Kyokushin
Overview
 
is a style of stand-up
Stand-up fighting
Stand-up fighting is hand-to-hand combat that takes place while the combatants are in a standing position. The term is commonly used in martial arts and combat sports to designate the set of techniques employed from a standing position, as opposed to techniques employed in ground fighting...

, full contact karate
Full contact karate
Full contact karate is a wide term used to differentiate between competition formats of karate where competitors spar full-contact and allow knockout as winning criterion, and those competitions that use light contact/semi contact point sparring where a knockout is regarded as a foul.The term is...

, founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese karate
Karate
is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed from indigenous fighting methods called and Chinese kenpō. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands. Grappling, locks,...

 master, who was born under the name Choi Young-Eui . Kyokushinkai is Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

 for "the society of the ultimate truth". Kyokushin is rooted in a philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 of self-improvement, discipline and hard training. Its full contact style has had international appeal (practitioners have over the last 40+ years numbered more than 12 million).

Kyokushin has influenced many of the "Full-Contact" schools of karate, emphasizing realistic combat, physical toughness, and practicality in its training
Training
The term training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. It forms the core of apprenticeships and provides the backbone of content at institutes of...

 curriculum.
Encyclopedia
is a style of stand-up
Stand-up fighting
Stand-up fighting is hand-to-hand combat that takes place while the combatants are in a standing position. The term is commonly used in martial arts and combat sports to designate the set of techniques employed from a standing position, as opposed to techniques employed in ground fighting...

, full contact karate
Full contact karate
Full contact karate is a wide term used to differentiate between competition formats of karate where competitors spar full-contact and allow knockout as winning criterion, and those competitions that use light contact/semi contact point sparring where a knockout is regarded as a foul.The term is...

, founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese karate
Karate
is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed from indigenous fighting methods called and Chinese kenpō. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands. Grappling, locks,...

 master, who was born under the name Choi Young-Eui . Kyokushinkai is Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

 for "the society of the ultimate truth". Kyokushin is rooted in a philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 of self-improvement, discipline and hard training. Its full contact style has had international appeal (practitioners have over the last 40+ years numbered more than 12 million).

Kyokushin has influenced many of the "Full-Contact" schools of karate, emphasizing realistic combat, physical toughness, and practicality in its training
Training
The term training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. It forms the core of apprenticeships and provides the backbone of content at institutes of...

 curriculum. The Knockdown karate competition system pioneered by Kyokushin has been adopted by many different karate styles and organizations. Other martial arts organizations have "spun off" from Kyokushin over the years, with some changing the combat repertory by adding various techniques, such as grappling
Grappling
Grappling refers to techniques, maneuvers, and counters applied to an opponent in order to gain a physical advantage, such as improving relative position, escaping, submitting, or injury to the opponent. Grappling is a general term that covers techniques used in many disciplines, styles and martial...

, but continuing with the same philosophy of realistic and practical training methodology.

Origin

The following is a brief overview of the early life of Masutatsu "Mas" Oyama.

The founder of International Karate Organization Kyokushinkaikan, Masutatsu Oyama, was born Choi Yong-i on July the 27th, during the Japanese Occupation.
As a young child, Oyama enjoyed fighting and watching others fight. His childhood was spent in Manchuira, China where he learned Shaolin techniques from a Chinese seasonal worker named Lee. Oyama refers to Lee as his first teacher.

In 1938, he emigrated to Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and studied Okinawan Karate under Gichin Funakoshi
Gichin Funakoshi
was the creator of Shotokan karate, perhaps the most widely known style of karate, and is attributed as being the 'father of modern karate.' Following the teachings of Anko Itosu, he was one of the Okinawan karate masters who introduced karate to the Japanese mainland in 1921...

, eventually gaining 2nd dan
Dan (rank)
The ranking system is a Japanese mark of level, which is used in modern fine arts and martial arts. Originally invented in a Go school in the Edo period, this system was applied to martial arts by Kanō Jigorō, the founder of judo and later introduced to other East Asia countries.In the modern...

. Later, Oyama also trained under Yoshida Kotaro
Kotaro Yoshida
was an 19th to 20th Century Japanese martial artist and member of the Amur River Society , an ultra-nationalist organization of disenfranchised ex-samurai who promulgated "pan-Asiatic ascendancy" in line with the rise of Japanese imperialism...

, a famous Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu/Yanagi-ryu Aiki-jujutsu master, from whom he received his menkyo kaiden – an older form of grade, a scroll signifying mastery. This scroll is still on display at the honbu (headquarters) dojo in Tokyo.

Also, upon the advice of his mentor and a member of the National Diet, Matsuhei Mori, around this time the young master took his Japanese name, Masutatsu Oyama, the name he would use for the rest of his life. After World War II, Oyama began his training in Goju Ryu
Goju Ryu
, is one of the main traditional Okinawan styles of karate, featuring a combination of hard and soft techniques. Both principles, hard and soft, come from the famous martial arts book Bubishi , used by Okinawan masters during the 19th and 20th centuries...

 karate under a Korean master in Japan, So Nei Chu, who ran a dojo in Tokyo with the famous goju teacher Gogen Yamaguchi. He would finally attain 8th Dan in Goju Ryu Karate. Another influence from the Goju school was Masahiko Kimura
Masahiko Kimura
was a Japanese judoka who is widely considered one of the greatest judoka of all time. Kimura was born on September 10, 1917 in Kumamoto, Japan...

