phoenix news

Ukraine Statement by Kancho Soller, Chairman & Chief Instructor,

on behalf of the Shuseki Shihan and Phoenix Karate-do Association

Kyokushinkai International

Please join the Phoenix Karate-do Association Kyokushinkai International in praying for the Ukraine and all those in harm’s way during this time of an evil and violent invasion of a sovereign country. All the world should condemn such an attack against humanity and the loss of life.

The Association has hundreds of Phoenix karateka in the Ukraine whose only wish is peace and prosperity for themselves, their families, and fellow mankind. We feel their suffering and admire their courage, and acknowledge the Providence of God in supporting their way of life. They desire freedom and preservation of their destiny, and now find their very survival in question.

The way of karate is one of peace. All of those who follow the true Way of Budo are obligated to support those who seek its path. To all of our many Phoenix and Kyokushin friends around the world, we ask for your support and prayers for our Ukrainian karateka and their country.

To our sisters and brothers in the Ukraine, we will train in your honor, and neither forget nor become complacent. We are with you.


Update February 13, 2022

*As we move through these days of winter, we are all aware of the situation that has been

developing in Eastern Europe with Russia and the Ukraine.

The Ukraine Branch of the Phoenix karate-do Association Kyokushinkai International, led

by Shihan Pavel and Sensei Y & T Grek, has been a vigorous and essential part of the

Association for decades. Hundreds of students train there under the Phoenix banner, with

talented Yudansha and Mudansha sweating in the dojo.

Please join Shuseki Shihan and me in keeping our fellow sisters and brothers in your

thoughts and prayers. Our USA spirit of of OSU should join with themin united spirit at each

class and every training. AS we train hard and often, we should reflect on the many

sacrifices, challenges and accomplishments that we all have experienced as we embrace

our non-quitting legend of the Phoenix, the essence of OSU, and our Association motto:


We stand together, united, and are one Phoenix.


Kancho Soller                

Update February 2, 2022

*The USA Spring Gashuku will be held on April 23, 2022, in the Phoenix Way Dojo of

Shuseki Shihan Codispoti. Please mark your calendars as more information will be

released as we get closer to the event. OSU~ Kancho Dan Soller

Update January, 2022

*Several Gashuku were held in world Phoenix dojo in the fall of 2021 and to date. Of note

were the well-attended USA Fall Gashuku in the Rockville Dojo (Shuseki Shihan

Melanson and Shihandai Mazur, chiefinstructors) and Kancho Winter Training (Kancho

Dan Soller). The new year saw senior dan promotionsin the Phoenix Ukraine Branch, with

Branch Chief Dolgoruk Pavel named Shihan Rokudan and Sensei Tanya & Yuri Grek to

Sensei Yondan. We congratulate these outstanding karateka for their training commitment,

instruction, and developmentof the Phoenix Way.

*This site will be updated from time to time as Phoenix Dojo reopen and regular training

occurs through Covid-19 protocals.

Update July, 2021-Summer Camps

*USA Camp Phoenix XXXVIII and UA Camp Phoenix XXII were held this summer in the USA

and Ukraine, respectively, with approximately 200 combined karateka training together. The

Ukraine hosted the largest camp in their history under the guidance of Shihan Pavel

Dolgoruk along with team of Sensei Tanya and Yuryi Grek.

*The USA was hosted at the Phoenix Summer Dojo under Kancho Soller and Shuseki

Shihan Cathy Melanson and Anthony Codispoti. Training was centered on kihon, kata,

kumite and tameshiwari, with special water and ground fighting sessions.

Promotions were on held on the Yudansha and Mudansha levels, highlighted by Chloe

Tracy to Sensei Sandan in the USA.

*The site will be updated from time to time as Phoenix Dojo reopen and regular training

occurs through Covid-19 protocols.


Update April 11, 2021

*April 24, 2021 is the date for the USA Spring Gashuku. The event will be in Maryland and

all Phoenix members are invited to attend. Please contact your instructor for specific

information. Yudansha and Mudansha testing have been scheduled for the Gashuku.

Kancho Soller and Shuseki Shihan will preside. OSU

Update December 7, 2020

*While challenged around the world with COVID-19, the Association has continued forward

this year with a combination of teaching models depending on the regional area, including

in-person with restrictions, remote and individual training instruction. Gashuku's have been

held with restrictions.

