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|Country of origin||Japan|
|Famous practitioners||(see notable practitioners)|
|Ancestor arts||Gōjū-ryū, Shotokan, Bōgutsuki Karate (Kanbukan),|
|Descendant arts||Kudo, Ashihara, Enshin, Seidokaikan, Shidokan, Satojuku, Seiwakai, Shindenkai, Seidō juku|
Kyokushin (極真) is a full-contact martial art, school of Karate originating from Japan. It is a style of stand-up fighting and is rooted in a philosophy of self-improvement, discipline and hard training.
Kyokushin Kaikan is the martial arts organization founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese Masutatsu Oyama (大山倍達, Ōyama Masutatsu), officially the International Karate Organization. Previously this institution was known as the Oyama Dojo.
In April 1964, Mas Oyama established the Kyokushin Kaikan of the International Karatedo Federation under the umbrella of the Kyokushin Scholarship Foundation. Upon formation, Eisaku Sato acted as chairman and Matsuhei Mori as the vice chairman, with Oyama as the director (later president). Oyama directed the organization through a period of expansion.In June of the same year, the headquarters dojo (later the general headquarters) was completed in Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo. In addition to the people who provided financial support for the construction, Tadashi Nakamura testified that "Kenji Kurosaki's teacher has contributed very much."
Oyama hand-picked instructors who displayed ability in marketing the style and gaining new members. Oyama would choose an instructor to open a new dojo. The instructor would move to that town and demonstrate his karate skills in public places. After that, word of mouth would spread through the local area until the dojo had a dedicated core of students. Kyokushin sought to expand it's presence with contact with other martial arts disciples, interaction with other groups, matches, assimiliation of martial arts technique.
Oyama also sent instructors to other countries such as the Netherlands (Kenji Kurosaki), Australia (Mamoru Kaneko and Shigeo Kato), the United States (Miyuki Miura, Tadashi Nakamura, Shigeru Oyama and Yasuhiko Oyama), Great Britain (Steve Arneil), Canada (Tatsuji Nakamura) and Brazil (Seiji Isobe) to spread Kyokushin in the same way. Many students, including Steve Arneil, Jon Bluming, and Howard Collins, traveled to Japan to train with Oyama directly. Kyokushin also sought to develop a close connection with VIPs and celebrities, focusing on a mass media strategy to increase fans and gain students.
In 1969, Oyama staged The First All-Japan Full Contact Karate Open Championships and Terutomo Yamazaki became the first champion. All-Japan Championships have been held at every year. In 1975, The First World Full Contact Karate Open Championships were held in Tokyo.[ citation needed ] World Championships have been held at four-yearly intervals since.[ citation needed ]
At its peak, Oyama was alive in the 1990s, with branches set up in each prefecture, with more than 1,000 official branch dojos in 123 countries around the world, and a scale of 12 million members. [ additional citation(s) needed ]
After Mas Oyama's death, the International Karate Organization (IKO) split into two groups, primarily due to personal conflicts over who should succeed Oyama as chairman. One group led by Shokei Matsui became known as IKO-1, and a second group led by Yukio Nishidaand Sanpei became was known as IKO-2. The will was proven to be invalid in the family Court of Tokyo in 1995.
There were claims that near the end of his life, Oyama named Matsui (then ranked 5th dan, and clearly junior in rank to several senior instructors) to succeed him in leading the IKO. However this claim has been disputed with Oyama's family and Matsui himself.
In 1995 any new Kyokushin organization that claimed the name IKO, Kyokushinkaikan, were referred to by Kyokushin practitioners by numbers, such as IKO-1 (Matsui group), IKO-2 etc.[ citation needed ] Due to this break up, many attempted to establish their own leadership.[ citation needed ] For example, IKO-2 was not organized by Oyama's family, although Chiyako Oyama was asked to succeed after her husband as Kaicho.[ citation needed ] Chiyako Oyama stepped away from the political fight and founded the Mas Oyama Memorial Foundation with her daughters, still retaining the rights to the companies that managed IKO Kyokushinkaikan during Mas Oyama's leadership.[ citation needed ]
Oyama's widow died in June 2006 after a long illness.[ citation needed ] Mas Oyama's youngest daughter, Kikuko (also known as Kuristina) now oversees the management of the original IKO Kyokushin kaikan Honbu.[ citation needed ] She also published a book in 2010, a collective memoir of Mas Oyama and his teachings.[ citation needed ]
In May 2012, the Japanese Patent Office granted the Kyokushin related trademarks to Kikuko Kuristina Oyama, after years of long court battle.[ citation needed ] She has internationally trademarked and copyrighted her father's work and devotes the proceeds to various charities.[ citation needed ]
Kyokushin Karate training consists of three main elements: technique, forms, and sparring. These are sometimes referred to as the three "K's" after the Japanese words for them: kihon (basics), kata (formalized sequences of combat techniques), and kumite (sparring).