. Although fulfilling the role of assistant karate instructor at the dojo Oyama trained at, Kimura was primarily a famous champion of judo
Judo
is a modern martial art and combat sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw or takedown one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an...

, who defeated Hélio Gracie
Hélio Gracie
Hélio Gracie was a Brazilian martial artist who, together with his brother Carlos Gracie, founded the martial art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, known internationally as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...

 of Brazilian Jiujitsu (aka. Jujitsu) fame. Kimura encouraged Oyama to take up judo so that he would have an understanding of the art's ground techniques. Kimura then introduced Oyama to the Sone Dojo in Nakano, Tokyo, where he trained regularly for four years, eventually gaining his 4th Dan in this discipline.

It was after this time that Oyama first retreated into the mountains for one of his well-known solitary training periods, the so-called yamagomori. He undertook two such retreats lasting a total of almost three years, in accordance with the ascetic traditions of many of the great warriors of Japan through the centuries. During these periods of isolated retreats spent in training, Oyama engaged in intense shugyo, or spiritual discipline.

In the early 1950s, Oyama traveled to the USA visiting 32 states.
In 1953, Oyama resigned from Goju ryu and opened his own independent karate dojo, named "Oyama Dojo" in Tokyo, but continued to travel around Japan and the world, giving martial arts demonstrations (including bare-hand challenges). His first 'Oyama dojo' was a vacant lot in Mejiro, Tokyo. In 1956, he moved the dojo
Dojo
A is a Japanese term which literally means "place of the way". Initially, dōjōs were adjunct to temples. The term can refer to a formal training place for any of the Japanese do arts but typically it is considered the formal gathering place for students of any Japanese martial arts style to...

 into the ballet studio attached to Rikkyo University
Rikkyo University
, also known as Saint Paul's University, is a private university, based on Christian precepts, in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. There is a suburban campus in Niiza in nearby Saitama.It is known for its liberal climate symbolized by the motto -History:...

. Oyama's own curriculum soon developed a reputation as a tough, intense, hard-hitting, and practical style which he named "Kyokushin" in a ceremony in 1957. As the reputation of the dojo grew, students were increasingly attracted by the opportunity to train there, arriving from across Japan and beyond, and their numbers continued to grow.

In 1964, Oyama moved the dojo into a building he refurbished, not far from the ballet studio at Rikkyo. Oyama also formally founded the "International Karate Organization
International Karate Organization
The International Karate Organization was founded by Mas Oyama in Japan. Its purpose is to promote and teach the Kyokushin Way around the globe...

 Kyokushinkaikan" (commonly abbreviated to IKO or IKOK), in order to organize the many schools that were by then teaching Kyokushin Karate.

1964 to 1994

After formally establishing the Kyokushinkaikan, Oyama directed the organization through a period of expansion. Oyama hand-picked instructors who displayed ability in marketing the style and gaining new members. Oyama would choose an instructor to open styles in another town or city in Japan. The instructor would move to that town and usually demonstrate his karate skills in public places, such as at the civic gymnasium, the local police gym (where many judo students would practice), a local park, or conduct martial arts demonstrations at local festivals or school events. In this way, the instructor would soon gain students for his new dojo. After that, word of mouth would spread through the local area until the dojo had a dedicated core of students. Oyama also sent instructors to other countries such as the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 (Kenji Kurosaki), Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 (Shigeo Kato), the United States of America (Tadashi Nakamura
Tadashi Nakamura
is the founder of Seidō juku karatedo.-Early years:Tadashi Nakamura was born on the February 22, 1942 in the town of Maoka on the island of Karafuto. Nakamura trained in various martial arts including Goju-Ryu, Kendo, and Kyokushin...

, Shigeru Oyama and Yasuhiko Oyama, Miyuki Miura
Miyuki Miura
is a prominent Japanese master of karate, first practising Shotokan, then Kyokushin, then World Ōyama, and now operating independently.-Early life:...

) and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 (Seiji Isobe) to spread Kyokushin in the same way. In addition, numerous students began to travel to Japan to train with Oyama, consequently returning to their country to spread the art. In 1969, Oyama staged The First All-Japan Full Contact Karate Open Championships which took Japan by storm and Terutomo Yamazaki
Terutomo Yamazaki
is a Japanese karateka from the Kyokushin Kaikan and professional lightweight kickboxer. He is the founder of Gyakushin-Kai and a Director of Karate in Japan. He presides over the International Budo Karate Organization Gyakushin-Kai from the headquarters of the organization in Ōmiya-ku, Saitama,...

 became the first champion. All-Japan Championships have been held at every year. Also in 1975, The First World Full Contact Karate Open Championships were held in Tokyo. World Championships have been held at four-yearly intervals since.

Divided organization since 1995

Upon Oyama's death, several groups broke away from the International Karate Organization
International Karate Organization
The International Karate Organization was founded by Mas Oyama in Japan. Its purpose is to promote and teach the Kyokushin Way around the globe...

 (IKO) Honbu, primarily due to personal conflicts over who should succeed Oyama as chairman. As a supposed will was proven to be invalid in the family Court of Tokyo in 1994, any claim to that will indicating the true intention of Oyama was nullified. Before his death, Oyama named no one as his successor although many now claim to be the rightful leader of his organization.

Kyokushin today

Existing as a single organization under the leadership of the founder, Mas Oyama, the Kyokushin organization divided into several groups after the Master's passing, each claiming their own authority as representing the original Honbu.

