History of Kyokushinkai
The founder of Kyokushinkai, Masutatsu Oyama, was born on July 27, 1923 South Korea.
From the age of 9 Oyama studied Chinese Kempo. In 1938 at the age of 15 he travelled
to japan to live and enrolled at the Takushoku University. After mastering judo he began
training Okinawan Karate under the tutorship of Gichin Funakoshi (the father of modern
karate). By 17 he had achieved 2nd Dan and by 24 he had achieved his 4th Dan. In 1946 Sosai
went to train on Mt. Kiyosumi in Chiba Prefecture. Following this training he competed in the
1948 he took part in, and won the all Japan Karate Champinships. Following this Sosai once
again isolated himself from civilisation and took to training in solitude in the mountains
to perfect his art and his spiritual self. Once this training had been completed he went on
tour around the world and gave many demonstrations of his abilities including the now infamous
fights with bulls. There are many accounts of these fights but it is believed that he fought 52
bulls, killing 3 instantly and taken the horns of the remaining 49 with knife hand blows.
He also toured the USA doing live regional and national television interviews and demonstrations.
During his lifetime Oyama performed a number of feats including defeating a number of bulls
with his bare hands and also completed the 100 man kumite 100 full contact, 2 minute
rounds in which the competitor must win at least 50% of them and if knocked down must return
to fighting position within 5 seconds).
Upon his return to Japan he opened his first dojo in 1953 in Mejiro in 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 drop-out rate due to the harshness of training.
Sadly, Sosai Oyama died of lung cancer on 26 April, 1994 aged 70. Since then the main body
of Kyokushinkai has split into a number or smaller organisations (of which the IFK is one)
much the same as Shotokan appears to have done.
Even with these changes Kyohushinkai today is still firmly rooted in the training
developed by Oyama with tests of physical and mental perseverence such as the 100 man kumite
still open to students if they wish to test themselves there are also 20,30,40 and 50 man
varients-still no mean feat as anyone who has fought in a knockdown competition will testify to!
To this day Kyokushinkai is well known and highly respected within the martial arts world and
is still known as "The Strongest Karate".