*April, 2021 is the next planned Gashuka USA. Time and location to be announced in the

comings weeks ahead.

*This website will be updated periodically during the pandemic. OSU

Update August 3, 2020

*2020 Camp Phoenix, the 37th summer gashuku of the Phoenix Karate-do Association

Kyokushinkai International, was completed this July in four major regions due to the

coronavirus pandemic. Kancho Soller and Branch Chief Shuseki Shihan Melanson led the

Capital Region, Branch Chief Shuseki Shihan Codispoti the Northeast Region, Branch

Chief Sensai B. Hoffeld the CA Region, and Branch Chief Shihandai Paval Dolgoruk the UK Region.

Zoom participation was also available at select gashuku.

*Numerous promotions were held in the Ukraine, with USA naming promotions in Sensei

Matt Heaps (MD) and Sensai M. Hoffeld (CA). OSU

Update July 7, 2020

*The Association has begun moving to physical classes on a dojo to dojo basis, while also

continuing its comprehensive Zoom training. Our recent updates include:

  Shuseki Shihan Melanson hosted the 2020 Women's Warrior Weekend this past June

through a unique Zoom presentation and individual training modules, including innovative


  Sensei Bradley Hoffeld created a special Zoom Mosaic for Phoenix members. The Mosiac

captures over 500 images! Please email Sensei for details at

  Sempai Chris DiBlasi has helped sponsor a Zoom discussion group on racism.

Interested members joining the discussion group should contact Shuseki Melanson.

  The Ukrainian Branch has successfully completed their UA Camp Phoenix, summer

gashuku. Led by Shihandai Pavel, the camp conducted physical training highlighted by

beach kata and kihon.

Update April 30, 2020

*Since the coronavirus pandemic struck around the globe, Phoenix has been in the forefront

in technology and resources, moving almost immediately to remote training and instruction.

Using its extensive instructor group and resources, live remote training classes continue

every day of the week and bring Phoenix karateka together from around the world.

We are proud of being among the first to recognize the need for innovational instruction while

keeping our members safe and meeting their training needs. May you and your families stay

safe and healthy!!

Regular updates will continue as Phoenix Dojo begin to reopen and events begin to be

scheduled in the times ahead. OSU~

Update March 11, 2020

*Cali Branch Chief Sensei Bradley Hoffeld, 4th dan and Sempai Melissa Hoffeld, 2nd dan

instructed classes in the Shrewsbury, NJ dojo a couple weeks ago. Osu~

*Kancho Soller trained with Chief Instructor Chu Sempai Bell and his kohai in his Mount Dojo

throughout this past week. A highlight was working with Mikayla Wilkinson, a visiting

Australian and Division One athlete. Kancho and Chu have long term interests and

experiences in working with high performing athletes to improve their performances through

training in the Phoenix Way. Chu Sempai continues to quietly teach his regular classes along

with special "early bird" sessions for developing karateka. Osu~

*The Rockville Dojo is currently developing their website and marketing programs. Ideas

should be sent to Chief Instructors Shuseki Shihan Melanson, 7th dan and Shihandai Elias

Mazur, 5th dan. Osu`

*The Ukrainian Branch is preparing for several Yudansha promotions under the leadership

of Shihandai Pavel, 5th dan. Promotion candidates include ranks of Sandan, Nidan and

Shodan. Best of luck to all candidates! Osu~

Update January 29, 2020

*USA Camp Phoenix 2020 will be held July 17-19th, 2020 at Mount St. Mary's University in

Emmitsburg, Maryland, with the International Executive Council meetings on July 16th, 2020.

Please mark your calendars! OSU~

*In the past few weeks, Kancho Soller visited and trained in the Frederick Dojo of Sensei

Boris Voynik, 3rd dan, Mount St. Mary's dojo of Chu Sempai Bell, 2nd dan, and the Rockville

dojo of Shuseki Shihan Melanson, 7th dan, and Shihandai Elias Mazur, 5th dan. OSU~

Update January 28, 2020

*Spring Gashuku for members will be held on March 28, 2020 in Shrrewsbury, New Jersey at

the Phoenix Way Dojo. Tentatively set for 11:00am-2:00pm with social to follow.

