Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Reviews

David Moss, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

It's a great place to learn from very fun and experience instructors. Started my 7 year old there and he loves it.

David Moss

Kenneth Mescall, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

I have spent time here in every decade since the 80s. I always come back. It is a very special place and it was among the first truly mixed martial arts schools. This academy is martial arts history.

Kenneth Mescall

Victoria Bondi, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

8 years ago I learned how to defend myself, and respect the awesome power each of us harness. Thank you!

Victoria Bondi

David Byerly, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

A unique community and school, offering an exceptional martial arts experience for children and adults. Blend/mixed to BJJ to Thai to traditional boxing and more. The instructors...gifted, helping build not only physical skills, but also mental toughness with sound philosophy. I’ve been sending my kids for years...I now attend classes myself.

David Byerly

Eric Fletter, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

Been learning from so many great martial artists here since 1994. Such rich lineage and connections to all kinds of arts, cultures, fighters, and legends. Great kids program focused on respect for others, confidence in oneself, and real world self defense if needed. DAMA has changed my son's life in the best way and has helped mold mine since I was a teenager.

Eric Fletter

Charles Parrott, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

Over nearly 3 decades since I joined, Degerberg Academy has always valued its people and their development as much as its commitment to martial arts excellence.

Charles Parrott

Gil Batio, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

Degerberg Academy is the real deal. Incredible instruction and a great atmosphere for training. I cannot recommend it enough.

Gil Batio

Dave Kovar, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

World Class. If you are ever in Chicago, you've got a train here.

Dave Kovar

Mitchel Rabin, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

I absorbed a variety of skills at degerberg, especially kali and dirty boxing. Then I  passed those skills onto my children. Fred Degerberg truly is a great instructer who gathered other highly skilled teachers around him. Degerberg Academy also afforded me the opportunity to train with Daniel Inosanto and Bill Wallace.
Truly a life changing experience

Mitchel Rabin

Heidi Grace Bush, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

Once upon a time I was actor who was looking to expand her tool box in the trade. Figuring that I loved to watch action on stage and screen that I may like doing it, I tentatively stepped in the doors at Degerberg Academy. 3+ years later I will claim to be a martial artist before claiming to be an actor. 

The Mixed Martial Arts classes are an easy entry point for anyone looking to get in shape or try something new. My other personal favorites are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai Kickboxing. The instructors at Degerberg are outstanding and exemplify that training continues (most argue it begins) long after receiving a black belt. 

I have always been athletic so getting in shape wasn't my goal but martial arts changed my body in ways running and lifting never did, both physically and mentally. There is also a social aspect to Degerberg that would be remiss of me to not mention. Classmates become friends and friends turn into family. People, both classmates and instructors, who will push you to be better; cheer you on when you struggle; and support you in your training and life.  

For anyone contemplating a class, I invite you to take the leap! Stick with it and you won't regret it. I certainly don't!

Heidi Grace Bush

Alper Aydinoglu, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

Degerberg is a great place to learn martial arts in Chicago. Instructors are very helpful and thorough. Taking martial arts classes at Degerberg enabled me to get in the best physical shape of my life. If you are pondering whether martial arts is right for you, definitely take the leap of faith and follow through.

Alper Aydinoglu

Adam Fultz, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

I can't say enough about DAMA. I spent 13 years there - it's like getting a degree in multiple martial arts. For the serious, life-long practitioner, it's a truly great choice.

Adam Fultz

Jessica Brito, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

My son has been going for about a year now and coming to this school was the best decision we ever made. He absolutely loves it. I have seen so much positive change in him. The instructors are awesome. I am looking forward to taking my daughter soon :-)

Jessica Brito

Anne Rogin Geer, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

There is no better place to train. I trained when I was in my 20's and now 2 of my grandsons are training.

Anne Rogin Geer

Jim McNair, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

I highly enjoy my time spent at Degerberg Academy. With absolutely zero experience I began my journey in martial arts just over two years ago and the students and instructors made it incredibly easy to learn at my own pace. Highly respectful environment with decades of experience in martial arts. They offer speciality classes every single day of the week and regularly hold seminars with instructors from all over the world in s number of arts.

Jim McNair

Nicholas Bear Bade, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

I have been a member of the Degerberg Academy since 2005. In that time, I have never once been bored. That may not sound like a stellar review, but that’s what people who go to one-system schools often say about their experience: “It was ok for a while, but then I got bored”.
No way at D.A.M.A. The core classes called Blend or MMA have more than a dozen arts combined into them. You train in stand-up techniques as well as grappling, weapons and invaluable Krav Maga self-defense. Then there are the specialty classes that you can also get ranked in: Savate (French Kickboxing), Muay Thai, Jun Fan/Jeet Kune Do, Kali or Filipino weapons and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Whatever class you go to, you are sure to get a great workout, have fun, and learn some serious skills. The Degerberg Academy changed my life. I am now in shape, I feel confident that I can defend myself or that I can even just get up and speak in front of a crowd of people, and I know that I always have a class that I can go to, and goals to set.

Nicholas Bear Bade

Bridget Lauret Crump, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

My son had his initial assessment today and he loved it and got his very first belt! Mr. Dave was awesome and I'm so happy we choose Degerberg Academy. For all the past reviews I read about it being dirty, that is not true; it is a true authentic dojo not some cardio theatre! It's what I want my kids to be a part of, it's used, it's older but it's got heart and spirit of what the kids are trying to learn!