Oyama's widow died in June 2006 after a long illness. According to the Japanese legal system, the Custodian of Oyama's intellectual property and legacy is the youngest of his daughters, Kikuko (also known as Kuristina) who now oversees the management of the original IKO Honbu, although not directly involved in karate teaching.

Dojo Kun (Training Hall Oath)

In some dojos, the Dojo
Dojo
A is a Japanese term which literally means "place of the way". Initially, dōjōs were adjunct to temples. The term can refer to a formal training place for any of the Japanese do arts but typically it is considered the formal gathering place for students of any Japanese martial arts style to...

 kun is recited at the end of each training session. Students must learn the dojo kun and have a full understanding of its customs. The training oath is as follows:
  1. We will train our hearts and bodies for a firm and unshaking spirit.
  2. We will pursue the true meaning of the martial way so that in time our senses are alert.
  3. With true vigour we will seek to cultivate a spirit of self denial
  4. We will observe the rules of courtesy respect our superiors and refrain from violence.
  5. We will follow our religious principles and never forget the true virtue of humility
  6. We will look up towards wisdom and strength not seeking other desires
  7. All our lives through the discipline of karate
    Karate
    is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed from indigenous fighting methods called and Chinese kenpō. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands. Grappling, locks,...

     we will seek to fulfil the true meaning of the Kyokushin way

The Kanji and its Meaning in Kyokushin

Kanji
Kanji
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters hanzi that are used in the modern Japanese writing system along with hiragana , katakana , Indo Arabic numerals, and the occasional use of the Latin alphabet...

 is the representation (using Chinese characters) of the word Kyokushinkai, which is the name of the ryu or style
Martial arts
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development....

. Translated, "kyoku" means "ultimate", "shin" means "truth" or "reality" and kai
Kai
Kai may refer to:-Places:*Kai County, Chongqing Municipality, China*Kai Islands, Indonesia*Kai, Mali*Kai, Yamanashi, Japan*Kai Province, old Japanese province that corresponds to Yamanashi Prefecture today-Other uses:...

 means "to join" or "to associate". In essence Kyokushinkai, roughly translated, means "Ultimate Truth". This concept has less to do with the Western meaning of truth; rather it is more in keeping with the bushido
Bushido
, meaning "Way of the Warrior-Knight", is a Japanese word which is used to describe a uniquely Japanese code of conduct and a way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry. It originates from the samurai moral code and stresses frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and...

 concept of discovering the nature of one's true character when tried. One of the goals of kyokushin is to strengthen and improve character by challenging oneself through rigorous training
Training
The term training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. It forms the core of apprenticeships and provides the backbone of content at institutes of...

.

Techniques and training

Kyokushin 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
Kihon
is a Japanese term meaning "basics" or "fundamentals." The term is used to refer to the basic techniques that are taught and practiced as the foundation of most Japanese martial arts....

 (basics), kata
Kata
is a Japanese word describing detailed choreographed patterns of movements practised either solo or in pairs. The term form is used for the corresponding concept in non-Japanese martial arts in general....

 (forms), and kumite
Kumite
Kumite means sparring, and is one of the three main sections of karate training, along with kata and kihon. Kumite is the part of karate in which you train against an adversary, using the techniques learned from the kihon and kata....

 (sparring).

Technique (waza)

The Kyokushin system is based on traditional karate like Shotokan
Shotokan
is a style of karate, developed from various martial arts by Gichin Funakoshi and his son Gigo Funakoshi . Gichin was born in Okinawa and is widely credited with popularizing karate through a series of public demonstrations, and by promoting the development of university karate clubs, including...

 and Goju-ryu. Many techniques used in Kyokushin Karate are not found in other styles of karate.

In Kyokushin the instructor and his students all must take part in hard sparring
Sparring
Sparring is a form of training common to many martial arts. Although the precise form varies, it is essentially relatively 'free-form' fighting, with enough rules, customs, or agreements to make injuries unlikely...

 to prepare them for full contact fighting. Unlike some forms of karate, Kyokushin places high emphasis on full contact fighting which is sometimes done without any gloves or protective equipment. This apparent violence is tempered because bare-handed punches to the head are not allowed. This reduces the risk of both immediate and long-term head injury. However, knees and kicks to the head and face are allowed.

In the earliest Kyokushin tournaments and training sessions bare knuckle strikes to the face were allowed but resulted in many injuries, thus students were forced to withdraw from training. Oyama believed that wearing protective gloves would detract from the realism that the style emphasizes. Therefore, it was decided that hand and elbow strikes to the head and neck would no longer be allowed in training and competition. Furthermore, many governments don't allow bare knuckle strikes to the head in sanctioned martial arts competitions. The vast majority of Kyokushin organizations and "offshoot" styles today still follow this philosophy.

Technically, Kyokushin is a point and circle style, incorporating a successful blend of the linear techniques of the powerful Shotokan karate and the more circular movements of Goju-ryu with its strong Chinese influence. Shotokan and Goju-ryu were the two styles of karate Oyama studied before creating Kyokushin's style. However, Oyama studied Shotokan for only a couple of years before he switched to Goju-ryu where he got his advanced training under his primary mentor, So Nei Chu. These influences are reflected in Kyokushin where the training and kata for early ranks closely resembles Shotokan but gradually becomes closer to the circular techniques and strategies of Goju-ryu the higher one progresses.

Kata

Kata
Kata
is a Japanese word describing detailed choreographed patterns of movements practised either solo or in pairs. The term form is used for the corresponding concept in non-Japanese martial arts in general....

 is a form of ritualized self-training in which patterned or memorized movements are done in order to practice a form of combat maneuvering. 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 Katas.
For a further classification we need to look closer at each kata and their creator.