*Shuseki Shihan Cathy Melanson has returned with her family from her visit to Iceland.

Shuseki is a frequent international traveler and trains overseas regularly.

Update January 25, 2020

*The Ukrainian Branches joined together under Shihandai Pavel, 5th dan, along with 3rd dan Sensei Yuriy and Tanya Grek, for their Winter Training outside of Kyiv.

Congratulations for the successful and well attended event!

*Congratulations to Sempai Taylor Papera from the Phoenix Way Dojo for her participation in the Batlle of the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. Shw was

coached by Shuseki Shihan Codispoti and supported by a large contingent from the dojo.

Update January 23, 2020

*Chief Instructor of the Mount St. Joseph's Dojo Sempai Adam Kauffman visited the Rockville Dojo with some of his kohai to train with Chief  Instructor Shihandai Elias Mazur.

Update January 16, 2020

*Kancho Soller and Chu Sempai Bell had a private meeting to review the Mount St. Mary's University Dojo and discuss Summer Camp planning. The Mount Dojo is the oldest dojo in the Association and home to the prestigious USA Camp Phoenix, the organization's summer Gashuku. The meeting was in Maryland, USA.

Update January 15, 2020

*Shuseki Shihan Codispoti is now a weekly contributor to the Dad Syndicate Network Arena. This weekly podcast deals with parental/children issues. Shuseki is a

published author on anti-bullying strategies and the development of children in the martial arts. Please contact Shuseki Shihan for more details at

Update January 14, 2020

*Sensei Gary Herwig, 4th dan, and Kancho Soller held a conference on organizational matters of the Association. Sensei continues to teach in his personal dojo.

Update December 4, 2019

*Kancho Winter Training will be held on Saturday, January 4th, 2020 at 10am in Baker Park,

Frederick, MD. Please note on your calendars! This event, as always, is for the Capital

Region primarily and other branch members while welcome, are not expected to make the

journey. Training is for approximately and hour to an hour and a half. We hope to see you


*I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

*All my best! Remember, train hard and often!


Update November 12, 2019

*The Northeast Branch Phoenix Way Dojo visited the new North Bethesda Dojo of the Capital

Region with the Paperas leading the contingent with father Rick, son Sempai Jake and

daughter Sempai Taylor. Shihandai Elias Mazur and Shuseki Shihan Melanson serve as the

new dojo's Chief Instructors. New and old students are welcome!

*Over the weekend, Phoenix fighters from the Kyiv area participated in a championship in Irpin.

Children and teens challenged themselves by fighting for the first time on a round system

rather than the Olympic system. Congrats to all participants. Osu!

Update November 4, 2019

*Kancho Dan Soller and Shuseki Shihan Anthony Codispoti recently held a conference

meeting on fundraising and donor development as the principles of the Kancho Charity Benefit.

The Benefit, central to the mission in helping those in need, is the charity arm of the closely

held greater Phoenix organization and has donated extensively to such causes as Special

Olympics, Overseas Orphanages, Elementary/High School/College Participation Scholarships,

Private Education Capital Campaigns, Educational Overseas Travel and In-Need Family

Support. The Benefit is funded by generous member and foundation support,

Update October 30, 2019

*Sensei Brad Hoffeld, 4th dan Branch Chief (CA) is sponsored a reunion in Maryland on the

28th of October, 2019 for karateka from the old Rockville Dojo. He lead a training session to

celebrate with everyone in the new Dojo of Shuseki Shihan Cathy Melanson 7th dan and

Shihandai Elias Mazur 5th dan. The Rockville Dojo played an important role in the history of

the Association and produced a number of high quality karateka who continue this day with the

Phoenix organization.

*The USA Fall Gashuku took place in Maryland USA with karateka from MD, VA, NJ, NY, PA

and IN participating in the annual event. Training focused on kata, self-defense, ground move-

ments and hand-leg combinations. Kancho Soller led the event.

*Shuseki Shihan Anthony Codispoti was highlighted in Gary Quinn's new book,Total Karate:

Conversations with The Modern Masters(Amazon). Along with having a chapter dedicated to

him, he also graces the cover. CONGRATULATIONS for this prestigious honor!

