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His Youth ...

Mas Oyama age 12


Sosai Masutatsu Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin Karate was born in Korea in 1923. He began studying Chinese Kempo when he was 9 years old living on a farm in China. He returned to Korea when he was 12, where he trained in Korean Kempo. At 15 he traveled to Japan where he began training in judo, boxing and karate. He earned his fourth Dan in karate at age 20. Although his progress in judo was equally impressive he quit training in judo and joined the Japanese Imperial Army.

Dedication to the Martial Way

Following the end of the war, So Nei Chu, one of Oyama’s instructors, encouraged him to dedicate his life to the Martial Way. Following his advice, Oyama traveled to Mt. Minobu where he lived in isolation, training for 12 hours a day, standing under ice cold waterfalls, running and jumping over bushes and boulders as well as using trees as makiwara ( striking aides ). After many months he returned to civilization where he won the karate division of the first Japanese Martial Arts Championships. Again he retreated to the mountains, this time to Mt. Kiyozumi where he continued his rigorous training as well as studying the ancient classics on the Martial Arts, Zen and philosophy. After 18 months he was confident in his ability to return and maintain control of his life. Mas Oyama in Waterfall



Sharing his message

Mas Oyama - Dojo Kumite Returning from the mountains in 1950 Mas Oyama began testing and proving his power by fighting bulls. He fought 52 bulls, three of which were killed instantly, the remaining 49 had their horns taken off with knife hand blows. This was his way of attracting the interest of others, giving him the opportunity to enlighten them on the strengths and virtues of karate. He began making visits to North America to demonstrate his skills, both live and on television. He won every fight, many of which ended after a single punch. This earned him the name of Godhand


Kyokushin-kan begins

In 1954 Mas Oyama opened his first dojo in Tokyo, Japan. This was the beginning of Kyokushin-kan. In 1964 the Tokyo Honbu  ( headquarters ) opened and the International Karate Organization ( IKO ) was established. The Kyokushin-kan has spread to over 120 countries throughout the world and exceeds 10 million registered members. Sosai Oyama - Dojo-kun
Sosai Masutatsu Oyama contracted lung cancer and passed away April 26th, 1994 at the age of 70.





1) The Martial Way begins and ends with courtesy. Therefore, be properly and genuinely courteous at all times.
Following the Martial Way is like scaling a cliff. Continue upwards without rest. It demands absolute and unfaltering devotion to the task at hand.
Strive to seize the initiative in all things, all the time guarding against actions stemming from selfish animosity or thoughtlessness.
Even for Martial Artists, the place of money cannot be ignored. Yet one should be careful never to become attached to it.
5) The Martial Way is centered in posture. Strive to maintain correct posture at all times.
6) The Martial Way begins with one thousand days and is mastered after ten thousand days of training.
In Martial Arts, introspection begets wisdom. Always see contemplation of your actions as an opportunity to improve.
The nature and purpose of the Martial Way is universal. All selfish desires should be roasted in the tempering fires of hard training.
9) Martial Arts begin with a point and end in a circle. Straight lines stem from this principle.
The true essence of the Martial Way can only be realized through experience. Knowing this, learn never to fear its demand.
11) Always remember: In Martial Arts the rewards of a confident and grateful heart are truly abundant.





ent and grateful heart are truly abundant.