In The Spirit Of...


Teaching Is Our First Priority

We are a private martial arts school teaching traditional Japanese karate that is curriculum and discipline based to kids, teens and adults. Sensei Rick Savagian has an extensive background in physical education, exercise science and over 55 years of martial arts. An outstanding staff has kept the consistency of teaching and competing for MMAC since 1979.

  • Mountainside Martial Arts promotes a strong team/family environment
  • Karate changes lives and reinforce life skills
  • Karate increases self-awareness, confidence, and perseverance
  • Students learn mental discipline, respect, and self defense
  • Karate reduces stress and improves focus in life
  • Karate promotes stamina, strength, circulation and respiration
  • Karate improves motor skills, coordination and flexibility

Personal Development

The Spirit and Character Can't Be Neglected

Our dojo is a place of learning where we train not only the body, but the mind, spirit and character as well. Education is a slow process, but a continual process. Our process is to perpetually focus on developing well rounded students.

We develop our students in their ability defend themselves through the use of Wado-Ryu. We have been teaching karate since 1979 and educating students in the use of their body is a task that we have mastered.

We also insist that students develop their mind. We have a leadership team of highly educated individuals and an academic center to further the development of our students minds.



The three principles of traditional martial arts training are: Kihons, Kata and Kumite.

Kihons are the basic techniques that are taught and practiced as the foundation of most Japanese martial arts.

Kata is where the students are taught of the principle of performing the basic movements correctly with proper technique. The Katas are choreographed to enhance stance, precision and focus for Kumite training.

Kumite on the other hand, is an important part of the Wado-Ryu training and it progresses from understanding the timing of attacking and blocking, to advanced sweeps, free sparring, takedowns and other movements.

Mountainside Martial Arts Center - karate classes - 4
2018_11_06_Mountainside Martial Arts Belt Testing-1080

The Art of Tradition

What is Wado-Ryu?

“Think not of martial arts as combat alone; it is also the study of peace and the way of harmony” – Hironori Ohtsuka

Wado-Ryu Karate is a Japanese martial art founded by Grand Master Hironori Ohtsuka in 1934. Ohtsuka Sensei developed Wado-Ryu after studying the Samurai martial art of Jiu-jitsu, and Shotokan (another style of Karate). This combination, according to Ohstuka Sensei, is a softer, more natural means of self-defense.

The full name of the style is Wado-Ryu Karate-Do. The term Wado-Ryu means “way of peace” or “way of harmony”, indicating Ohtsuka Sensei’s original intention to use training in Wado-Ryu as a means of solving problems in a non-violent way. Karate-Do means “way of the empty hand”, as Karate is, for the most part, studied without the use of weapons.


Guest Masters and Instructors

Wisdom comes from the body of knowledge that has been acquired and is passed down by the traditional masters that come before us. Sensei Rick is a firm believer that education is a slow but continual process that does not stop when a black belt rank is achieved.

In order to further the education of our students, Mountainside Martial Arts Center invites great traditional Japanese masters to come and guest teach our students during special karate classes and seminars. We specifically bring in top level instructors, highly recognized and acknowledge throughout the world as experts in their styles.

The wisdom and value of guest instructors from various styles compliments the true principles of growth that we are dedicated to develop. Our guest instructors that are invited to share their wisdom with our students, do so to reinforce and grow the tenets of our Dojo precepts.

Guest instructors Dustin Baldus - Chad Eagan - Patrick Martin

Making a Diference


For over 40 years Mountainside Martial Arts Center has worked to make a difference in our local community. Our goal has always been to make a positive humanitarian in the spirit of peace and harmony.

Mountainside Martial Arts Center believes in a strong community and in giving back to that community. We have partnered with many local charities and organizations each and every year in order to best serve the community in which we live.

One of the many such local organizations that we are proud to partner with is God's Garden Child Development Center. They are a Preschool and Child Development Center located in Ahwatukee. The have a child-centered, discovery-based curriculum that we feel meshes perfectly with our goal of creating outstanding citizens for our community and our country.

If you know of a local organization that you think would be a great partner, please contact us and let us know!