Q. What is Phoenix Yoshukai?

Phoenix Yoshukai is the Arizona branch dojo of the World Yoshukai Karate Kobudo Organization.  Phoenix Yoshukai seeks to train students in the martial arts and expand cooperation between styles and dojo in the community.  We teach karate and martial arts in Phoeniz, AZ.  Our Mission Statement and Values are on the general information page.

Q. How much are classes at Phoenix Yoshukai?

Class cost and instruction is FREE.  Uniforms, WYKKO membership, testing fees, and other equipment must be bought by the student.  Some reasons for class being free:
  • First, the dojo believes that martial arts instruction is a basic life skill and, like academic knowledge, should not be charged for, as the student’s improvement is of value to society as a whole.
  • Second, depending on martial arts instruction for any real income can create a conflict of values.  We do not want to compromise our values for financial considerations.
  • Third, the traditional martial arts education system was not based on fee-for-service, but was rather apprenticeship based.  This stays more true to the spirit of martial arts.
  • Fourth, some people would make excellent students and martial artists but cannot afford commercial training.  Phoenix Yoshukai provides training opportunities for such individuals.

Q. Why should I train at Phoenix Yoshukai?

To have fun and improve yourself as an individual!  Our focus on the traditional training environment allows individuals to reach their own full potential in a positive atmosphere.

Q. What certifications do the instructors and school hold?

Sensei Hofmeister has an Instructor’s Certificate issued by the World Yoshukai Karate Kobudo Organization, as authorized by Soke Yamamoto.  Each Instructor and Assistant Instructor has been through AKF’s Certified Instructor Training program.  The school is authorized as a dojo under the WYKKO.  All ranks are sanctioned by the WYKKO and Soke Yamamoto.

Q. Do you offer classes for children?

Presently Athens Yoshukai only offers classes to individuals 15 years of age or older.  This ensures a mature training environment for the adult students studying Yoshukai karate.

Q. What should I wear to class?

Comfortable workout clothing, such as sweat pants and a T-shirt,  is recommended when you first come and try out Phoenix Yoshukai.  If you enjoy a few classes, you can order a uniform through Shihan Hofmeister.

Q. What sort of style is Yoshukai?

Yoshukai is a hard Okinawan karate-do style.  Its primary techniques are punches, kicks, and other blocks and strikes. We do some self defense and throwing starting at the blue belt levels.  We use the nunchaku, bo, sai, tonfa, and katana weapons at various ranks, starting at  blue belt with the nunchaku. Yoshukai emphasizes achieving personal goals rather than forcing a student to perform to the standards of others.  Spirit, enthusiasm, and dedication are the key qualities in Yoshukai students.

Q. Who’s in charge of Yoshukai Karate?

Soke Katsuoh Yamamoto recently passed and was the head of our style and was a 10th degree blackbelt. He lived in Kitakyushu City in Japan and ran the Worldwide Yoshukai Karate Association. The United States directors are Masters Hiroaki Toyama and Mike Culbreth.

Q. How long does it take to advance in rank?

There are nine ranks before first degree blackbelt (Shodan) in Yoshukai karate.  They are white belt, yellow belt (two degrees), blue belt (two degrees), green belt (two degrees), and brown belt (two degrees).  Testings before brown belt can occur every 3 months so that a student can be a 1st degree brown belt in 21 months.  Brown belts must wait 6 months before testing, for a total of ~3 years from white belt to Shodan.  Usually only very dedicated and energetic students test for Shodan by 3 years.  Most students take slightly longer, though if a student is willing, they will certainly be given the chance to earn a blackbelt in 3 years.   After Shodan, the minimum time is a number of years equal to the degree of blackbelt the student is training for (2 years for Nidan, 3 for Sandan, etc.), although this minimum is almost never achieved and most students take 3-6 years between blackbelt ranks.

Q. Can I learn other styles with you?

We teach hapkido through the AKF and practice kobudo through the International Okinawan Kobudo Organization’s distance-learning program.  All of these classes are intended to supplement the student’s training in Yoshukai.  Students may not enroll in any of these classes without concurrently studying Yoshukai karate.

Q. Why are classes held at a park?

Commercial space is expensive, either to buy or to lease.  To maintain a free tuition structure for the school would cost an excessive amount of money if the dojo were in a commercial space.  The training environment is formal and traditional, and most visitors realize this is not a ‘garage dojo’.  In Okinawa, teachers used their home as their dojo for decades, and this tradition is continued at Phoenix Yoshukai.

Q. How do I get involved?

Email Sensei Hofmeister or visit the school to watch!  Directions can be found HERE.