensei Saul Notario

Sensei Saul Notario

Senior Karate Instructor
Enso Elite Karate Team Coach

Sensei Saul Notario (Godan, 5th degree black belt) has been a martial arts practitioner for almost 30 years, having trained in different martial arts since the age of 14. As a senior instructor at Enso, he currently teaches classes at the Chicago dojo and coaches the Enso Elite Karate Team. Read more about Sensei Saul.

Sensei Katie Coleman

Sensei Katie Coleman

Karate Instructor
Enso Elite Team Coach

Katie Coleman (Sandan, 3rd degree black belt) began studying Shotokan Karate in 2009. She trains at both the Chicago and Oak Park locations, teaches family classes in Oak Park, and coaches the Enso Elite Tournament Team. She also helps Sensei Denise manage all of Enso’s communications.

Sensei Alex Fernandez

Sensei Alex Fernandez

Karate Instructor

Alex Fernandez (Sandan, 3rd degree black belt) began studying Shotokan Karate as a small child. He has been teaching at Enso for many years and leads much of the work with our after-school programs, alongside his mom, Sensei Vikky.

Sensei Vikky Fernandez

Sensei Vikky Fernandez

Karate Instructor

Vikky Fernandez (Sandan, 3rd degree black belt) started training in Shotokan Karate in 1997. She has been teaching at Enso for many years at the Chicago dojo and in after-school programs, alongside her son, Sensei Alex.

Sensei Sam Frame

Sensei Sam Frame

Karate Instructor

Sam Frame (Sandan, 3rd degree black belt) has been training, teaching, and assisting at the Chicago dojo for many years. He also frequently serves as a referee with AAU Karate, traveling with the Enso Elite Karate Team.

Sensei Rahmil Magsino

Sensei Rahmil Magsino

Karate Instructor

Rahmil Magsino (Sandan, 3rd degree black belt) has been training, teaching, and assisting at the Chicago and Oak Park dojos for many years. He also competes with the Enso Elite Tournament Team and often serves as a referee for AAU Karate. He trains with his wife, Rubina, and their two children, Nathan and Arianna.

Sensei Marco Martina

Sensei Marco Martina

Karate Instructor

Marco Martina (Sandan, 3rd degree black belt) trains, teaches, and assists at the Chicago dojo.

Sensei Maile Nacu

Sensei Maile Nacu

Assistant Karate Instructor

Maile Nacu (Sandan, 3rd degree black belt) trains, teaches, and assists at the Chicago dojo.

Sensei Kurt Woodall

Sensei Kurt Woodall

Karate Instructor

Kurt Woodall (Sandan, 3rd degree black belt) has been training, teaching, and assisting at the Chicago dojo for many years.

Sensei Anthoney Alonzo

Assistant Karate Instructor

Anthoney Alonzo (Nidan, 2nd degree black belt) has been training, teaching, and assisting at the Chicago dojo for many years.

Sensei AJ Cesar

Sensei AJ Cesar

Karate Instructor
Enso Elite Team Coach

AJ Cesar (Nidan, 2nd degree black belt) began studying Shotokan Karate in 2010. In addition to training and teaching youth classes and private lessons at both Chicago and Oak Park locations, he coaches the Enso Elite Tournament Team.

Sensei Elaine Cesar

Sensei Elaine Cesar

Enso Elite Team Coach

Elaine Cesar (Nidan, 2nd degree black belt) began studying Shotokan Karate in 2010. She trains and provides private lessons at both the Chicago and Oak Park locations, and she coaches the Enso Elite Tournament Team.

Sensei Maxine Ivey

Sensei Maxine Ivey

Assistant Karate Instructor
Enso Elite Team Coach

Maxine Ivey (Nidan, 2nd degree black belt) trains and assists at both the Chicago and Oak Park locations, and she coaches the Enso Elite Tournament Team.

Sensei Toby Nierras

Sensei Toby Nierras

Enso Elite Team Coach

Toby Nierras (Nidan, 2nd degree black belt) began studying Shotokan Karate in 2010. He trains and teaches private lessons at both the Chicago and Oak Park locations, and he coaches the Enso Elite Tournament Team.

Sensei Christa Souris

Sensei Christa Souris

Assistant Karate Instructor

Christa Souris (Shodan, 1st degree black belt) earned her black belt in December 2020 and has been assisting with online, in-person, and after-school classes ever since.