Northern

The northern kata stems from the Shuri-te tradition of karate, and are drawn from Shotokan
Shotokan
is a style of karate, developed from various martial arts by Gichin Funakoshi and his son Gigo Funakoshi . Gichin was born in Okinawa and is widely credited with popularizing karate through a series of public demonstrations, and by promoting the development of university karate clubs, including...

 karate which Oyama learned while training under Gichin Funakoshi
Gichin Funakoshi
was the creator of Shotokan karate, perhaps the most widely known style of karate, and is attributed as being the 'father of modern karate.' Following the teachings of Anko Itosu, he was one of the Okinawan karate masters who introduced karate to the Japanese mainland in 1921...

.
Some areas now phase out the prefix "sono" in the kata names.
The Taikyoku kata was originally created by Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan karate.
  • Pinan Sono Ichi
  • Pinan Sono Ni
  • Pinan Sono San
  • Pinan Sono yon
  • Pinan Sono Go

The 5 Pinan katas, known in some other styles as Heian, was originally created, in 1904, by Ankō Itosu
Anko Itosu
is considered by many the father of modern karate, although this title is also often given to Gichin Funakoshi because the latter spread karate throughout Japan.- Biography :...

, 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 literally translates as Peace and Harmony.
  • Kanku Dai

Some organizations 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 Kaku 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 Ryuku 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
    Passai
    Passai is the Japanese name of a group of kata practiced in different styles of martial arts, including karate and various Korean martial arts . There are several variations of these kata, including Passai sho and Passai dai . In karate, the kata are known as Passai in Okinawan styles and Bassai...

     (only used in some kyokushin organizations)

A very old Okinawian 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 50ies, but was reintroduced into some kyokushin factions after Masutatsu Oyamas death and the resulting fractioning of the organization.
  • Naihanchi
    Naihanchi
    is a karate Kata, performed in straddle stance . It translates to 'internal divided conflict'. The form makes use of in-fighting techniques and grappling. In Shorin-Ryu and Matsubayashi-Ryu Naihanchi Shodan is the first Ni Kyu although it is taught to Yon Kyu occasionally before Evaluations for...

     (known as Tekki in Shotokan) (only used in some kyokushin organizations)

This kata is a very old Okinawian kata with unknown origin. 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 50ies, but was reintroduced into some kyokushin factions after Masutatsu Oyamas death and the resulting fractioning of the organization.
Unique
  • Sokugi Taikyoku sono ichi
  • Sokugi Taikyoku sono ni
  • Sokugi Taikyoku sono san

These three kata were created by Oyama to further develop kicking skills and follow the same embu-sen (performance line) as the original Taikyoku kata. Sokugi Taikyoku literally means Kicking Taikyoku. Taikyoku translates as Grand Ultimate View.
They were not formally introduced into the Kyokushin syllabus until after the death of Masutatsu Oyama. They are now found in most kyokushin factions.

Southern

The southern kata stems from the Naha-te tradition of karate, and are drawn from Goju Ryu
Goju Ryu
, is one of the main traditional Okinawan styles of karate, featuring a combination of hard and soft techniques. Both principles, hard and soft, come from the famous martial arts book Bubishi , used by Okinawan masters during the 19th and 20th centuries...

 karate, which Oyama learned while training under So Nei Chu and Gogen Yamaguchi
Gogen Yamaguchi
Jitsumi Gōgen Yamaguchi Jitsumi Gōgen Yamaguchi Jitsumi Gōgen Yamaguchi (山口剛玄, Yamaguchi Gōgen; b.20 January 1909 d.20 May 1989. was a world renown Grandmaster of Japanese Karate-dō and founder of the International Karate-dō Gōjū-kai Association; he was one of the most well known of all...

.. Two exceptions are "Tsuki no kata" which originates from Seigokan
Seigokan
Seigokan is the Goju-Ryu Karate-do organization founded in 1945 by Seigo Tada Hanshi . With its Hombu Dojo in Himeji, Japan, the Seigokan All Japan Karate-do Association — its official name — has branches in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China , India, Italy, the Philippines, Portugal, Sri Lanka,...

 goju ryu where it was created by Seigo Tada under the name "Kihon tsuki no kata", and the Kata "Yantsu" which originates with Motobu-ha Shito ryu
Shito ryu
is a form of karate that was founded in 1931 by .- History :Kenwa Mabuni was born in Shuri, a district of Naha, Okinawa in 1889. Mabuni was a 17th generation descendant of the famous warrior Oni Ufugusuku Kenyu...

, where it is called "Hansan" or "Ansan".
  • Gekisai Dai
  • Gekisai Sho

Gekisai was created by Chojun Miyagi
Chojun Miyagi
was an Okinawan martial artist who founded the Goju-ryu school of karate.-Early life and training:Miyagi was born in Higashimachi, Naha, Okinawa on April 25, 1888, the adopted son of a wealthy businessman. He began his study in Karate-do at the age of nine . He first learned martial arts from Ryuko...

, founder of Goju Ryu karate. The name means "attack and smash"
  • Tensho

Tensho was originally created by Chojun Miyagi
Chojun Miyagi
was an Okinawan martial artist who founded the Goju-ryu school of karate.-Early life and training:Miyagi was born in Higashimachi, Naha, Okinawa on April 25, 1888, the adopted son of a wealthy businessman. He began his study in Karate-do at the age of nine . He first learned martial arts from Ryuko...