*The Ukraine Branch has sponsored a number of Phoenix tournaments for their youth

members in Kyiv along with attending other Kyokushin organized events. Visit Facebook to see

the many victories and the wide participation of Phoenix Karateka. Phoenix Shihan, Sensei and

Sempai helped organize and manage the events.

Update October 5, 2019 

*USA Fall Gashuku will be held at Mount St. Mary's University (Maryland, USA) on Saturday,

October 19, 2019 from 11:00am-2:00pm.

*Shuseki Shihan Cathy Melanson, 7th dan Branch Chief and Shihandai Elias Mazur, 5th dan

Branch Chief, have announced the November opening  their new dojo in North Bethesda,

Maryland, USA (12077 Nebel Street, North Bethesda, Maryland 20852). Please offer them your

congratulations! New students welcome!

*Shuseki Shihan Anthony Codispoti, 7th dan Branch Chief and Chief Instructor of the Phoenix

Way Dojo, was highlighted in a short article sponsored Garmany's of New Jersey. Captioned

"No Bullying Zone", the article highlights Sheseki Shihan's expertise in anti-bullying, martial

arts and his successful financial adviser business.

*Sempai Hector (Tito) Munoz, 2nd dan, Chile, visited Sensai Dom Corella, 3rd dan of the 

Phoenix Way - Shrewsbury Dojo NJ for a tour of Wall Street in New York City.

*Sempai Matt Heaps, 2nd dan, trained with Kancho Soller in preparation for advancement

and the coming Fall Gashuku.

Update September 11, 2019 

*Sensei Bradley Hoffeld, 4th dan Branch Chief (CA), instructed and trained in the Capital

Region USA throughout the first week of September. He completed his tour after training with

Kancho Soller.

Update August 10, 2019

*On August 17, 2019, The Phoenix Way Dojo in Shrewsbury, NJ will host an open training

session for USA dojo. Shuseki Shihan Anthony Codispoti will oversee the event.

*Sempai Erica Herbst invites others to join her new Facebook page, Phoenix Women

Warriors. "This is a private group created for our amazing group of Phoenix Women 

Warriors around the world to share ideas, photos and videos from training, share inspiring

stories and ask questions."

*Senior Branch Chief Shihan Snegireva has returned home to the Ukraine from the USA

with her students, who trained at Camp Phoenix XXXVI. She was hosted by the

Association, Mount St. Mary's Karate Club under Chu Sempai Earl Bell, Shuseki Shihan

Melanson and special guide Sensei Boris Voynik.

*Shuseki Shihan Melanson travels to Brazil in August, continuing her 2019 International


Update July 11, 2019

*Camp Phoenix XXXVI, the annual international summer gashuka, will be held in Maryland, USA on July 19th-21st, 2019. The camp is open to all members of the

Phoenix Karate-do Association Kyokushinkai International. Yudansha promotions, continuously training and improvement remain the Camp's long standing goals.

*The annual meeting of the Phoenix Karate-do Association Kyokushinkai International will be held on July 19, 2019 in the USA with all members of the International Executive Committee in attendance. The meeting is chaired by Kancho Soller.

*Shuseki Shihan Cathy Melanson, 7th dan, is currently training in Australia and  visiting Kyokushin dojo. She will return to the States for Camp Phoenix XXXVI, the annual summer gashuka of the Association.

*Sensai Gary Herwig, 4th dan, Director of the Executive Instructors Committee, along with Shuseki Shihan Anthony Codispoti, 7th dan, Vice Chair of the International Executive Committee and the Kancho Charity Benefit, have announced a number of Camp Phoenix Scholarships for the coming year. The scholarships are awarded for merit based on specific application criteria, under the auspices of the Nicholas and Joyce Codispoti Scholarship. Awardees are officially recognized at Camp Phoenix USA.

Update June 14, 2019

*Camp Phoenix XXXVI, the annual international summer gashuku, will be held inMaryland USA on July 19th-21st, 2019. The camp is open to all members of the Phoenix Karate-do Association Kyokushinkai International. Yudansha promotions, continuously training and improvement remain the Camp's long standing goals.


*Sensei Nicolae Toma, Chief Instructor of the Palisades Dojo (Washinton DC) led his Uchideshi Training Camp at Chincoteague Island, VA this past June 8th-9th.  Members trained on the beach with an emphasis on Kumite and developing their budo spirit. The training is the first of what is to be a new annual event in  preparation for the Association's annual July summer USA Camp Phoenix XXXVI.


