The Arizona Karate Association (AKA) welcomes you to our Dojo (training hall)! The AKA is a JKA Shotokan school for traditional Shotokan Karate. Shotokan is a traditional Japanese style martial art based on the teachings of Master Gichin Funakoshi, who, originally from Okinawa, is recognized as the founder of modern-day karate.
Arizona Karate Association was founded in 1961. Master Shojiro Koyama (8th Dan) came to the United States in 1964 and has been teaching here continuously. The AKA is affiliated with the Japan Karate Association/World Federation America (JKA/WF). Our Dojo is the Central headquarters of the Japan Karate Association Western Region.
Koyama's karate is designed to be lifelong
exercise. It is not only for the young and
athletic. The members of our Dojo range in age from
young students to the senior students.
Regular training develops
physical strength and flexibility, improves health,
and relieves stress. Our young members especially
have a lot of fun! It's never too late to start
In our daily training, our goal is to create a positive and respectful environment that develops and refines self-discipline, mental focus, and overall health. The ultimate goal of Shotokan Karate is to "Seek Perfection of Character" and to embody the Dojo kun (Dojo principles or training hall principles) in every aspect of our lives.
We invite you to explore the Martial Way and begin your journey with Master Koyama and the members of the Arizona Karate Association learning and training JKA Shotokan Karate.
Message from Master Koyama
We find truths and lessons
in many aspects of our lives. I read many books and
listen to many lectures. Sometimes I need inspiration
so that I may present an idea or concept in a few
different ways so that the full meaning can be
expressed. After all, no one explanation covers all
shades of meaning. One of the authors who's books I
read is the Japanese businessman, Dr. Kazuo Inamori.
Dr. Inamori presents his philosophy on Business and
Life that is remarkably similar to my philosophy of
Shotokan and Life. So, to glean meaning from a
different viewpoint, please read some of Dr. Inamori's
thoughts on life and personal conduct. This essay is
particularly interesting since it was written in 2004
and it is relevant as if it was written yesterday.
the Meaning of Life in an Age of Chaos
We live in an age of anxiety and deepening confusion, which has made us unable to see our way forward. Although affluent, we feel unfulfilled; although blessed with material necessities, we lack civility; although ostensibly free, we feel somehow confined. If we have the will and make the effort, anything is possible and everything is within our grasp; yet, we feel powerless and pessimistic, and some of us may even sink into crime or immorality.
How did we reach this
impasse? Could it be because so many people fail to
find meaning in their lives or the value in living,
because we have lost the inner compass that guides us
through life? I believe that the answer is yes and
that the current confusion in society stems from the
lack of a constructive philosophy for living. In this
day, the first and most important step we can take is
to confront that fundamental question-what is the
purpose of life?-and in doing so attempt to develop a
philosophy, a system of beliefs, or a set of
principles that will serve as a guideline for living.
Pondering our purpose in life may seem as futile as digging for water in the desert or as difficult as trying to dam a rushing river, yet this simple, straightforward exercise is even more relevant in light of society’s tendency to belittle earnest effort. If we avoid thinking deeply about the purpose of our lives as chaos continues to spread throughout society, our confusion will increase and our future will become more uncertain. I believe that many people feel, as I do, a great urgency about this situation."
Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera, DDI (now KDDI)
and numerous other enterprises, established the
Inamori Foundation and created the Kyoto Prize, a
prestigious international award. He also serves as
president of Seiwajyuku, a business leadership
association dedicated to nurturing business owners
and entrepreneurs. He became chairman of bankrupt
Japan Airlines in 2010, and successfully led the
company to a relisting on the stock market, after
which he stepped down from direct management in
Join the AKA in Beautiful
Payson, AZ for a weekend of intensive training and
the "Do" in Karate-Do!
Want to know which classes are offered when? See the updated class schedule here.
you are new to the dojo or to karate, please download
Also there’s a new page
for “Getting Started!” See the navigation bar at the top of the page!
Be sure to check out Sensei Koyama's essay on children and karate training here.
Please click here to see Sensei Koyama's demonstration.