Elisa Au Fonseca, a three-time world champion and co-owner of Evanston’s Fonseca Martial Arts, took first place in the invitation-only Women’s Top Ten Tournament in Zagreb, Croatia last month.

Ms. Au Fonseca defeated top-ranked world medalists from Serbia, Croatia, Canada and Bosnia to win the gold. Croatian president, Stjepan Mesic, invited Ms. Au Fonseca to the country’s equivalent of the White House to personally congratulate her.

Elisa Au Fonseca is the chief instructor at Evanston’s Fonseca Martial Arts on Chicago Avenue and America’s most decorated karate champion. She teaches in Evanston’s Park District programs and continues to compete and take top medals in national and international karate competitions.