We as a team take great pride in the educational experience created in our dojo. We invite you to read what others have to say about Mountainside Martial Arts Center.

Our Alumni are a great source of insight to what we are doing at Mountainside Martial Arts Center as we continue to build great people.

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Mountainside Martial Arts Center
Average rating:  
 14 reviews
 by Kevin Mitchell

We are so lucky to have Mountainside Martial Arts Center (MMAC) right here in Ahwatukee. It has truly become part of our family over the past 9 years, and we have made lifelong friends there. Rick Savagian is the Owner and Head Instructor of an extremely unique dojo and traditional program. Most people do not know that MMAC is one of very few dojos in the US that is sanctioned by a governing body in Japan – so it is the real deal! As fellow small business owners in this community, we can appreciate how Rick has run a highly successful business for over 40 years while also supporting this community.

Both of our boys went through Rick’s program and our youngest recently earned his black belt. With Rick’s program, even when the black belt rank is achieved, the learning continues when those students teach other students with lower ranks. The opportunities for growth are endless. Over the past several years, his program has helped to build so many tremendous characteristics in both of our boys – discipline, confidence, and integrity - just to name a few. In a world where these qualities are minimized or not taught at all, Rick has built his entire program around them to set them up for successful futures. We cannot say enough wonderful things about our experience here!

 by Jamie Krehbiel

Sensei Rick has been teaching in Ahwatukee for almost 40 years. He has been a strong supporter of our local schools and community. His dojo encourages strong values, a strong work ethic, and good grades in their students. The school is apart of Wado-Ryu karate based in Japan, and Sensei Rick is one of the top teachers in the US. This is a traditional karate school which you are unlikely to find elsewhere in AZ.

We are so fortunate to have our son studying karate under Sensei Rick. If you are serious about karate, I strongly recommend Mountainside Martial Arts. There is no better karate school in AZ in my opinion.

 by Jessica Dixon

Not only is my son learning and loving karate, his confidence and self-efficacy has grown exponentially. The MMAC and the team of dedicated senseis are fantastic and make each child feel valued. Highly recommended!!!

 by Corey Saba Basha

I have three boys attending Mountainside Martial Arts Center. It has been amazing to see their progress and confidence grow over the years. Two of my boys are brown belts and my youngest son just earned his yellow belt, otherwise known as the "Legendary Yellow Belt". Each one of them has continued to build their confidence with the milestones they have achieved, both physically and mentally.

The Senseis are patient, but challenge the students to be and do their personal best. They build up their natural abilities and manage through the areas of improvement. Every student has their own path to move forward, but are encouraged to progress. All of these traits has permeated in other areas of their life from school work, socially and to other sports.

 by Debbie

My son has attended MMAC for 4 years and has been a member of the competition team. Sensei Rick and the other instructors have created an amazing environment for their students. No matter how my son is feeling before practice he always leaves energized and excited. He is a teenager and yet they keep him motivated. We have experience with other dojo’s and I knew immediately this dojo is different. The atmosphere and leadership is on another level. I highly recommend Rick and his team if you are looking for a dojo.

 by M. M.

MMAC is second to none! My daughter has been a student for 2 years now. The core values that we as a family live by are reinforced exceptionally: Integrity, Hard Work, Dedication and Having fun!

As soon as you enter the impeccable dojo, you feel a sense of calmness. Yet at the same time, a strong sense of competitiveness and readiness to train.

The astounding leadership that Sensei Rick brings is priceless. The instructors are amazingly engaged and always ready to motivate the young students.

You will not find another dojo that comes remotely close to this one!

 by The Johnson's

Our daughter has been a student at Mountainside Martial Arts Center for close to nine years. The dojo, Sensei Rick and many other Sensei's have been a great influence on her and our family. Karate has helped her grow in physical and mental endurance and strength, and has also taught her many other valuable skills, including commitment, respect and personal accountability. We have witnessed our daughter grow over the years into a confident young woman and karate has played an important role in that growth. Participation in karate has provided many opportunities that have included training and competing in state, national and international tournaments. She has also had the opportunity to meet respected Sensei's and leaders in the Wado Ryu karate community, as well as train with elite USA Karate instructors and athletes. We are very thankful for the personal and physical growth that MMAC and karate has provided for our daughter.

 by Crystal R.

Enrolling our son here three years ago is one of the best decisions my husband & I have made. Our then seven year old boy was having difficulties behaviorally in school & we did not know what to do to help him. Sensei Rick has been in the community for over 35 years & his guidance along with the other Senseis', parents' & families' there has been invaluable. There is a sense of community, family, discipline, self confidence & pride. I'm not going to tell you that we enrolled our son & everything has been perfect ever since because, if you have kids, you know that is not realistic. However, we have been able to turn to the Senseis (similar I think to turning to a trusted coach on a sports team) when situations arise & the support & insight Sensei Rick has from over 35 years of training kids is wonderful.As far as sparring & katas go, there are dedicated classes during the week to each, in addition to monthly competition training & competition team (extra but worth it!) training. It is of note that as kids get older the katas are explained more & more as to how they translate to self defense & practical terms. If you do your research on Wado Ryu karate, the katas are extremely disciplined, as is sparring. The movements are concise & to the point. There is definitely an emphasis on technique, but I have only seen positive effects from that. The school has been increasing it's presence at competitions but we were not overly concerned with that as we did not enroll our son for showmanship, we enrolled him for discipline, self confidence & self defense.The rates are reasonable to us when we factor in that they are flat monthly rates with no test/belt fees, no rate increases for utilizing more class time, etc. There is an additional annual fee that is explained up front. I don't feel that it is any more expensive than any other extra curricular activities or sports. This is an investment in our child's future, self confidence, self discipline, & safety.

 by Nykki S.

My son has been in attendance at MMAC for more than 5 years now, and changes have certainly taken place within the organization. This dojo is deliberate in creating a balance between kata, kumite (sparring), and basics. It is also set as a traditional Japanese dojo teaching Wado Ryu Karate. This is not a cut-throat plaza mall dojo, like the Cobra Kai in "Karate Kid", that teaches students to harm each other and fight as a primary resource to resolving a physical confrontation. If you are looking for a fight club, look elsewhere.That being said, my son specializes in fighting here and does very well. He has participated in over 30 tournaments in AZ, CA, UT, CO, and NV. He has won several of these, and usually medals at every event. He is part of a competition team that takes extra time to train in fighting and competing. I am confident in his abilities.The dojo is restructuring, and growing, and all for the better. It has the best workshops, training clinics, guest speakers, and REAL tournament training by far. I couldn't be more proud to recommend it to anyone looking for polished and professional, traditional Japanese technique and practical self-defense instruction.

 by Sara A.

I'm writing this review as a alternate perspective of MMAC, because one star, in my opinion, is grossly underrating the value of the dojo. Sensei Rick is dedicated to the art of martial arts, as well as the sport. He focuses on the basics, knowing that a strong foundation in karate is what leads to strong fighting. In this dojo, there are many philosophies, but the essential one is to always "Kick. Punch. Sweat." The dojo is made up of hardworking individuals, and the path to a blackbelt is not for everyone.If you were to talk to Sensei, you would see he is dedicated to the community; each year the dojo participates in toy drives and hosts a Karate Kamp; which is an opportunity for kids to participate in karate during the summer.I believe the best way to get a sense of the dojo is to visit it yourself; it is kept neat and clean, and even features a study center so that students can also focus on their academics between training. I highly recommend Mountainside Martial Arts

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