Sensei Denise Gonzales has been a martial arts practitioner since the early 1960s. She currently holds the rank of Godan (5th dan) in Kodenkan Judo and in Dan Zan Ryu Jujitsu. She has also trained in the Israeli fighting system of Krav Maga as well as Brazilian Jujitsu.
Sensei Gonzales began her training under Grandmaster Wally Jay at the advice of her uncle, Professor Antone Gonzales a student of Professor Henry Okazaki. Both Grandmaster Jay and Professor Gonzales studied together under Professor Seishiro Henry Okazaki in Hawaii. At that time, she was a member of the Island Judo and Jujitsu Dojo where she competed and won several gold and silver medals in both regional and national judo tournaments.
In 1990, Sensei Gonzales became the junior team’s Head Instructor for the Team Sacramento Dojo, creating several gold medal national champions for 17 years. Sensei Gonzales finally retired as a USJI “C” Level National Judo Coach in 2007. Currently she is the Dan Zan Ryu Jujitsu Instructor at the Dragon Fire Martial Arts School in Sacramento.
Sensei Gonzales also teaches Safety Awareness clinics and mixed martial arts seminars around the country.