. The name means "revolving hands"
  • Sanchin
    Sanchin
    is a kata of Southern Chinese origin that is considered to be the core of several styles, the most well-known being the Goju Ryu and Uechi Ryu styles of Karate as well as the Chinese martial arts of Fujian White Crane, Five Ancestors, Pangai-noon and the Tiger-Crane Combination style associated...


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)
Higaonna Kanryo
, also known as "Higashionna West", was a native of Nishi-shin-machi, Naha, Okinawa. He was born in Nishimura, Naha to a merchant family, whose business was selling firewood, an expensive commodity in the Ryukyu Islands...

, teacher of Chojun Miyagi, taught (and not to the modified version taught by Chojun Miyagi himself).
  • Saifa (Saiha)

Originally a Chinese kata. It was brought to Okinawa and karate by Kanryo Higshionna.
Its name translates to "smash and tear down".
  • Seienchin

Originally a Chinese kata, regarded as very old. It was brought to Okinawa and karate by Kanryo Higshionna.
The name translates roughly to "grip and pull into battle".
  • Seipai

Originally a Chinese kata. It was brought to Okinawa and karate by Kanryo Higshionna. The name translates to the number 18, where 18 is 3x6 which have significances in Buddhism.
  • Yantsu

Yantsu originates with Motobu-ha Shitoryu, the name translates to "keep pure"
  • Tsuki no kata

This kata was created by Seigo Tada, founder of the Seigokan branch of Goju Ryu. Its name means simply "punching kata".
Unique
  • Garyu

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.

Ura Kata

Several kata are also done in "ura", which essentially means all turns are done spinning around. The URA, or 'reverse' kata were developed by Oyama as an aid to developing balance and skill in circular techniques against multiple opponents.
  • 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 (kumite)

Sparring
Sparring
Sparring is a form of training common to many martial arts. Although the precise form varies, it is essentially relatively 'free-form' fighting, with enough rules, customs, or agreements to make injuries unlikely...

, also called kumite
Kumite
Kumite means sparring, and is one of the three main sections of karate training, along with kata and kihon. Kumite is the part of karate in which you train against an adversary, using the techniques learned from the kihon and kata....

, is used to train the application of the various techniques within a fighting situation
Aliveness (martial arts)
Aliveness, also referred to as Alive training describes martial arts training methods that are spontaneous, non-scripted, and dynamic. Alive training is performed with the intent to challenge or defeat rather than to demonstrate...

. 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, and spirit.

Self defense

Also known as Goshin-jutsu, 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 kyokushin grew increasingly sport oriented, the self defense training started to fall into obscurity. Today it is only practiced in a limited number of dojos.

Grading

Colored belts have their origin in Judo, as does the training 'gi', or more correctly in Japanese, 'dōgi
Keikogi
or dōgi is a uniform for training, used in martial arts derived from Japan, or budō. . The prototype for the modern keikogi emerged in the late 19th century. The keikogi was developed by judo founder Kano Jigoro...

' or 'Keikogi
Keikogi
or dōgi is a uniform for training, used in martial arts derived from Japan, or budō. . The prototype for the modern keikogi emerged in the late 19th century. The keikogi was developed by judo founder Kano Jigoro...

'. In Kyokushin the order of the belts varies in some breakaway groups, but according to the Honbu of Oyama, the kyu ranks and belt colors are as follows:
Lowest
Mukyu White
10th Kyu Orange Belt
8th Kyu Blue Belt
6th Kyu Yellow Belt
4th Kyu Green Belt
2nd Kyu Brown Belt
1st Dan Black Belt 1st Dan
2nd Dan Black Belt 2nd Dan
3rd Dan Black Belt 3rd Dan
4th Dan Black Belt 4th Dan
5th Dan Black Belt 5th Dan
6th Dan Black Belt 6th Dan
7th Dan Black Belt 7th Dan
8th Dan Black Belt 8th Dan
9th Dan Black Belt 9th Dan
10th Dan Black Belt 10th Dan
Highest

Note: Mukyu of the white belt literally means "no grade"

Some schools tend to add stripes to the end of the belt to show the next Kyu in line, but during Sosai's time the above showed belts were the official belts. New schools are also using a full stripped line of the following belt or use different stripes to differentiate levels.
Each colored belt had two levels, the second being represented by a stripe at the ends of the belt. The white belt however, does not represent any level and is only meant to hold the 'gi' in place. As such, the white belt is used by practitioners who are not yet graded. The belt system under Mas Oyama followed this order since the 1960s with the exception of the yellow (red) belt, which was incorporated only in the last year of his life, replacing the earlier used white belt with one and two red stripes for the same kyu grades.

Whilst some groups also use red belts for high dan grades, it is not the norm and Oyama himself did not follow this practice in his dojo or organization, always wearing a wholly black belt himself.

