American Dojo was founded by Dean Konley in 1994, out of his desire to share the life- changing power of martial arts with families and individuals in the Waukesha county area.
As a troubled youth of 14, Dean sought out martial arts as a means of gaining the type of success & accomplishment he had failed to achieve in so many other areas of life. As a child, he struggled with dyslexia. He was ridiculed by his peers for his inability to read, and misunderstood by his teachers. A turning point came for him when he enrolled in a local Taekwondo academy. Dean’s life began to change. Not only had he found a place to BELONG, he had also found something he could truly excel at. He had found mentors who were imparting to him the discipline, self-confidence, and respect for himself & others that he so desperately needed. These mentors believed in him, and he was beginning to BELIEVE in himself.
Dean ACHIEVED his first Black Belt in 1986, and began teaching classes at his instructor’s school. Not long after, he graduated from high school and continued his Taekwondo training into early adulthood. It was at this time that he began exploring other styles of martial arts as well, including Hapkido and Jiujutsu. His passion for sharing martial arts with others became so strong that in1994 he founded American Dojo in Waukesha with virtually no capital, but loads of sweat equity. His martial arts experience had taught him well the value of resolve, perseverance, and hard work.
In 1996 Dean married Virginia who soon earned her Black Belt, and since then, the couple has worked together to develop the successful academy, highly qualified staff, and dedicated student body that they enjoy today. They have established the vision for American Dojo of “BELONG, BELIEVE, ACHIEVE”. This vision is central to all that the Konleys and their team does. It is driven by Master Konley’s personal experience, and the experiences of countless others whose lives have been enhanced and empowered in the pursuit of Black Belt excellence.