Kata is a form of ritualized self-training in which patterned or memorized movements are done in order to practice a form of combat maneuverings. According to a highly regarded Kyokushin text, "The Budo Karate of Mas Oyama"by Cameron Quinn, long time interpreter to Oyama, the kata of Kyokushin are classified into Northern and Southern Kata.
The northern kata stems from the Shuri-te tradition of karate, and are drawn from Shotokan karate which Oyama learned while training under Gichin Funakoshi.The southern kata stems from the Naha-te tradition of karate, and are mostly drawn from Goju-ryu karate, which Oyama learned while training under So Nei Chu and Gogen Yamaguchi. One exception may be the kata "Yantsu" which possibly originates with Motobu-ha Shito-ryu. There is also Ura Kata - Several kata are also done in "ura", which essentially means all moves are done in mirrored form. The ura, or 'reverse' kata, were developed by Oyama as an aid to developing balance and skill in circular techniques against multiple opponents.
|The Taikyoku kata were originally created by Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan karate.|
|The 5 Pinan katas, known in some other styles as Heian, were originally created in 1904 by Ankō Itosu, a master of Shuri-te and Shorin ryu (a combination of the shuri-te and tomari-te traditions of karate). He was a teacher to Gichin Funakoshi. Pinan (pronounced /pin-ann/) literally translates as Peace and Harmony.|
|Kanku Dai||Some organizations[ who? ] have removed the "Dai" from the name, calling it only "Kanku", as there is no "Sho" or other alternate Kanku variation practiced in kyokushin. The Kanku kata was originally known as Kusanku or Kushanku, and is believed to have either been taught by, or inspired by, a Chinese martialartist who was sent to Okinawa as an ambassador in the Ryukyu Kingdom during the 16th century. Kanku translates to "sky watching".|
|Sushiho||The Kata Sushiho is a greatly modified version of the old Okinawian kata that in Shotokan is known as Gojushiho, and in some other styles as Useishi. The name means "54 steps", referring to a symbolic number in Buddhism.|
|Bassai-dai||A very old Okinawan kata of unknown origin, the name Bassai or Passai translates to "to storm a castle". It was originally removed from the kyokushin syllabus in the late 1950s, but was reintroduced into some kyokushin factions after Oyama's death and the resulting fractioning of the organization.|
|Naihanchi||This kata is a very old Okinawan kata, also known as Tekki in Shotokan. It is generally classified as belonging to the Tomari-te traditions. The name Tekki translates to "iron horse" but the meaning of the name Naihanchi is "internal divided conflict". It was originally removed from the kyokushin syllabus in the late 1950s, but was reintroduced into some kyokushin factions after Oyama's death and the resulting fractioning of the organization.|
|Unique to Kyokushin. These three kata were created by Masutatsu Oyama to further develop kicking skills and follow the same embu-sen (performance line) as the original Taikyoku kata. Sokugi literally means Kicking, while Taikyoku translates to Grand Ultimate View. They were not formally introduced into the Kyokushin syllabus until after the death of Oyama.|
|Gekisai was created by Chojun Miyagi, founder of Goju-ryu karate. The name Gekisai means "attack and smash". In some styles (including some Goju-ryu factions) it is sometimes known under the alternative name "Fukyugata".|
|Tensho||Tensho draws it origin from Goju-ryu where it was developed by Chojun Miyagi, who claimed credit for its creation. There are however some who claim that it is merely a variation of an old, and now lost, Chinese kata known as "rokkishu" mentioned in the Bubishi (an ancient text often called the "Bible of Karate"). It is based on the point and circle principles of Kempo. It was regarded as an internal yet advanced Kata by Oyama. The name means "rotating palms".|
|Sanchin||Sanchin is a very old kata with roots in China. The name translates to "three points" or "three battles". The version done in kyokushin is most closely related to the version Kanryo Higashionna (or Higaonna), teacher of Chojun Miyagi, taught (and not to the modified version taught by Chojun Miyagi himself).|