There are many ideas of how the belt colors in the martial arts came to be, some more romantic than others. One quaint tale says that students of a karate school would be given a white belt. The students' belts would gradually become stained darker from use and eventually a person who was of a high standard and who had trained for a long time would then have a black/brown/dirt colored belt. This is an inspiring way to encourage students to train harder, and might have its basis in truth since martial arts practitioners as a general rule don't wash their belts after training. However, no evidence exists of this, so there is no hard and fast rule according to the Japanese and romantic notions of the belt containing the training spirit and hard toil of years of training are generally invented in the West. The tradition of only sparingly washing the belt is more likely based on the more practical reason that belts tend to lose their color if washed too often.
The first actual known use of colored belts as a grade system in Japanese martial arts was in the late 19th century to early 20th century when Kanō Jigorō
Kano Jigoro
was the founder of judo. Judo was the first Japanese martial art to gain widespread international recognition, and the first to become an official Olympic sport. Pedagogical innovations attributed to Kanō include the use of black and white belts, and the introduction of dan ranking to show the...

 borrowed the color system from a swimming certification system used in schools at the time, and introduced them in his newly founded art of Judo
Judo
is a modern martial art and combat sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw or takedown one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an...

 to replace the complicated traditional menkyo diploma system used for licensing/grading in older Japanese arts.

Perhaps the most widely read and respected interpretation of the fundamental psychological requirements of each level is found in the book, The Budo Karate of Sosai Masutatsu Oyama, written by former interpreter to Sosai Masutatsu Oyama, Cameron Quinn. Kyokushin karate has a belt grading system similar to other martial arts. The requirements of each level vary from country to country, some far stricter and more demanding than others. For example, in some countries in Europe, the grading for each level requires the student to complete the entire requirements for each level up to the rank being tested. So the student attempting first degree black belt will do all the Orange belt requirements, THEN all the blue belt requirements (including repeating the orange belt requirements) and so on. The free fighting (kumite) requirements for first degree black belt also ranges from ten rounds to forty rounds, depending on the region, usually at a very high level of contact and with no protective gear other than a groin guard and mouth guard. It is not so much the number of fights but the intensity of the effort that defines the grading. Some areas don't even have formal gradings per se, instead presenting the student with their new rank in training after the instructor feels that he/she has reached that level and is capable of all the requirements.

The belt assigned to each student upon commencing training is a white belt. With each successful grading attempt the student is awarded a kyu ranking, and either a stripe on his current belt or a new belt colour altogether. Grading, or promotion tests, include calisthenic and aerobic training, kihon (basics), ido geiko (moving basics), goshinjitsu (self defence), sanbon and ippon kumite (three and one step sparring), kata
Kata
is a Japanese word describing detailed choreographed patterns of movements practised either solo or in pairs. The term form is used for the corresponding concept in non-Japanese martial arts in general....

 (prescribed series of movements/forms, sometimes described as a form of moving meditation), tameshiwari (board, tile or brick breaking) and kumite (contact free fighting). Achieving a 1st dan black belt, or shodan, can take anywhere from four but often six to ten years of training. A belt may be awarded only by a teacher after a grading, some lower grades, e.g., yellow stripe or yellow, can be assessed in a local dojo by an instructor, after 2 or 3 grades, you will have to wait until a "grading" usually only performed approximately 4 times a year or at martial arts camps where there are shodan and above gradings, and 50 man kumite also are performed on rare occasions. At the highest ranks (6th dan and above) tests are performed by international committee, or, as is more common in the post-Mas Oyama era, presented honorarily. Nobody can achieve a 10th degree black belt for this was a special honor created only for the Sosai (Oyama).

Each belt has a different number of fights required for the rank sparring for grading starts at white belt. Of all aspects, it is the strong and spirited contact kumite that most defines the Kyokushin style, and it is this aspect that has always brought the style the most respect. The one thing that usually defined the Kyokushin black belt was the spirit, strength and courage of the kumite.

The number of rounds required may increase or decrease after Shodan, again depending on the region. 40 rounds of hard contact sparring is required as part of a grading or as part of a special training requirement, is no easy feat and involves non-stop fighting of one and a half hours or more. It is a test of fortitude as well as skill.

Competition and tournaments

Tournament competition is an important part of Kyokushin, and most Kyokushin organizations sponsor local, national, and international competitions. Kyokushin tournaments are held throughout the year on every continent in the world, but the largest are held in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 where they are televised on Japanese television and draw crowds of thousands. Tournaments are organized as either weight category or open tournaments. The Kyokushin World Tournaments are known as the Karate Olympics.

Kyokushin culture believes that accepting a "challenge" represents a Kyokushin practitioner's commitment to the principles of the art. One way to participate in a challenge, in which a Kyokushin student tests his/her courage and desire to defeat one's adversary, is through tournament competition.

Most Kyokushin tournaments follow "knockdown karate" rules in which points are awarded for knocking one's opponent to the floor with kicks, punches, or sweeps. Grabbing and throwing are generally not allowed in Kyokushin tournaments. When they are, they are legal only if performed in less than a second. Hooks are usually legal if performed for a 'split second.' Arm or hand strikes to the head, face, neck or spine are usually not permitted, but kicks to the head are allowed. If, however, the opponent turns his back while the opponent is throwing a technique, there is no penalty. Outside of Japan straight kicks to the front of the knee are usually disallowed. Knock-outs do sometimes occur and minor to moderate injuries are common, but serious injuries are rare. The most common injuries are concussions, broken clavicles, and fractured limbs and sternums. Many Kyokushin tournaments follow an "open" format that allows competitors from any martial arts style, not just Kyokushin, to enter and compete.

Multi-man Sparring

In addition to the number of rounds of kumite as mentioned above in the Grading section, a special tradition of Kyokushin has been the 50- and 100-man kumite
100-man kumite
100-man kumite is an extreme test of physical and mental endurance in Kyokushin karate. Kumite , one of the three main sections of karate training, 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...

