Meet American Dojo's Staff & Martial Arts class instructors in Waukesha & Hartland:
Our Waukesha martial arts staff is made up of highly trained instructors who provide a safe, fun, goal-oriented, and personal development driven environment. We keep our instructor to student ratio considerably low, providing students with the most personal attention possible. Key instructor qualities you'll find at American Dojo are: enthusiasm, discipline, a caring attitude, and dedication to the students. Master Konley and all the American Dojo karate instructors hold in high regard the opportunity to build lasting relationships with our students and their families.
Head Martial Arts Staff:
Chief Master Dean Konley- Owner/ Founder
Master Dean Konley was born in Milwaukee and raised in Waukesha. A very active young boy with a bright personality, he attended the Waukesha public schools, where he struggled with a learning disability now recognized as dyslexia. Despite having an intact and loving family, he soon became discouraged and troubled by the teasing of his schoolmates, and teachers who didn't understand his dyslexia.
By the time he reached early adolescence, Dean had resorted to disrespectful and destructive behavior in order to gain the attention and acceptance of his peers. At the age of 14, driven by the desire for true achievement & "cool karate-kid moves", Dean joined Cho's Tae Kwon Do academy in Waukesha. It was there that he found discipline and truly positive mentors. For the first time in his life, he felt that someone believed in him, and that he could accomplish his goals.
While in high school, Dean went on to compete in tournaments at the state and national level in Tae Kwon Do, and held the state championship title in sparring (heavyweight division) for 6 straight years. In 1985, he earned the bronze medal in sparring at the USTU National Tae Kwon Do Championships. While this was a tremendous accomplishment, his martial arts training benefited him outside the Dojo as well. He learned to cope with his dyslexia, and was able to excel academically in high school, graduating in 1989.
Dean earned his 1st dan black belt under Master Cho in 1986. He has continued his martial arts training in earnest over the past 20 years, studying & earning rank under world - renowned martial arts masters. In 1999 he was introduced to Grandmaster In Sun Seo, whose knowledge and skill in Korean martial arts he has found to be virtually unsurpassed. Master Konley has earned his 4th, 5th and 6th dan black belts under the instruction of Grandmaster In Sun Seo, who resides in Seoul, Korea.
Master Konley founded American Dojo in 1994, out of a desire to share his passion and the life changing power of martial arts with individuals and families in the a number of Wisconsin communities including Sussex, Oconomowoc, Genesee Depot, Brookfield, Waterville, Pewaukee, and Delafield. Starting a business from scratch with almost no capital was not an easy undertaking, yet with his hard work, determination, and big heart he was able develop a dedicated student base. In 1996 he married Virginia, and together they worked part- time at the Dojo (while holding down other full time jobs) to build a profitable academy. In 1998, Master Konley was able to quit his full time 3rd shift job (at a local dairy plant) in order to teach classes and manage the Dojo full time. That same year the Konley's first child, Zachary, was born.
Master Konley is now the proud father of 3 sons and a daughter: Zachary ('98), Gabrielle ('01), Titus ('06), and Levi ('09). Aside from martial arts, he enjoys swimming, water sports, watching movies, hunting, listening to music, acting silly, serving in his church, playing with his kids, and taking his wife on dates.
Senior Operations Manager/ Head Instructor:
Mr. Brian Mortensen
Waukesha Martial Arts Program Director:
Mrs. Sue Karpowitz
Hartland Martial Arts Program Director:
Mr. Mitchell Lanza
Certified Black Belt Instructor/ gymnastics coach:
Mr. Rich Gamez
Certified Black Belt Instructors:
Master Instructor Vicki Sylvester
Vicki is a mom of 3 and has been a part of American Dojo for over 10 years. She has tremendous energy & passion for helping students in her classes to learn and grow. Vicki says it herself, "I love to help others learn how to be safe. I enjoy being with kids, seeing them grow more confident and focused as they become great martial artists." Her martial arts aspirations don't stop with teaching; Vicki continues to train and has recently attained her Masters rank. She has competed internationally (in Seoul, Korea) in Women's self-defense and sparring where she earned Gold and Bronze medals respectively. Needless to say, she is highly qualified, but more importantly she cares deeply about her students and their success.
Mr. Dan Klienke
To say that Mr. Klienke loves working with kids would be an understatement. This father of 5 boys always brings excitement, fun, creativity, a big smile, big hair, and an even bigger heart to each class. Mr. Klienke has earned the rank of 2nd dan Black Belt under Master Konley and has been involved with American Dojo since 2001, He especially enjoys practicing martial arts with his sons, a number of whom have earned their Black Belts as well.
Mr. Bryce Boho
Mr. Chris Withrow
Mr. Scott Komar
Mr. James Evansen
Mr. Matthew Bauman
Mr. Nathan Lovas
Mrs. Stephanie Dussault
Mr. Ben Kuhn
Master Pat Riley
Mrs. Tracy Santiago