|Saifa (Saiha)||A kata with Chinese influences, its name translates to "smash and tear down". The kata may have been brought from China by Kanryo Higashionna or developed by Chojun Miyagi. Of Kanryo Higashionna's top two students only Chojun Miyagi (the other being Juhatsu Kyoda) taught this kata, leading to debate over the origins.|
|Seienchin||Originally a Chinese kata, regarded as very old. It was also brought to Okinawa by Kanryo Higashionna. The name translates roughly to "grip and pull into battle".|
|Seipai||Originally a Chinese kata. It was also brought to Okinawa by Kanryo Higashionna. The name translates to the number 18, which is significant in Buddhism.|
|Yantsu||Yantsu is an old kata with unknown origin that is alternately classified as belonging to the Naha-te or Tomari-te karate tradition. Outside of kyokushin, it today is only practiced in Motobu-ha Shitō-ryū (that today is part of the Nihon Karate-do Kuniba-kai), where it in a slightly longer variant is called "Hansan" or "Ansan". The name Yantsu translates to "keep pure". How the kata was introduced into Kyokushin is unknown, although it is speculated that it was somehow imported from Motobu-ha Shito-ryu.|
|Tsuki no kata||This kata was created by Seigo Tada, founder of the Seigokan branch of Goju-ryu. In Seigokan goju-ryu the kata is known as Kihon Tsuki no kata and is one of two Katas created by the founder. How the kata was introduced into Kyokushin is largely unknown, but since Tadashi Nakamura are often claimed in error as the creator of the kata in Kyokushin, speculations are that he introduced it into Kyokushin after learning it from his Goju-ryu background.|
|Garyu||Unique to Kyokushin. The kata Garyu, is not taken from traditional Okinawan karate but was created by Oyama and named after his pen name (Garyu =reclining dragon), which is the Japanese pronunciation of the characters 臥龍, the name of the village (Il Loong) in Korea where he was born.|
|Taikyoku sono ichi ura|
|Taikyoku sono ni ura|
|Taikyoku sono san ura|
|Pinan sono ichi ura|
|Pinan sono ni ura|
|Pinan sono san ura|
|Pinan sono yon ura|
|Pinan sono go ura|
Sparring, also called kumite, is used to train the application of the various techniques within a fighting situation. Sparring is usually an important part of training in most Kyokushin organizations, especially at the upper levels with experienced students.
In most Kyokushin organizations, hand and elbow strikes to the head or neck are prohibited. However, kicks to the head, knee strikes, punches to the upper body, and kicks to the inner and outer leg are permitted. In some Kyokushin organizations, especially outside of a tournament environment, gloves and shin protectors are worn. Children often wear headgear to lessen the impact of any kicks to the head. Speed and control are instrumental in sparring and in a training environment it is not the intention of either practitioner to injure his opponent as much as it is to successfully execute the proper strike. Tournament fighting under knockdown karate rules is significantly different as the objective is to down an opponent. Full-contact sparring in Kyokushin is considered the ultimate test of strength, endurance, techniques and spirit.
Numerous tournaments are arranged by several Kyokushin organizations. Some of the most prestigious tournaments are:
Also known as Goshin Jitsu, the specific self-defense techniques of the style draw much of their techniques and tactics from Mas Oyama's study of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu under Yoshida Kotaro. These techniques were never built into the formal grading system, and as karate itself grew increasingly sport-oriented, the self-defense training started to fall into obscurity. Today it is only practiced in a limited number of dojos. However, the proper Kyokushin Karate techniques are extremely effective when it comes to self-defense in any type of fight due to its full body contact fighting style[ by whom? ].