*The Ukraine Branch began their annual UA Camp Phoenix 2019 over four days.  Ten members will later be traveling to USA Camp Phoenix XXXVI in July for

promotions and training. OSU

*Sempai Hector (tito) Ivan Munoz from Chile, has been visiting the USA Shrewsbury, NJ Dojo, The Phoenix Way, to train with Branch Chief Shuseki Shihan Anthony

Codispoti and his karateka. Training has centered on kumite, kata and kihon. Welcome Sempai!

Update May 22, 2019

*Women's Warrior Weekend, led by Branch Chief Shuseki Shihan Cathy Melanson, is set for June 8-9th, 2019 in Virginia. Please contact Shuseki Shihan if interested in an intense physical and rewarding training weekend.

Update May 15, 2019

*Phoenix Karateka around the World are performing Kanku on Thursday,  May 16th, 2019 in honor of Jim Siedecki, who died suddenly while traveling overseas. Jim was a long time supporter of Phoenix, a former student and father to Sempai M. Siedecki. He will be greatly missed! OSU

Update April 29, 2019

*Camp Phoenix Kuro obi orders and Camp rosters are due to Honbu. Please pass along the information and appropriate payments.


Update April 25, 2019


Sixteen Phoenix Dojo of various sizes and training emphasis are located in the Kyiv,  Dnepropetrovsk, and Marganets' regions under three Branch Chiefs: Shihan Natasha Snegireva, Shihandai Pavel Dolgoruk and Shihan Volodymyr Snyegirov.

Location: Kyiv, Dnepropetrovsk and Marganets regions


Contact: Shihan Natasha Snegireva




Kyiv "Hebana" Dojo

Kyiv "Wak Aba" Dojo

Kyiv "Pechersk School International" Dojo

Kyiv "Kyiv International School" Dojo


Bucha "Sakura" Dojo

Bucha "Sportstyle" Dojo


Nemishaevo "Shingitai" Dojo


Nikopol Dojo

Dnepropetrovsk Dojo


School #12 Dojo

Litsei #1 Dojo

School #2 Dojo

Litsei #10 Dojo

School #5 Dojo

School #3 Dojo

Zorya Dojo

Update April 2, 2019

*This is the Phoenix Kata site:

Sempai John Kidd (Frederick Dojo) along with members of the Gaithersburg Dojo

(The Forge) attended the Carolina Open Tournament in Raleigh, NC on March 30,

2019. The tournament was sponsored by long time Phoenix friend, Sensei Marvin

Saint-Cyr of Bushiken Karate.

Shihan Natasha Snegireva, Senior Branch Chief of the Ukraine, oversaw the Kyiv

Tournament for beginners this past week, with forty of her kohai participating in the

learning experience.

Updates March 27, 2019

*On March 16, 2019, Kancho Soller along w/ Branch Chiefs Shuseki Shihan Cathy Melanson & Shuseki Shihan Anthony Codispoti led the USA Spring Gashuku in the Shrewsbury Dojo NJ ~ The Phoenix Way. Members from Maryland, NJ, Indiana, Virginia, NY, Pennsylvania & Washington DC attended the Northeast & Capital Region sponsored event. The curriculum included extensive kihon, along w/ kumite, kata & advanced bag work.

Updates March 13, 2019

*See Dojo page for MSM and Indiana Dojo listing.

Updates  March 3, 2019

*Sensei Bradley Hoffeld 4dan (CA) visited the Shrewsbury Dojo ~ The Phoenix Way for training with Branch Chief & Chief Instructor Shuseki Shihan Anthony Codisopti and his karateka.  

*Kancho Soller visited the MSM Dojo (MD) and Chief Instructor Chu Sempai Earl Bell for kata training. 

*Sensei Nick Toma 3rd dan and his Palisades Dojo (Washington DC) participated in the the Arnold Classic Tournament in Columbus, Ohio.

Updates February 27, 2019

*Honbu-The Phoenix Karate-do Association Kyokushinkai International is pleased to announce that Ukrainian Senior Branch Chief Shihan Natasha Snegireva will be accompanied by a number of karateka for this year's annual USA summer gashuka, Camp Phoenix XXXVI, to be held July 19-21st, 2019.