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About Kyokushin

Programs > Karate Kyokushin

Kyokushin kaikan is a style of a full contact karate, founded in 1953 by Korean-Japanese karate master, Masutatsu Oyama. After several decades of studying and practicing in different forms of Korean, Chinese and Japanese martial arts as well as Western boxing and North American self-defence tactics, Master Oyama combined the essential elements of each to achive the maximum effectiveness of his Martial Art method and make it suitable for 21st century practitioners.

This is a reason why there are over 12 million practitioners of Kyokushin karate around the world nowdays.



Kyokushinkai is composed of three characters:

Kyoku - "Ultimate"

Shin - "Truth"

Kai - "Society"



The symbol of Kyokushin Karate is the Kanku, which is derived from Kanku Kata, the Sky Gazing Form. In this kata, the hands are raised and the fingers meet to form an opening through which the sky is viewed. The top and bottom points of the Kanku represent the first fingers of each hand touching at the top and the thumbs touching at the bottom, symbolizing the peaks or ultimate points. The thick sections at the sides represent the wrists, symbolizing power. The center circle represents the opening between the hands through which the sky is viewed, symbolizing infinite depth. The whole Kanku is enclosed by a circle, symbolizing continuity and circular action.

Kyokushin roots

The Kyokushin as a martial art system is based on traditional Okinawan karate like Goju-ryu and Shotokan, techniques and tactics from Daitô-ryû Aiki-jûjutsu, Judo, Chakuriki (Chinese Fist), Taiki Ken (Chinese Internal Style) and Muay Thai (Thai Kickboxing). See the Kyokushin Lineage >> (by Oyama's family).

100 Man sparring marathon

100 Man sparring-kumite (hyakunin kumite in Japanese) is an extreme test of physical and mental endurance in Kyokushin karate. Kumite involves simulated combat against an opponent. The 100-man kumite consists of 100 rounds of kumite, each between one-and-a-half and two minutes in length.

Normally, the karate practitioner undergoing the test will have to face similarly- or higher-ranked opponents, and may face an opponent a few times in the course of the test (depending on the number of opponents available to participate).
Reportedly, only 17 people have successfully completed the 100-man fight. The first Kyokushin student to complete the test was Steve Arneil from Breat Britain in 1965 and the last was Arthur Hovhannisyan from Russia in 2009.

In Russia where Sensei Alexei has grown up as a karateka, it has been mandatory for a black belt test 1-st, 2-nd and 3-rd level to pass accordingly 30, 40 and 50 kumite.

Kyokushin vs. Muay Thai Kick Boxing

In the early sixties Muai Thai Kick Boxing challenged Japanese Karate, but this challenge was not accepted. The Oyama dojo then sent three students to Thailand, won 2 out of 3 fights redeemed the name of Japanese Karate.

There were "Karate vs. Muay Thai fights" February 12, 1963. The three kyokushin karate fighters from Oyama dojo went to the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Thailand, and fought against 3 Muay Thai fighters. The 3 karate fighters' names are Tadashi Nakamura, Kenji Kurosaki and Akio Fujihira (as known as Noboru Osawa). Japan won by 2-1: Tadashi Nakamura and Akio Fujihira both KOed opponents by punch while Kenji Kurosaki was KOed by elbow.

Influence on other Styles and sports

Kyokushin in its many factions and organizations has had, and still has, a big influence on many other styles, and the knockdown karate competition format is now used by a large number of styles. As a group, the styles that use the knockdown karate rules are called knockdown styles, or knockdown karate styles. Most other karate styles that originated in Kyokushin, such as Ashihara Karate, Budokaido, Godokai, Enshin Karate, Seido juku, Musokai, Shido-kan and Seidokaikan are also knockdown styles and use slight variations of the competition rules.

Some styles originating in Kyokushin such as Jushindo, and Daido Juku and its derivative, Japanese Zendokai (Kudo, as opposed to Judo or Karate), has also been strongly influenced by Kyokushin technique and traditions, but has chosen to abandon traditional Knockdown karate sparring for more Mixed Martial Arts influenced competition rules. Many Kickboxing gyms has been influenced by kyokushin.
Influences from Kyokushin and knockdown karate can be seen in the K-1 kickboxing tournament.
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