Colored belts have their origin in Judo, as does the training 'gi', or more correctly in Japanese, 'dōgi' or 'Keikogi'. The example below uses the rank structure used by Kyokushin Karate's West Los Angeles Branch although the order of belt colors does vary between Kyokushin groups.
|Red Belt||10th kyu||Red|
|Red Belt||9th kyu||Red/Blue tag|
|Blue Belt||8th kyu||Blue|
|Advanced Blue Belt||7th kyu||Blue/Yellow tag|
|Yellow Belt||6th kyu||Yellow|
|Advanced Yellow Belt||5th kyu||Yellow/Green tag|
|Green Belt||4th kyu||Green|
|Advanced Green belt||3rd kyu||Green/Brown tag|
|Brown Belt||2nd kyu||Brown|
|Advanced Brown Belt||1st kyu||Brown/Black tag|
|Shodan (初段 or しょだん)||1st||One|
|Nidan (二段 or にだん)||2nd||Two|
|Sandan (三段 or さんだん)||3rd||Three|
|Yondan (四段 or よんだん)||4th||Four|
|Godan (五段 or ごだん)||5th||Five|
|Rokudan (六段 or ろくだん)||6th||Six|
|Shichidan (七段 or しちだん)||7th||Seven|
|Hachidan (八段 or はちだん)||8th||Eight|
|Kudan (九段 or きゅうだん)||9th||Nine|
|Judan (十段 or ゅうだん)||10th||Ten|
Kyokushin has had an influence on many other styles.[ citation needed ] The knockdown karate competition format is now used by other styles.[ citation needed ] Karate styles that originated in Kyokushin, such as Ashihara Karate, Budokaido, Godokai, Enshin Karate, Seidō juku, Musokai, Shidōkan, World Oyama and Seidokaikan, are also knockdown styles and use slight variations of the competition rules.[ citation needed ]
A few styles (Kansuiryu Karate and Byakuren) originated independently of Kyokushin and have adopted the competition format.[ citation needed ] Kokondo is derived from Kyokushin, albeit without a strong focus on competition with the emphasis rather on realistic goshin-jutsu (self-defense).[ citation needed ] Some styles originating in Kyokushin (Jushindo, Kūdō, Zendokai) have changed to mixed martial arts rules.[ citation needed ]
Kickboxing has been seen as a natural progression for kyokushin competitors[ citation needed ] and many of Japan's top kickboxers[ who? ] have started in knockdown karate. The influence of Kyokushin can be seen in the K-1 kickboxing tournament that originated out of the Seidokaikan karate organization, which is an offshoot from Kyokushin.[ citation needed ]
Kyokushin is the basis of glove karate, a knockdown karate format wearing boxing gloves and allowing punches to the head. Glove karate rules are used in Kyokushin Karate Iran.
The style has international appeal with practitioners have over the last 40 years numbered more than 12 million).
Kyokushin Karate has featured in following videogames:
A trilogy of films starring Sonny Chiba and directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi were produced in Japan between 1975 and 1977: Champion of Death , Karate Bearfighter and Karate for Life . Chiba plays Master Oyama, who also appears in two of the films.
Actor Dolph Lundgren is a practitioner of Kyokushin [ citation needed ]and holds a rank of 4th Dan blackbelt.
The James Bond movie You Only Live Twice , starring Sean Connery, was filmed largely in Japan and featured a karate demonstration by a number of well-known Kyokushin students, including Shigeo Kato (who introduced Kyokushin to Australia and was the original teacher of Shokei Matsui) and Akio Fujihira, who was one of the three fighters who took up the Muay Thai challenge in 1964 and who fought in the ring for many years under the name of Noboru Osawa.[ citation needed ]
Kyokushin was featured on Fight Quest on Discovery Channel as the Japanese Martial Arts Style.
Kyokushin was the style of karate featured in an episode of Human Weapon .[ citation needed ]
Kyokushin was studied by a character named Sutton in an episode of Elementary.[ citation needed ]
Karate (空手) is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom. It developed from the indigenous Ryukyuan martial arts under the influence of Kung Fu, particularly Fujian White Crane. Karate is now predominantly a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open-hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands and palm-heel strikes. Historically, and in some modern styles, grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints and vital-point strikes are also taught. A karate practitioner is called a karateka (空手家).
Shotokan is a style of karate, developed from various martial arts by Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1957) and his son Gigo (Yoshitaka) Funakoshi (1906–1945). Gichin Funakoshi was born in Okinawa and is widely credited with popularizing "karate do" through a series of public demonstrations, and by promoting the development of university karate clubs, including those at Keio, Waseda, Hitotsubashi (Shodai), Takushoku, Chuo, Gakushuin, and Hosei.
Full contact karate is any format of karate where competitors spar full-contact and allow a knockout as winning criterion.
Kumite is one of the three main sections of karate training, along with kata and kihon. Kumite is the part of karate in which a person trains against an adversary, using the techniques learned from the kihon and kata.
