I’m Roger Luri Founder & Head Instructor at Kensho Martial Arts. 

When I was a kid I was always really fascinated by martial arts and boxing. Growing up on the South side of Chicago, I came up watching Mohammed Ali, Joe Frasier & all the great boxers. I never had the opportunity to take martial arts classes, but when I was 25, a friend got me started and 35 years later, I’m still at it! 

To me, that’s one of the greatest things about martial arts, you can start at any age. At Kensho, we have kids start as early as 4 years old (as my own kids did). Many stick with it and go on to be black belts. We have adults from their 20’s to 60’s who find their passion in martial arts later in life. Everyone finds their own unique path. 

Martial Arts training has done so much for me in my life. I’ve made many great lifetime friends from all over the world and I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from so many great instructors. My goal is to honor my instructors by sharing what I’ve learned and helping others to develop their own personal practice and style.

Over the years, I’ve helped literally thousands of people get started in martial arts. Many of them continue to practice for life. I‘ve helped guide many students to earn their black belts and quite a few to become great instructors or champion fighters themselves. For me, it’s most rewarding when I see students find their passion in the martial arts.

Hope you enjoy our web site. I’ve studied a lot of different arts over the years and to me, the arts that we practice at Kensho are the most effective (and coolest!) I’ve found. Below is a bit of my martial arts back ground. Come try some training with us!

People often ask me: What’s the most important martial art to begin learning as a starting point for self defense? Without hesitation I say boxing!  Over the years, I’ve seen mediocre boxers able to easily defend themselves against higher level martial arts practitioners time and again.
Why? The secret is in the movement, footwork and timing. These are attributes you develop sytematically through our boxing and kickboxing curriculum. (also in our Kali / Filipino Martial Arts and JKD) 
What you find is that if someone attacks you, they won’t just stand there and let you hit them back. Who Knew! You need to learn to move first and then you’ll actually be able to land all the cool knees, elbows and strikes to vital areas which we’ll be teaching you. Without footwork, timing and movement no fancy techniques will work!
The great news is that the movement and timing and footwork are the most fun part to develop. That’s why we start with boxing and kickboxing at Kensho. DON’T PANIC! You’re not going to be sparring or duking it out with anyone in class. 
Kensho’s comprehensive boxing and kickboxing curriculum is like no other. It has been continually developed and refined to build our student’s skills quickly. In our beginning Level classes, you’ll do a lot of fun partner drills that are specifically designed to develop your skills in a hurry. After just a few classes, you’ll know how to move & be able to use it if you need t0. Over the years there have been a number of times I’ve seen our beginning students able to defend themselves successfully in life threatening situations. That’s what it’s all about!

Kensho is a Zen term for an initial enlightenment / awakening or more literally a glimpse of our true nature. Day to day stresses can cause us to feel distracted and lose our confidence. Martial arts helps us to maintain confidence, inner calm and mental clarity by keeping our minds and bodies connected and in harmony.


Roger Luri – Founder / Head Instructor

Kensho Martial Arts – Chicago 

Kensho’s philosophy is closely aligned with Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do concepts. We find that trained individuals will instinctively use what works the best for them in a self defense situation.

• 7th Degree Black belt, former Kickboxing Champion & former head instructor under Grand Master Fred Degerberg at the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts – Chicago (awarded “Best Overall School” by Black Belt Magazine in a 2006 worldwide vote). Roger began training in Martial arts at the Degerberg Academy in the early 1980’s. In his early years Roger specialized in amateur boxing, kickboxing and Judo along with the “Degerberg Blend”. Over the years, Roger has also studied many different styles of Karate, Kung Fu,  Jiu Jitsu, Kali, Bando and many other diverse arts.

Grand Master Degerberg and his Degerberg Academy pioneered the “MMA” concept over 35 years ago by combining striking arts with grappling arts and weaponry. The Degerberg “Blend” is very “street” oriented and combines aspects of Boxing, Kickboxing, Kali, Jun Fan/ JKD Concepts, Judo/ Jiu Jitsu, Thai Boxing, Savate, Silat and Wrestling. As head instructor at the Degerberg Academy, Roger was instrumental in contributing to the development of Degerberg “Blend” system, has appeared on television & radio interview programs and is in demand as an instructor of martial arts seminars worldwide.

• Thai Boxing (Muay Thai)

Ajarn Roger Luri is has been training in Muay Thai since the early 1980′s and has been a certified Muay Thai instructor since the mid 1980’s.

Red Ring Master Instructor under the United States Thai Boxing Federation and United World Muay Thai Council and Former Director Chicago Branch of Thai Boxing Association of USA under Ajarn Surachai Sirisute, Roger has trained and certified many talented Muay Thai instructors.

Roger trained with Apidej Sit Hirun and many other pro Thai Boxing champions at several different pro camps in Thailand and in Europe and also trained in Krabi Krabong (Thai sword and weapons) in Thailand at Buddai Swan.

• Boxe Francaise Savate

Roger Luri was awarded  his Silver Glove (highest rank) in B.F. Savate by the French Federation of B.F. Savate in Strassburg, FR. In 1990.

Two time United States Heavyweight B.F. Savate Combat (full contact) Champion.

Current President and Founding Member of United States Savate Federation (USSF), Roger has ranked hundreds of students in B.F. Savate including many Silver Gloves. Several of our Chicago students have competed in the Savate World Cup in Europe.

• Kickboxing, etc.

Twice United States heavyweight Kickboxing champion, Roger trained with countless world champions in Kickboxing, Boxing, Thai Boxing, Savate, Shoot Boxing, etc. Has fought in Boxing, Kickboxing, Savate, Thai boxing and Shoot boxing in the USA, Italy and France.

Undefeated in about a dozen kickboxing fights with almost all first round knockouts. Roger  has trained numerous students who have become champion boxers and kick boxers.

• Kali / Silat /Jun Fan (Jeet Kune D0):

Guro Roger is an instructor in Lameco Escrima under Punong Guro Edgar Sulite. Roger has trained extensively with many diverse styles of Kali, Eskrima, Arnis, Panantukan and Silat under a number of awesome master instructors.  

Guro Roger is an associate instructor under Guro Ron Balicki’s Martial Arts Research Systems and received his apprentice instructorship in both Kali and Jun Fan/JKD under Guro/Sifu Dan Inosanto in 1989. Sifu Roger also studied JKD Kickboxing and Grappling under Sifu Larry Hartsell and Wing Chun Gung Fu under Sifu Randy Williams and several others.

• Yoga, etc.

Roger began practicing yoga and Pilates in the mid 1980’s and has studied many different styles of yoga and healing arts including Iyengar, Ashtanga, Letha and many others. Roger has adapted many techniques and principals from these yogic styles to his philosophy and practice of the Martial arts.

In his early 20′s , before taking up martial arts, Roger trained extensively in body building and had  training partners who were professional competitors. During this time, Roger learned principals of nutrition and training methods which would lay the groundwork for future martial arts and fight training.

 Come to Kensho Martial Arts Chicago to discover your passion in our unique blend of Mixed Martial Arts.