Our Instructors

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Sensei B Loren Mendoza

Sensei Loren as she likes to be called, has been practicing Shotokan Karate for over 20 years, She Is a Sondan (3rd Degree Black Belt) in Shotokan Karate, a multi-medal winner in the State of Illinois and nationwide.

She is also a Baseball player and plays in different men’s leagues in the Chicagoland area. Her team has taken 2 national championships, called The Peach Orchard in Rockford Illinois.

Sensei also practices different sports, such as swimming, soccer, biking, baseball, and many more. She believes that out of her own experience karate has taught her how to better apply herself in all of the other athletic areas in her life. She is also a huge dog lover and has taught her dogs to practice martial arts.

Senpai Flynn Hersh

Flynn Hersh started Shotokan Karate at age 4. Since then, he has earned his Shodan (1st degree Black Belt), won medals at the AAU Wisconsin State Championships in Kata and Kumite in 2012, and competed at AAU Nationals. He is very passionate about teaching and loves to show the kids how the art of Karate can help you in and out of the dojo. 

Outside of the dojo, Flynn plays baseball for Knox College where he majors in Political Science and will most likely minor in Economics or Business. Flynn praises the art of Karate for teaching him values of focus, respect, and discipline. He applies these values in all aspects of life.


Senpai Amelia Weiss

Amelia Weiss has been training in martial arts for 9 years, earning her Shodan (1st degree Black Belt) in Shotokan karate in 2015 while training under Sensi Loren. She is a first year university student at McGill University, in Montreal. She studies environmental science and policy, and enjoys trying new clubs and sports, including Jujitsu, volleyball and free swim.

Senpai Sam Blanc

Sam Blanc has been training for 8 years and currently holds a Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) in Shotokan Karate as well as some experience in Jujutsu, Krav Maga, and boxing.

Although she spends the majority of the year practicing karate with ISKC in Champaign–where she attends college and watches too much Masterchef–she is always glad to return home to YAH to train and teach.

Karate has made her stronger, both physically and mentally, although she is still dreadfully afraid of birds (and rightfully so).