Kyokushinkai Karate


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One of the toughest Karate styles. Puts a strong emphasis on stamina and physical contact. It was established by Sosai Matsutatsu Oyama(1923-1994). His real name was Hyung Yee, being a Korean at origin. He will change his name to the Japanese one Matsutatsu Oyama. He was a true force of nature, he had a phenomenal set of fists. He killed a man with a single strike, he fought bulls empty handed, he broke stones and bricks, trees.

His first contact with the martial arts was through a North Korean who worked at his father’s company. He teaches him shaolin and kung fu techniques. At the age of 14 he went to japan, and in 1937 he changed his name. He studied Shotokan karate with Gichin Funakoshi,and Gojukai Karate with Cho Hung Ju.

At the latter’s advice, he went to a buddhist temple, on the Monobu mountain. After 3 months he fled to Tokio, getting to know Tenshichiro Ozawa(a state official). He advises Oyama to go to the mountains and meditate, and also practice hardly.Oyama listens to him, and goes to the mountains, only to return after 18 months. Although the legend says he killed over 50 bulls, the truth is that he killed only 3, by breaking their neck. He opens a dojo in Tateyama, but he fails in that endeavor.

He went again to Tokio, and wins the Japan Karate Championships in 1947. He organizes a series of tournaments in order to promote his new style, finishing all the bouts by ko. He was a good friend of Cho Hung Yu, and he accepted to be the adviser of Gogen Yamaguchi,headmaster of the Gojukai school. He becomes a popular figure in the next 3 years. In 1964 he will christen his style as Kyokushinkai..In 1969 he organized the first “open” tournament of the whole Japan, the tournament where 48 different styles of karate were present by their practicioners.

This style is the fruit of Oyama’s experience. He invited many other styles professionals to train with him, and he took to himself to adapt many of their moves to his own style.

Sosai Oyama wrote a set of rules that must be obeyed by the martial arts practicioners, these becoming true law:-the martial way begins and ends with politeness, be polite and correct all the time.

-to climb up the martial way is like climbing a mountain, go up with no stops at all. It requires absolute and unblemished devotion, for each task
-fight in order to have the initiative in any matter, guard yourself from actions that are based on a selfish reason
-the martial way is based on position, fight to maintain the correct position all the time
-the martial way begins with a 1,000 days of practice and is mastered after 10,000 days of practice
-in martial arts being introspective leads to being wise
-the nature and purpose of the martial arts are universal
-martial arts begin in a point and end in a circle
-the true essence of the martial way can only be achieved by experience

We will end with the translation from Japanese of the name of the style. It says more than 1,000 words:”meeting the supreme truth”.