Tadashi Nakamura is the founder and Kaicho (chairman) of World Seidō Karate Organization headquartered in New York City.
Katsuaki Satō is the founder and director of Satojuku Karate, also known as Odo karate. The Satojuku honbu (headquarters) is located in Tachikawa, Japan.
Masutatsu Ōyama, more commonly known as Mas Oyama, was a karate master who founded Kyokushin Karate, considered the first and most influential style of full contact karate. A Zainichi Korean, he spent most of his life living in Japan and acquired Japanese citizenship in 1968.
Loek Hollander was a prominent Dutch karate practitioner. He began training Kyokushin Karate in 1962. Hollander earned his 1st dan ranking in 1965. Hollander was the fourth person ever to complete the 100-man kumite in 1967. Shihan Loek Hollander died on the morning of 16 February 2020.
Shokei Matsui, also known by his Korean name of Moon Jang-gyu, is a South Korean martial artist in Japan. He is the master of Kyokushin karate and current Kancho (Director) of the International Karate Organization Kyokushin-kaikan, faction of the International Karate Organization (IKO) founded by Mas Oyama (1923–1994).
Hajime Kazumi (born December 14, 1971) is a Japanese karateka. Born in Kanagawa prefecture, Kazumi is a karate fighter who played an active part in the full-contact karate tournaments hosted by Kyokushinkaikan from the early 1990s to the early 2000s.
Terutomo Yamazaki is a Japanese karateka from the Kyokushin Kaikan (極真会館) and professional lightweight kickboxer. He is the founder of Gyakushin-Kai (逆真会館) and a Director of Karate in Japan. He presides over the International Budo Karate Organization Gyakushin-Kai from the headquarters of the organization (honbu) in Ōmiya-ku, Saitama, Japan. His title as head of the Gyakushin-Kai organization is “Kancho”.
Edward 'Bobby' Lowe was a prominent Chinese American master of Kyokushin karate. He was the first uchi deshi of Masutatsu Oyama, founder of Kyokushin karate, and established the first Kyokushin school outside Japan. Lowe held the title of "Shihan" and was the Senior Instructor and an International Committee Chairman of the International Karate Organization founded by Oyama.
Peter Chong, PBM is a Kyokushin karate master and a former Assistant Superintendent of Police in Singapore. He was the former long term International Committee Chairman for Asia and the Middle East in the International Karate Organization founded by Masutatsu Oyama (1923–1994) and now led by Shokei Matsui. now he is the Chairman of the International Karate Alliance, KyokushinRyu. Kancho Peter Chong 9th Dan, is a Kyokushin Karate Master.
Yoshiji Soeno is a Japanese karateka and a retired professional welterweight kickboxer.
Hatsuo Royama also known by his Korean name of Noh Cho Woong is a master of Kyokushin Karate and current Kancho (Director) of the Kyokushin-kan International Organization Honbu, one faction of the International Karate Organization (IKO) founded by Mas Oyama (1923–1994).
Shigeru Oyama was a karate practitioner and instructor who operated a dojo in New York for half a century. He taught Kyokushin karate for many years before forming his own organization World Oyama Karate in 1985. He was hand-picked by Mas Oyama, karate master and founder of Kyokushin karate, to spread his contact style of karate in the United States and was sent to New York City to teach in 1966. S. Oyama is acknowledged as one of the first Kyokushin stylists to successfully complete the 100-man kumite. Oyama has taught many students, including Willie Williams and Frank Clark. Of the many Japanese Kyokushin karateka who sought training under S. Oyama, Joko Ninomiya chose to stay in America to also teach, and he became branch chief for Kyokushin in Denver, CO in 1976.
World Open Karate Championship is the largest competition in Kyokushin Karate. This tournament is arranged every fourth year in Tokyo.
World Karate Championship in Weight Categories is the second largest competition in Kyokushin Karate. This tournament is arranged by several kyokushin organisations and usually held every fourth year in between World Tournaments which do not have any weight classes.
Seiji Isobe is Japanese Karate instructor residing in Brazil. He is a member of the IKO1 's international committee and is the General Manager of the South American Regional Federation. He holds a rank of 8th Dan Black in Kyokushin Karate.
Ademir Sidnei Ferreira da Costa, more commonly known as Ademir da Costa, is a Brazilian martial artist, specializing in Full-Contact Karate. He was a former Kyokushin Karate fighter who is the founder and current chairman of the martial arts entity Seiwakai.