. The 100-man kumite was designed as a special test for advanced practitioners of the art. In these extreme examples of kumite, the subject of the test fights 50 to 100 opponents (depending on the test) in rapid succession, usually two-minute bouts separated by one-minute rest periods. The subject has to "win" (i.e., not get knocked-out) in at least 50-percent of the bouts in order to be deemed as passing the test. One example of someone who successfully completed the 100-man fight is Miyuki Miura
Miyuki Miura
is a prominent Japanese master of karate, first practising Shotokan, then Kyokushin, then World Ōyama, and now operating independently.-Early life:...

. Reportedly, only 17 people have successfully completed the 100-man fight. There is a trend these days of dojos and organizations around the world to run their own 100-Man Kumite in their own country with their own students as opponents. Only 100-man kumite tests conducted by Honbu are recognized and recorded. Masutatsu Oyama
Masutatsu Oyama
, more commonly known as Mas Oyama, was a karate master who founded Kyokushinkai Karate, considered the first and most influential style of full contact karate. He was born Choi Yeong-eui . A Zainichi Korean, he spent most of his life living in Japan and acquired Japanese citizenship in 1964...

 is reported to have completed a 300-man fight over 3 days. See Sosai
Sosai
The Japanese word Sosai means roughly "president" or "director-general". It is used in several ways:-Political:*Sosai, or president of the government, was only once the title of the imperial prime minister: from 1 January 1868 The Japanese word Sosai (Japanese:総裁, "Sōsai") means roughly...

 or Masutatsu Oyama
Masutatsu Oyama
, more commonly known as Mas Oyama, was a karate master who founded Kyokushinkai Karate, considered the first and most influential style of full contact karate. He was born Choi Yeong-eui . A Zainichi Korean, he spent most of his life living in Japan and acquired Japanese citizenship in 1964...

.

Influence on other styles and sports

Kyokushin has had an influence on many other styles. The knockdown karate competition format is now used by other styles. Karate styles that originated in Kyokushin, such as Ashihara Karate, Budokaido, Godokai, Enshin Karate
Enshin Karate
is a style of "full contact karate", or Knockdown karate, founded in 1988 with dojo and students in various countries around the world. The core emphasis in Enshin is use of the Sabaki Method, a system of techniques employed with the goal of turning an opponent's power and momentum against him or...

, Seidō juku
Seidō juku
Seidō is a style of karate founded by Master Tadashi Nakamura in 1976 in New York City. It is unique for being a physical, traditional style and incorporating Zen meditation in training.- History :...

, Musokai, Shidōkan and Seidokaikan
Seidokaikan
is a style of full contact karate, or Knockdown karate, founded by Kazuyoshi Ishii in 1980.-History:First formed in 1980 by Kazuyoshi Ishii, a former Kyokushin Karate practitioner who began his training under Hideyuki Ashihara in 1969...

, are also knockdown styles and use slight variations of the competition rules.

A few styles (Kansuiryu Karate
Kansuiryu Karate
is a style of Japanese karate founded by Yukio Mizutani and Kanji Inoki in 1979. It is known for its full contact training.-History:Two men, and , founded Kansuiryu Karate in the Mie prefecture of southern Japan....

 and Byakuren) originated independently of Kyokushin and have adopted the competition format.

Kokondo is derived from Kyokushin, albeit without competition.

Some styles originating in Kyokushin (Jushindo, Daido Juku
Daido Juku
is the organization for the martial art , founded in 1981 by Takashi Azuma. Azuma, originally a Kyokushin karate 1977 full contact karate champion, resigned from the Kyokushin organization to form Daido Juku in Sendai city, located in northern Honshū, Japan....

, Kudo, Zendokai) have changed to mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts
Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, judo and other styles. The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be...

 rules.

Kickboxing has been seen as a natural progression for kyokushin competitors and many of Japan's top kickboxers have started in knockdown karate. The influence of Kyokushin can be seen in the K-1
K-1
K-1 is a defunct world-wide kickboxing promotion based in Tokyo, Japan founded by Kazuyoshi Ishii, a formerKyokushin karate practitioner. K-1 combines stand up techniques from Muay Thai, Karate, Taekwondo, Savate, San Shou, kickboxing, western-style boxing, and other martial arts...

 kickboxing tournament that originated out of the Seidokaikan karate organization, which is an offshoot from Kyokushin.

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 sport karate organizations like Shinkaratedo Renmei and All-Japan glove karate federation.

Videogames

The movesets of Ryu
Ryu
* Ryū , a school of thought or discipline ., a book by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa* Ryū , a series by Masao Yajima and Akira Oze* Ryu , a common Korean family name...

 and Ken
Ken
Ken or KEN may refer to:*Ken meaning "prefecture" in Japanese - see Prefectures of Japan*Ken , 1964 Japanese film*Kèn from Vietnam*Komisja Edukacji Narodowej, Polish National Board of Education...

 from Capcom
Capcom
is a Japanese developer and publisher of video games, known for creating multi-million-selling franchises such as Devil May Cry, Chaos Legion, Street Fighter, Mega Man and Resident Evil. Capcom developed and published Bionic Commando, Lost Planet and Dark Void too, but they are less known. Its...

's Street Fighter franchise are based on Shotokan, the parent style of Kyokushin; Ryu
Ryu
* Ryū , a school of thought or discipline ., a book by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa* Ryū , a series by Masao Yajima and Akira Oze* Ryu , a common Korean family name...

 is said to be based on Yoshiji Soeno, a student of Mas Oyama. In Namco
Namco
is a Japanese corporation best known as a former video game developer and publisher. Following a merger with Bandai in September 2005, the two companies' game production assets were spun off into Namco Bandai Games on March 31, 2006. Namco Ltd. was re-established to continue domestic operation of...

