Shihan Dan S. Soller

Dan S. Soller

Shihan Soller (born 1956) is a noted karate practitioner, chief instructor and managing director.

Shihan Soller founded the Phoenix Karatedo Association Kyokushinkaikan, a world-class international karatedo organization, in 1981. Headquartered in the USA, the Association comprises small dojo throughout the world. He was named the Association’s second generation Kancho - I.e., Chairman and Chief Instructor - upon the death of his long time instructor and the Association’s first Kancho, Shihan Raymond Elmore, in June, 2006.

Shihan Soller began his study of Oyama-Ryu Kyokushin Karate under Shihan Elmore when he was 16 years old (Virginia, USA). He later served as Chief Instructor in Elmore’s dojo before being awarded a full teaching scholarship in 1979 to develop martial arts programs at Southern Illinois University. While there, he trained hundreds of students and redesigned the curriculum to better reflect the goals of karatedo training and to meet the needs of his students. He organized and developed karatedo clubs in the eastern United States before going on to spread his Phoenix Karatedo throughout the world. He is the author of Teaching in the College Dojo (1983), the Club Guidebook (1984), and The Phoenix Karatedo Guidebook (1996), which was expanded into a new publication, The Phoenix Way, 2000 Millennium Gold Edition (Second Edition, 2006).

Perhaps unique among noted world karate instructors, Soller is also a highly successful university administrator. He holds academic degrees from James Madison University, the Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary, and the aforementioned Southern Illinois University. He currently serves as Executive Vice President of the University and Adjunct Professor at Mount St. Mary's University, Maryland, USA. Prior to Mount St. Mary’s, Soller held a number of leadership positions at other universities.

Best known for his commitment to his students and his dynamic leadership, Shihan Soller’s teachings place a special emphasis on the educational value of karatedo along with individual development and human potential. He continues to train and teach regularly in his small dojo located at Mount St. Mary’s University, USA, where his classes are taught in a disciplined atmosphere with additional emphasis on kihon and direct, proactive movement.

Widely traveled, Shihan Soller has received a number of educational grants that have allowed him to visit diverse countries and permitted him to teach in such places as Eastern Europe and Africa. He counts his travels as his “greatest education,” believing that world travel opens the “educational possibilities and human realities” in a far greater and faster way than any other endeavor.


La Roche College Magazene (Fall / Winter, 1997)

The Phoenix Way, 2000 Millennium Gold Edition (Second printing, 2006)

The Yudansha Handbook of the Phoenix Karatedo Association (2002)

Comments (1)
1. 04-08-2012 22:24
Hi Greg!Thanks for your feedback. What rank are you by the way? Or sulhod I say, how long have you been training and how often?Early on in my training brute force was great to have! I remember coming through as a green belt and Shihan James Duggan training us to be extremely tough and be able to take a good kumite beating. Progressively we learnt to control our movement and flow of energy (usually around the brown belt rank) and began to understand when brute force works effectively and when it impedes our performance.I always strive to find elastic speed throughout the path of the technique and tension at the end point. Always with good form in case the end point is shortened like when an opponent rushes forward at you during a strike. Elbows in and forward from the hip, lats/shoulders down and hands up.

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