Sensei Gordon Engelhard, Shodan (2nd degree black belt), began studying martial arts in Ohio from 1979 to 1981 under the instruction of Bill Rowe, a master of T’ai Chi Ch’uan and Pau Kua. Master Rowe was an army ranger in the Viet Nam war and, having been injured during his tour, spent 18 months in an Asian monetary intensely learning these arts.
Moving to Chicago, Sensei Engelhard studied at the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts on the city’s north side from 1982 to 1985. He worked with Grand Master Fred Degerberg and others acquiring a blend of Jeet Kune Do, Taekwondo, Escrima and American Boxing.
In 1998, Sensei Engelhard began studying Shorei Goju Kempo Karate under Sensei Bill Stecher (San Dan) and Sensei Laura Stecher (San Dan). Both received their degrees under Grand Master Ed Quick. In 2009, Sensei Engelhard broadened his studies by taking additional classes with both Grand Master Ed Quick, and Grand Master Bob Janecek.
Sensei Engelhard joined Dragon Fire Karate in 2012, and under the guidance of Grand Master Janecek (Ku Dan), Sensei Rebecca Wren-Schemmer (Yondan), Sensei Joe Roque (Yondan), Sensei Bill Stecher (San Dan) and Sensei Laura Stecher (San Dan), earned his first-degree black belt (Shodan) in 2013. In 2014, Sensei Engelhard earned his second-degree black belt (Nidan) under the Grand Master Janecek. He continues to learn and teach at Dragon Fire Karate.
In January of 2016 Mr. Engelhard received his Level 1 teaching certification in Krav Maga under Mr. Marty Cale and the Krave Maga Association. Mr. Engelhard is also an instructor in Krav Maga at Dragon Fire Karate.