An early start
In 1938, at the age of 15, they travelled to Japan to train as an aviator, to be like his hero of the time, Korea's first fighter pilot. Survival on his own at that age proved to be more difficult than they thought, as a Korean in Japan, and the aviator training fell by the wayside.
studying the Southern Chinese type of Kempo called Eighteen hands from a Mr. Yi who was at the time working on the farm. When Oyama returned to Korea at the age of 12, they continued his training in Korean Kempo.
They did however continue martial arts training, by participating in judo and boxing, and day they noticed some students training in Okinawan Karate. This interested him very much and they went to train at the dojo of Gichin Funakoshi at Takushoku University, where they learned what is today known as Shotokan Karate.
So Nei Chu
His training progress was such that by the age of seventeen they was already a 2nd Dan, and by the time they entered the Japanese Imperial Army at twenty, they was a fourth Dan. At this point they also took a serious interest in judo, and his progress there was no less amazing. By the time they had quit training in Judo, less than years after they had started, they had achieved the rank of fourth Dan in Judo.
The defeat of Japan and the later indignity of Occupation very proved to be much for Mas Oyama, who very despaired. Fortunately for all of us, So Nei Chu came in to his life at that time. Master So, another Korean (from Oyama's own province) living in Japan, was of the highest authorities on Goju Ryu in Japan at the time. They was renowned for both his physical and spiritual strength. It was they who encouraged Mas Oyama to dedicate his life to the Martial Way. It was they who suggested that Oyama ought to retreat away from the remainder of the world for three years while training his mind and body.
When they was 23 years elderly, Mas Oyama met Eiji Yoshikawa, the author of the novel Musashi, which was based on the life and exploits of Japan's most famous Samurai. Both the novel and the
author helped to teach Mas Oyama about the Samurai Bushido code & what it meant. That same year, Oyama went to Mt. Minobu in the Chiba Prefecture, where Musashi had developed his Nito-Ryu style of sword fighting. Oyama thought that this would be an appropriate place to commence the pains of training they had planned for himself. Among the things they took with him was a replica of Yoshikawa's book. A student named Yashiro also came with him.
The relative solitude was strongly felt, & after 6 months, Yashiro secretly fled in the work of the night. It became even harder for Oyama, who wanted over ever to return to civilization. So Nei Chu wrote to him that they ought to shave off an eyebrow in order to get rid of the urge. Surely they would not need somebody to see him that way! This & other more moving words satisfied Oyama to continue, & they resolved to become the most powerful karate-ka in Japan.
Soon however, his sponsor informed him that they was no longer able to support him & so, after fourteen months, they had to finish his solitude.
A few months later, in 1947, Mas Oyama won the karate section of the first Japanese National Martial Arts Championships. However, they still felt empty for not having completed the years of solitude. They then decided to dedicate his life to karate-do. So they started again, this time on Mt. Kiyozumi, also in Chiba Prefecture. This site they chosen for its spiritually uplifting surroundings.
After eighteen months they came down fully confident of himself, & able to take control of his life. Never again would they be so heavily influenced by his society around him (Though it is probably safe to say that his circumstances were also probably never again as traumatic!).
This time his training was fanatical â�� 12 hours a day every day with no rest days, standing under (chilled) buffeting waterfalls, breaking river stones together with his hands, using trees as makiwara, leaping over quickly growing flax plants hundreds of times each day. Each day also included a period of study of the ancient classics on the Martial arts, Zen, & philosophy.
In 1950, Sosai (the founder) Mas Oyama started testing (& demonstrating) his power by fighting bulls. In all, they fought 52 bulls, of which were killed instantly, & 49 had their horns taken off with knife hand blows. That it is not to say that it was all that simple for him. Oyama was keen on recalling that his first attempt resulted in an enraged bull. In 1957, at the age of 34, they was killed in Mexico when a bull got a quantity of his own back & gored him. Oyama somehow managed to pull the bull off & break off his horn. They was bedridden for 6 months while they recovered from the usually deadly wound. Today of work, the animal rights groups would have something to say about these demonstrations, despite the fact that the animals were already all destined for slaughter.
