When John Fonseca was a young boy growing up in Northbrook, his father was looking for something to build up his son’s confidence. To help, he enrolled John in local karate classes to help boost his self-esteem and teach him how to be strong physically and mentally. Little did John’s dad know that his shy, quiet son would grow up and become a world karate champion.

Today, John is recognized both nationally and internationally and has earned the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Athlete of the Year award for three years in a row, a James E. Sullivan Award Finalist and inductions into both the USAKF’s and Black Belt Magazine’s Halls of Fame.

After graduating from both Glenbrook North High School and Loyola University, John followed his dream and opened up his first Martial Arts school. This January, Fonseca Martial Arts will be opening up their sixth dojo in downtown Highland Park, Illinois, at 482 Cental Ave. Other locations include Glenview, Roscoe Village, Park Ridge, Wilmette, and Evanston.

Why should you or your child try martial arts? Some people love the history and philosophy of the art, while others enjoy the physical and mental strength that it builds. Some prefer the self-defense aspects and combative side of this martial art, while others simply want to share a fun activity with their friends and family. There is something for everybody in karate training, regardless of age. Fonseca Martial Arts has students who are 3 years old and students who are 73. Along with Karate, Kobud, Jiu Jitsu and Self-Defense classes, Fonseca Martial Arts also runs specialized programs like KIAI (Karate For All Individuals) for students with special needs, and Kick Out PD for students with Parkinson’s Disease.

Class registration has begun for the winter session beginning Jan. 2, 2023. Visit fonsecamartialarts.com or call 847-866-0200 for more information, to try your first free class and to register!