Bridget Lauret Crump

Jean Matelski-Boulware, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

My daughter started here and soared in self-confidence. She loves it and is a great motivator for her to do well in school. they don't allow students to promote without parent approval and home room teacher approval so she has to apply the discipline at home and in school!

Jean Matelski-Boulware

Mimi Reeder, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

This is my second home. This place have change my life forever. If it weren't Degerberg Academy I may have been somewhere else in the world right now. Great place to bring your kids in, great place to develop self discipline, respect, control and confidence. Amazing teachers students - you can make some strong connections for life. So grateful to be part of the big family.

Mimi Reeder

Donna Himber, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

I truly love this school - 10 years and counting.

Donna Himber

Elizabeth Lee, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

I have been a student at Degerberg Academy for 5 years and an instructor in the Kids Martial Arts program for over 3 years.  This school and the training I've received here have drastically changed my life and confidence levels.  I started taking classes after an assault and I knew that I needed to learn how to protect myself.  A friend helped me take the first difficult steps into the school, and once I did, I found that I was accepted into an incredible family of martial artists and started training Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu almost immediately.  Since I started training here, I have become physically and mentally fit in ways I never was before, I have a positive outlet, and I have the confidence that I can protect myself if need be.  The Academy has given me an opportunity to teach mixed martial arts to kids, too, and that is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my journey as a martial artist!

One thing you won't notice right off the bat is that there are so many world class instructors at the school who specialize in different martial arts: Kali, Savate, BJJ, Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do, etc...  You will NOT get specialized training like that anywhere else in Chicago.  Period.

Elizabeth Lee

Mark Jones, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

Degerberg Academy has been a tremendous experience for me since I’ve joined.  The school has provided me with the avenues for staying fit, increasing my self-awareness, my self-discipline, and helping me in my personal and professional growth. 
When I first heard about Degerberg Academy, I was immediately intrigued about the blend of Mixed Martial Arts systems taught at the school and joined without hesitation because I knew  this system would be the best for me.  Utilizing this blend of Mixed Martial Arts, Degerberg Academy provides you with a tool box of self-defense to choose from if ever confronted in the streets so one is not limited to one style.  Self-defense is emphasized to all the students in the Blend classes.   It really is comforting to have that confidence walking on the streets of Chicago or any environment that you just might have an extra edge to defend yourself, avoid it, get away, and save your life.  Individual arts can also be focused on and are encouraged to take at the school as well and there are excellent instructors in kickboxing, boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai Kickboxing,  and Kali Silat to name a few.
Developing great friendships and camaraderie with other instructors, students and teammates is an additional benefit.  We go through a lot on the black belt journey and having instructors teammates willing to sacrifice time and effort and help you achieve your goals is tremendous.

Mark Jones

S Habert, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

I have been a student at Degerberg Academy for many years. When I started, I was 38 years old and I earned my black belt in the Degerberg Mixed Martial Arts this year. Degerberg is a part of my family now and I cannot imagine a life without it. I am also ranked in Muay Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu through Degerberg. If anyone is interested in getting thorough, well-rounded martial arts training for a variety of disciplines where you are taught by masters in each art, this is the place for you. In addition to great classes that provide a fantastic work-out, the schools instructors, staff and students will become your best friends. My daughter attends the Kid's Martial Arts classes and loves all of her instructors!

S Habert

L. Thomas Wynn, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

Don’t be fooled-this is not some Lincoln Park kickboxing gym. While the place is a dive, it is the real deal; where mixed martial arts was born in Chicago. While it is lacking in some the comforts of a franchise gym, it more than makes up for it in the breadth of it’s curriculum, the quality and dediction of it’s teacher’s and the very real community it provides. . 
Obviously, with the popularity of BJJ in mixed martial arts, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes at Degerberg are very popular, with top-tier, nationally recognized instructors. However, it is important to note that the Fred Degerberg (Degerberg Academy) is one of THE original sources of mixed martial arts, going back more than 30 years. That said, the school offers a large variety of martial arts ranging from real-world self defense/ street fighting techniques to more esoteric arts such as Kali, Silat, and Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do.  While I originally joined this gym for fitness, for better or worse, it has changed my life.

L. Thomas Wynn

Stephen Nasser, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

Upon moving to Chicago I was fortunate to meet Fred Degerberg while he was at the local supply house known as EAST WEST MARKET EXCHANGE.
After introductions I learned of his dojo and noticed his schools flyer gracing the counter. During this short encounter, I felt I already knew this bigger than life man, who in person was pretty formidable in stature and I assumed ability, yet humble and gracious.
Shortly thereafter i joined his "dojo" which then was newly opened and not like any of the dojos I had frequented over the years.
First it was freakin' huge and stocked with every training aid I had ever seen or heard of. I could go on, but it would require much of your time....so secondly, there was of course, the man you probably know now or should know, and of course I refer to..... FRED DEGERBERG
This man, a true sage, accompanied by what I feel was a no nonsense approach, helped shape the martial arts as we see today, and without his knowledge, we would still be standing in an extended front stance. His wisdom and just plain old advise, punctuated by another wise person in house, that being KATY DEGERBERG (RIP) helped me and my growth in both body and spirit, and I thank the both 
of them for that.

Stephen Nasser

William Jackson, Degerberg Academy Of Martial Arts Testimonials

Degerberg was my home away from home. Great curriculum, and a place where fellow students became family.

William Jackson



Request information

Request Information Now!