Sensei Brian Deenihan, Sandan


Sensei Brian Deenihan began his martial arts training in 1983 studing Kung Fu under Sifu Matt Lamb.  After a few months, he began studying Tai Kwon Do in Palos Hills for a few more months.   During these early years, Sensei Deenihan did not earn rank and was searching for a different style of training

In 1984, Sensei Deenihan began training under Steve Kijewski (5th Degree) studying Kenpo-Goju Karate.  The Goju style of karate means hard/soft with some Judo and Jujitsu also added into the training. Sensei Deenihan was impressed with the humility of Mr. Kijewski, and the realism and effectiveness of the style. Sensei Deenihan was double-promoted twice during his early kyu rank promotions.  He held the rank of brown belt for 3 years and taught class often for kids and adults.  Sensei Deenihan learned years later that Mr. Kijewski held him back in rank because he saw Sensei Deenihan was lacking the ability to use what he learned if necessary, to really hurt someone.

In 1989, Sensei Deenihan received his Black Belt.   Soon after Sensei Deenihan received his Black Belt, Mr. Kijewski stopped accepting new students into the school because of outside work responsibilities.  Sensei Deenihan continued to teach classes at his Dojo for another year.

Near the end of 1989,  Sensei Deenihan began training at Mr. Frank Novak’s Karate school.  Mr. Novak was a 8th degree Black Belt in Sho Rei Goju Kenpo. Mr. Novak’s Dojo was located at 35th and Halsted in Chicago. Sensei Deenihan took  private lessons from Mr. Novak in addition to his regular classes. After several months Mr. Novak promoted Sensei Deenihan to 2nd degree Black Belt through the MAKA organization which Mr. Novak helped form.

During this time, Sensei Deenihan was still able to train with Mr. Kijewski once more at his Dojo. Mr. Kijewski also promoted him to 2nd degree in Kenpo Goju. Mr. Kijewski became too busy in life for Karate and closed the doors to his school.  Sensei Deenihan continued to train on his own and trained students throughout the years as well.

In 1993, Sensei Deenihan studied studying in the Tai Chi-Yang style of Martial Arts for 3 years under Sifu David Champ in Downers Grove. The focus was on the internal aspect of Tai Chi. While training with Mr. Champ, Sensei Deenihan met and trained with many different Black Belts in many different styles and disciplines of Martial Arts.  Mr. Champ moved to Colorado which ended the training.  Typically in this style of Martial Arts, no rank is given until the level of Sifu is attained, so Sensei Deenihan earned no rank during this time.

In 2011, Sensei Deenihan connected with Sensei Mark Amerio.  Sensei Amerio was opening Amerio’s Karate school. Sensei Deenihan trained with Sensei Amerio and taught classes at his Dojo while he was out-of-town for outside work. Sensei Amerio’s had to close his doors to his school because of outside work responsibilities.  Sensei Amerio introduced Sensei Deenihan to the instructors at Dragon Fire Karate.   Sensei Deenihan began attending the Black Belt Workouts with Sensei Amerio.

In 2013, Sensei Deenihan was promoted by Sensei Amerio to 3rd degree Black Belt during a Black Belt training session at Dragon Fire Karate.  Sensei Deenihan continues to train with Sensei Amerio at Dragon Fire Karate which has dedicated martial artists and is a solid martial arts school focusing on realistic self defense, sparring=combat and Kata= training.