The Phoenix Karate-do Association was founded at Mount St. Mary’s University in 1981 by Dan S. Soller. The Association has a historic legacy with Virginia kyokushin karate USA and our first Kancho, Raymond Elmore. The Association celebrated its 30th USA Summer Camp in 2013. The Association’s main branches are in Maryland (USA), New Jersey (USA) and Kyiv (Ukraine). 


  • Our Charter: to improve and promote karate
  • Our Philosophy: the Spirit of OSU in the Phoenix Way
  • Our Goal: to improve
  • Our Objective: to train

The ultimate aim lies not in winning a hundred battles but in overcoming a man or an army without a conflict”

~ Sun Tzu

 Mission of the Phoenix Karate-do Association Kyokushinkai International

The overlying mission of the Phoenix Karate-Do Association is to promote and develop the traditional, spiritual and educational goals of perfection of character through the teaching of the Phoenix Way of Kyokushin Karate. The Association adheres to budo karate in the jissen tradition. Our daily goal is to improve through the objective of training.

In keeping with this mission, the Association:

  1. Strives to develop within its members a non-quitting spirit borne of discipline, will and self-reliance.
  2. Emphasizes the integral importance and necessity of community and fellowship in the personal development of its members.
  3. Encourages independent research and development of karate-do in order to facilitate growth and expansion of knowledge.
  4. Emphasizes hard, strenuous training in order to develop strong bodies that contribute to the health and self-confidence of its members.
  5. Seeks to develop well-rounded individuals of high character who will lead balanced lives and contribute to society.
  6. Recognizes the many traditional influences of modern karate-do while continuing to facilitate the future growth and expansion of the Association as a whole as well as its individual members.

(Soller, Dan. The Phoenix Way, Kyokushin Karate. 2nd Edition, 2006)

The Eleven Mottos of Mas Oyama

Oyama Sensei expressed his martial arts philosophy in these eleven mottoes, which are central to his teaching and to the foundation of Kyokushin Karate.

  1. The Martial Arts way begins and ends with courtesy. Therefore be properly and genuinely courteous at all times.

  2. Following the Martial Arts way is like scaling a cliff - continue upwards without rest. It demands absolute and unfaltering devotion to the task at hand.

  3. Strive to seize the initiative in all things, all the time guarding against actions stemming from selfish animosity or thoughtlessness.

  4. Even for the Martial Arts practitioner, the place of money cannot be ignored. Yet one should be careful never to become attached to it.

  5. The Martial Arts way is centered on posture. Strive to maintain correct posture at all times.

  6. The Martial Arts way begins with one thousand days and is mastered after ten thousand days of training.

  7. In the Martial Arts, introspection begets wisdom. Always see contemplation on your actions as an opportunity to improve.

  8. The nature and purpose of Martial Arts is universal. All selfish desires should be roasted in the tempering fires of hard training.

  9. The Martial Arts begin with a point and end in a circle. Straight lines stem from this principle.

  10. The true essence of the Martial Way can only be realized through experience. Knowing this, learn never to fear its demand.

  11. Always remember; in the Martial Arts, the rewards of a confident and grateful heart are truly abundant.

"...Karate should not be regarded as a military art to be used in defeating an enemy, but as a means of self development in both physical and the spiritual sense. In sum, karate, properly viewed, is a way of perfecting the character."       - Masutatsu Oyama Sosai


The Phoenix Karate-do Association Kyokushinkai International is a traditional karate organization that trains in the Kyokushin style. The Association is one of the USA’s oldest continuously active international Kyokushin organizations with a proud legacy rich in history, quality and community. The Association continues to bring together, year after year, an exceptional and diverse group of active Yudansha and aspiring Mudansha.