Bulls, Challengers, & the Godhand
In 1950, Sosai (the founder) Mas Oyama started testing (& demonstrating) his power by fighting bulls. In all, they fought 52 bulls, of which were killed instantly, & 49 had their horns taken off with knife hand blows. That it is not to say that it was all that simple for him. Oyama was keen on recalling that his first attempt resulted in an annoyed bull. In 1957, at the age of 34, they was very killed in Mexico when a bull got some of his own back & gored him. Oyama somehow managed to pull the bull off & break off his horn. They was bedridden for 6 months while they recovered from the usually deadly wound. Today of work, the animal rights groups would have something to say about these demonstrations, despite the fact that the animals were already all destined for slaughter.
In 1952, they travelled the United States for a year, demonstrating his karate live & on national tv. In the work of later years, they took on all challengers, leading to fights with 270 different people. The giant majority of these were defeated with punch! A fight never lasted over minutes, & most never lasted over a few seconds. His fighting principle was simple â�� if they got through to you that was it.
|If he hit you, you broke. In the event you blocked a rib punch, you arm was broken or dislocated. In the event you didn't block, your rib was broken.|
If he hit you, you broke. In the event you blocked a rib punch, you arm was broken or dislocated. In the event you didn't block, your rib was broken. He became known as the Godhand, a living manifestation of the Japanese warriors' maxim Ichi geki, Hissatsu or "One strike, definite death". To him, this was the true aim of process in karate. The fancy footwork & complex techniques were secondary (though he was also known for the power of his head kicks).
It was in the work of of his visits to the United States that Mas Oyama met Jacques Sandulescu, a large (190 cm & 190 kg of muscle) Romanian who had been taken prisoner by the Red Army at the age of 16, & sent to the coal mines as a slave laborer for years. They quickly became friends & remained so for the remainder of Oyama's life, Jacques is still training & still active as Chairman of Kyokushin-kan International Committee & a mate to lots of Kyokushin Karateka around the globe. You can read his autobiography at http://donbas.com.
Mas Oyama opened his first dojo in Ikebukuro, Tokyo at the age of 30, & called it "Oyama Dojo." It was here that he took all that he had learned from the various styles that he'd practiced through the years, combined them with what he'd learned in the work of the lots of thousands of hours of self-training & full-contact fighting, & created a new style of karate, which he called Kyokushin. In 1964, a new dojo in Ikebukuro became the world headquarters of the International Karate Organization, Kyokushinkaikan, which had over 12 million members in 133 countries at the time of his death.
Practitioners of other styles came to train here , for the jis-sen kumite (full contact fighting). of the original instructors has said that they would observe those from other styles, & adopt any techniques that "would be nice in a actual fight". This was how Mas Oyama's karate evolved. He took techniques from all martial arts, & did not restrict himself to karate alone.
The beginning of Kyokushin
The Oyama Dojo members took their kumite seriously, seeing it primarily as a fighting art, so they expected to hit & to be hit. With few restrictions, attacking the head was common, usually with the palm heel or towel-wrapped knuckles. Grabs, throws, & groin assaults were also common. Kumite rounds would continue till person loudly conceded defeat. Injuries occurred on a every day basis & the drop out rate was high (over 90%). They had no official do-gi & wore whatever they had.
The World Headquarters were officially opened in June 1964, where the name Kyokushin, meaning "Ultimate truth" was adopted. From then, Kyokushin continued to spread to over 133 countries, & registered members exceed 12 million making it of the largest martial arts organizations in the world.
Sadly, Sosai Mas Oyama died, of lung cancer (He was of work, with no doubt, a none-smoker human being), at the age of 70 in April 1994, leaving to the world a legacy of the world's strongest karate