Kyokushin

Kyokushin Two competing Kyokushin practitioners / Photo Source: Team-Yellow

Summary

Kyokushin is another action packed, full contact Karate which has swept the world off its feet. It is estimated that over 12 million practitioners have cropped up across the globe and have armed themselves with this fighting style. This is an explosive combative art which is meant for the big boys. It is practical and meant to be used on the streets. Added to that, it has fantastic health benefits. It keeps you fit enough to walk with your chin up. Your confidence reaches for the sky with you clad in the armour of Kyokushin.

History / Origins

ETYMOLOGY

The word ‘Kyokushin’ can be interpreted as:

  • ‘Kyoku’ for ultimate
  • ‘shin’ for truth, or facts

Hence it means, ‘Ultimate Truth,’ or ‘the way of the ultimate truth.’ Simplifying it further, it would mean that the practitioner of this fighting art ‘Kyokushin Karate,’ will be on the path of ‘knowing thyself.’

BEGINNINGS

The honours for introducing the Kyokushin style goes to Masutatsu Oyama, who was born near Seoul, South Korea. He got hooked to the world of martial arts around 1941 at a university in Japan. He started his venture by studying Judo, but ended up in the world of Karate. He became a student of Gichin Funakoshi and later he made rapid growths in ranks, and in 1947 he went ahead to win All Japan Karate Tournament.

Then Oyama got introduced to many other prominent masters of the art at the time. But it was So Nei Chu who made a big impact on him and on his instructions Oyama bid goodbye to the world and went to Mt Kiyosumi, where he spent years living in a temple and training himself to face the hardships of life in harsh environments. He began practicing martial arts vigorously and hardened his body with physical labour along with Zen meditation to attain enlightenment.

PRESENT DAY

After the death of Masutatsu Oyama, the legacy of Oyama was too much for his successors to handle and Kyokushinkaikan split in two. As of 1995 there are 5 internationally known torch-bearers of Kyokushinkaikan who carry the tag of IKO. It is estimated that in Japan there are many illegitimate lesser-known, small Kyokushin organizations, which are nothing but fraud.

There is the 100-man kumite, which is an uphill challenge conceived of by Mas Oyama and is an ideal goal for all Kyokushin practitioners. To succeed, it requires the practitioners to exhibit their Kyokushin skills and last for 100 rounds of sparring against 100 opponents. Each round is about 2 minutes. Apart from Oyama, only 17 people are known to have accomplished it, with Oyama doing it thrice.

FOLKLORE

It is said that by the time Masutatsu Oyama abandoned his self-exile and returned to civilization, he had become a perfect fighting weapon and master of the art. Among his other outstanding feats for which his fame grew, killing a bull with his bare hands is one that demonstrated the power of the master. But he was out to prove more and in a competition in the US in 1952, he won as many as 200 matches, all in knock-outs, and all with hardened boxers and wrestlers. He showed the world that he was a class apart from others.

In 1969, the master introduced the world to the first ‘knockdown’ tournament in the form of ‘All Japan Karate Tournament.’ The contest allowed full-fledged contacts with the head and body, though punches to the head were not allowed. The World Open Tournament was inaugurated during 1975 in Tokyo. The event became an instant success and it now repeats every four years.

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Discipline
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COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japan
TIME OF ORIGIN: c. 1964
PRACTISED: 55 years
FOUNDERS:

Masutatsu Oyama

FOCUS: 

Striking

ALSO KNOWN AS: -
PARENTHOOD:

DESCENDANTS:

OLYMPIC SPORT:

NOTABLE FEMALE PRATITIONERS

NOTABLE MALE PRATITIONERS

Discipline
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NATIONALITY:
DATE OF BIRTH:
AGE: 55 years
BORN:

RESIDENCE: -
ALSO KNOWN AS: -
OCCUPATION:

Striking

JOB TITLE:

RELATED FEMALE INDIVIDUALS

RELATED MALE INDIVIDUALS

Discipline
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COUNTRY: Japan
LOCATION: -
FOUNDED: c. 1964
OPERATIONAL: 55 years
FOUNDERS:

Masutatsu Oyama

ALSO KNOWN AS: -
SECTOR:

Striking

DESCRIPTION:

WEBSITE: -

ACOSSIATED INDIVIDUALS

ACOSSIATED ATHLETES

Practices

PHILOSOPHY

The philosophy of Kyokushin is far beyond the physical ability to defend ones’ self. Of course, it does want someone to develop an excellent athletic body, reduce fat and increase muscular mass. But it also intends to develop the practitioner’s mental self. As a fighter continues with their practice and rises up the ladder, they begin to gain self-confidence and learn to stay focused. Kyokushin teaches them to be mentally strong and handle challenging situations. It helps students set goals and concentrate to achieve them.

TECHNIQUES

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TRAINING

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RANKS & GRADING

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WEIGHT CLASSES

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Rules / Rulesets

RULES / RULESETS

The rules of the sport vary between different tournaments, but are expected to have 5 match officials with 4 judges observing and 1 referee conducting the proceedings. All 5 have one vote each and arrive at a decision of 2/3rd majority to be considered.

To begin proceedings, the referee calls the competitors to the mat area and they go through the procedure of greeting the judges and bowing to each other. Then comes the time for action and at the command of ‘Kamaete,’ and ‘Hajime,’ the competitors take up their stances and begin the bout. Each bout can last for ideally 2 minutes or at times 3. The match is decided upon by a point system. In case the decision is not made in favour of any participant, the referee can call for extensions.

Organisations & Historical Places

ORGANISATIONS

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HISTORICAL PLACES

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Popular Culture

POPULAR CULTURE

You can feel the influences of Kyokushin littered all around the world in different formats. It may be in the form of competitions held under different names, but all carry the blood of Kyokushin in their vein. There are different styles that sprout from Kyokushin and there are also some like Byakuren and Kansuirya Karate. Though they are different entities, they still adopt the competing format of Kyokushin.

The influence of Kyokushin can also be seen in the virtual world and videos games with Kyokushin karate flavour, including the popular Tekken series, which sold like hot cakes. There are 3D fighting games for PSPs, which are themed on Kyokushin Karate, with training sessions and competitions.

The movie world was also not left behind and they came forward with Japanese and Hollywood movies, which liberally demonstrated the effectiveness of Kyokushin, with the hero fighting it out against all odds.

Silver screen was also not far behind and it came up with ‘Fight Quest’ on the Discovery Channel. There were other episodes like Human Weapon, and Elementary.

Useful Links

USEFUL LINKS

Links coming soon

References

REFERENCES

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyokushin
  2. http://kimaa.com.au/about-kyokushin-karate/
  3. http://martialarts.about.com/od/styles/a/kyokushin.htm
  4. http://www.ikowales.co.uk/KnockdownRules.pdf

COLLABORATORS

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Contact

CONTACT