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Jackson Brown
Jackson Brown

Mas Oyama's Karate


Wanting the best in instruction, he contacted the Shotokan dojo (Karate school) operated by Gigō Funakoshi, the third son of karate master and Shotokan founder Gichin Funakoshi.[10] He became a student, and began his lifelong career in Karate. To stay focused he remained isolated and trained in solitude.[9]




Mas Oyama's Karate



Around the time he also went around Tokyo getting in fights with the U.S. Military Police. He later reminisced those times in a television interview, "Itsumitemo Haran Banjyo" (Nihon Television), "I lost many friends during the war- the very morning of their departure as Kamikaze pilots, we had breakfast together and in the evening their seats were empty. After the war ended, I was angry- so I fought as many U.S. military as I could, until my portrait was all over the police station." Oyama retreated to a lone mountain for solace to train his mind and body. He set out to spend three years on Mt. Minobu in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. Oyama built a shack on the side of the mountain. One of his students named Yashiro accompanied him, but after the rigors of this isolated training, with no modern conveniences, the student snuck away one night, and left Oyama alone. With only monthly visits from a friend in the town of Tateyama in Chiba Prefecture, the loneliness and harsh training became grueling. Oyama remained on the mountain for fourteen months, and returned to Tokyo a much stronger and fiercer karateka.[9]


In 1953 Oyama opened his own karate dojo, named Oyama Dojo (form of Gōjū-ryū), in Tokyo but continued to travel around Japan and the world giving martial arts demonstrations, which included knocking live bulls unconscious with his bare hands (sometimes grabbing them by the horn, and snapping the horn off).[11] His dojo was first located outside in an empty lot but eventually moved into a ballet school in 1956. The senior instructors under him were T. Nakamura, K. Mizushima, E. Yasuda, M. Ishibashi, and T. Minamimoto.[12] Oyama's own curriculum soon developed a reputation as a tough, intense, hard-hitting but practical style which was finally named Kyokushinkai (Japan Karate-Do Kyokushinkai), which means 'the ultimate truth,' in a ceremony in 1957. He also developed a reputation for being 'rough' with his students, as the training sessions were grueling and students injuring themselves in practice fighting (kumite) was quite common.[13] Along with practice fighting that distinguished Oyama's teaching style from other karate schools, emphasis on breaking objects such as boards, tiles, or bricks to measure one's offensive ability became Kyokushin's trademark. Oyama believed in the practical application of karate and declared that ignoring 'breaking practice is no more useful than a fruit tree that bears no fruit.'[14] As the reputation of the dojo grew students were attracted to come to train there from inside and outside Japan and the number of students grew. Many of the eventual senior leaders of today's various Kyokushin based organisations began training in the style during this time. In 1964 Oyama moved the dojo into the building that would from then on serve as the Kyokushin home dojo and world headquarters. In connection with this he also formally founded the 'International Karate Organization Kyokushin kaikan' (commonly abbreviated to IKO or IKOK) to organise the many schools that were by then teaching the kyokushin style.


In 1961 at the All-Japan Student Open Karate Championship, one of Oyama's students, Tadashi Nakamura, at 19 years old (1961) made his first tournament appearance, where he was placed first. Nakamura later became Mas Oyama's Chief Instructor as referenced in Mas Oyama's book, "This is Karate." In 1969, Oyama staged the first All-Japan Full Contact Karate Open Championships which took Japan by storm and Terutomo Yamazaki became the first champion, which have been held every year since. In 1975, the first World Full Contact Karate Open Championships were held in Tokyo. World championships have been held at four-yearly intervals since. After formally establishing Kyokushin-kai, Oyama directed the organization through a period of expansion. Oyama and his staff of hand-picked instructors displayed great ability in marketing the style and gaining new members.[15] Oyama would choose an instructor to open a dojo in another town or city in Japan, whereupon the instructor would move to that town, and, typically demonstrate his karate skills in public places, such as at the civic gymnasium, the local police gym (where many judo students would practice), a local park, or conduct martial arts demonstrations at local festivals or school events. In this way, the instructor would soon gain a few students for his new dojo. After that, word of mouth would spread through the local area until the dojo had a dedicated core of students. Oyama also sent instructors to other countries such as the United States, Netherlands, England, Australia and Brazil to spread Kyokushin in the same way. Oyama also promoted Kyokushin by holding The All-Japan Full Contact Karate Open Championships every year and World Full Contact Karate Open Championships once every four years in which anyone could enter from any style.[16]


Wanting the best in instruction, he contacted the Shotokan dojo (Karate school) operated by Gigō Funakoshi, the second son of karate master and Shotokan founder Gichin Funakoshi. He became a student, and began his lifelong career in Karate. Feeling like a foreigner in a strange land, he remained isolated and trained in solitude.


In 1953, Sosai Masutatsu Oyama opened his first "dojo", a grass lot in Mejiro, Tokyo. In 1956, the first real dojo was opened in a former ballet studio behind Rikkyo University, 500 meters from the location of the current Japanese Honbu Dojo (headquarters). By 1957 there were 700 members, despite the high dropout rate due to the extreme nature of the training. Practitioners of other styles came to train here too, in particular for jis-sen kumite (full contact fighting). One of the original instructors, Kenji Kato, has said that they would observe those from other styles and adopt any techniques that "would be good in a real fight". This was how Sosai Masutatsu Oyama's karate evolved. He took techniques from all martial arts and did not restrict himself to karate alone. The students of Sosai Masutatsu Oyama took their kumite seriously because this was a full contact style. They expected to hit and to be hit. With few restrictions, attacking the head was common, usually with the palm heel or towel-wrapped knuckles. Grabs, throws and groin attacks were also common. Kumite rounds would continue until one person loudly conceded defeat. Injuries occurred on a daily basis and the dropout rate was high (over 90%). They had no official dogi and wore whatever they had.


The heart of our karate is real fighting.There can be no proof without real fighting. Without proof there is no trust. Without trust there is no respect. This is a definition in the world of martial arts.


Karate is not a game. It is not a sport. It is not even a system of self-defense. Karate is half physical exercise and half spiritual. The karateist who has given the necessary years of exercise and meditation is a tranquil person. He is unafraid. He can even be calm in a burning building.


Elsewhere in the book, Oyama said that he would bench press 175 pounds 500 times a day (photo above). Then there are karate-specific exercises such as straw striking and exercises that are specific to board and stone breaking abilities. All this was in addition to practicing forms, sparring, etc.


accomplished actor, screenwriter, director, film producer and genuine champion of Kyokushin karate. Before his movie career he was a highly-recognised-and feared by his opponents-champion of the Kyokushin full-contact tournament arena. His academic achievements are no less outstanding. Dolph earned his degree in chemical engineering from the prestigious Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney in 1982. He also received a Fulbright scholarship to MIT. During this time he was training hard in Kyokushin and won the Swedish and European championship in 1980 and 1981 and the Australian championship in 1982. 041b061a72


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