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From Our Editors
Driven by a desire to share the life-changing potential of martial arts, Dean Konley founded American Dojo in 1994. But his journey to that point wasn’t easy. As a child, Konley struggled with dyslexia, a condition that followed him into adolescence. Weighed down by bullying and constant frustration, he resorted to destructive behavior. Then, Konley found martial arts. Practicing martial arts gave Konley an outlet, and it quickly became a source of the success, discipline, and self-confidence he’d lacked in other areas of life. Konley earned his first black belt in 1986 and hasn’t quit progressing since.
Today, alongside his wife, Virginia, and a staff of highly trained instructors, Konley heads two American Dojo locations. Both of Konley’s facilities are family-oriented, and both offer classes for students as young as 4. Beyond empowering its members through goal-oriented lessons and programs, American Dojo opens its doors for birthday parties, too, allowing youngsters to burn off energy in a more positive manner than teaching the dog how to count cards at the casino.