's Tekken series, Jin Kazama
Jin Kazama
is a video game player character in the Tekken fighting game series released by Namco Bandai. Trained by his grandfather, Heihachi Mishima in order to enter the King of Iron Fist Tournament, Jin wishes to avenge his mother's apparent death...

 is said to travel to Brisbane, Australia to learn karate. At the time of Tekken's creation, Cameron Quinn – a well-known instructor of Kyokushin Karate, Mas Oyama's interpreter, and the author of The Budo Karate of Mas Oyama – was teaching students such as Garry O'Neill and Walter Schnaubelt at his well-known Kyokushin dojo in the city of Brisbane.

Jin uses the art of Kyokushin Karate in Tekken 4
Tekken 4
Tekken 4 is the fifth installment in the Tekken series. It was developed and published by Namco. It was released as an arcade game in 2001 and on the PlayStation 2 in 2002. It is succeeded by Tekken 5.- Gameplay :...

, Tekken 5
Tekken 5
is the sixth installment in the popular Tekken series. It also marks the tenth anniversary of the series. It was updated for the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 as Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection and succeeded by Tekken 6.- Story :...

, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection
Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection
Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection is an update to Tekken 5 and is technically the seventh game in the Tekken series. The arcade version was released in Japan in 2005 and in North America in 2006, while the PSP version was released later that year...

, Tekken 6
Tekken 6
is a fighting game developed and published by Namco Bandai. It is the eighth game in the Tekken franchise. It was released in Japanese arcades on November 26, 2007 as the first game running on the PlayStation 3-based System 357 arcade board. The game received an update, subtitled Bloodline...

, and Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion; he can be seen practicing Yantsu and Pinan Sono Yon Kata in various demonstration modes in the Tekken series. Some of Paul Phoenix's moves are derived from Kyokushin Karate. Kadonashi Shotaro and his students from Namco
Namco
is a Japanese corporation best known as a former video game developer and publisher. Following a merger with Bandai in September 2005, the two companies' game production assets were spun off into Namco Bandai Games on March 31, 2006. Namco Ltd. was re-established to continue domestic operation of...

's Urban Reign
Urban Reign
-External links:*** at GameSpot* at IGN* at MobyGames...

use the art of Kyokushinkai. Hitomi from Tecmo's Dead or Alive series uses the art of Kyokushin Karate in Dead or Alive 3
Dead or Alive 3
Dead or Alive 3 is a fighting game in the Dead or Alive series. It was released exclusively on the Xbox as a launch title.-Gameplay:...

and Dead or Alive 4
Dead or Alive 4
Dead or Alive 4 has received generally positive reviews. IGN gave the game 9.0/10, calling it "a move in the right direction for the series", and praised the fighting system as "deeper and more sophisticated". GameSpot awarded the game a score of 8.8/10, with one of its only negative comments going...

; she can be seen practicing the kata Pinan Sono Yon in various demonstration modes in Dead or Alive 3
Dead or Alive 3
Dead or Alive 3 is a fighting game in the Dead or Alive series. It was released exclusively on the Xbox as a launch title.-Gameplay:...

and Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
is a beach volleyball game by Tecmo released in 2003 exclusively for the Xbox. The game is a departure from the rest of the Dead or Alive series which otherwise consists of fighting games and marks the first game in the series to have a Mature rating due to the very revealing swimsuits featured in...

. While Hitomi's style of karate is never explicitly stated in-game, the ending credits of Dead or Alive 3
Dead or Alive 3
Dead or Alive 3 is a fighting game in the Dead or Alive series. It was released exclusively on the Xbox as a launch title.-Gameplay:...

indicate the only karate martial arts consultant for the game is a practitioner of Kyokushinkai.

Jean Kujo, from the Virtua Fighter
Virtua Fighter
is a 1993 fighting game developed for the Sega Model 1 arcade platform by AM2, a development group within Sega, headed by Yu Suzuki. It is the first game in the Virtua Fighter series, and the first arcade fighting game to feature fully 3D polygon graphics. It has been ported to several home video...

series, practices varied forms of full-contact karate, including Kyokushin Karate.

Solara from Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects
Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects
Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects is a fighting game for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, DS, and PSP, which ties into the "Marvel Nemesis" comic book series.-Gameplay:...

is said to practice Kyokushin.

Kyokugenryu Karate is a fictional martial art from SNK Playmore
SNK Playmore
SNK Playmore Corporation is a Japanese video game hardware and software company. SNK is an acronym of , which was SNK's original name. The company's legal and trading name became SNK in 1986....

's Art of Fighting
Art of Fighting
is a trilogy of competitive fighting game titles that were released for the Neo Geo platform in the early 1990s. It was the second fighting game franchise created by SNK, following the Fatal Fury series and is set in the same fictional universe...

, Fatal Fury, and King of Fighters
King of Fighters
, officially abbreviated KOF, is a series of fighting games by SNK Playmore . The series was originally developed for SNK's Neo Geo MVS arcade hardware, which served as the main platform for the series until 2004, when SNK retired the MVS in favor of the Atomiswave arcade board...

series. Kyokugenryu (lit. "the extreme style"), which is practiced by Ryo Sakazaki
Ryo Sakazaki
is a video game character developed for the fighting game Art of Fighting from SNK Playmore . His name is most often written in kana, however, in some games kanji is used to write parts of his name. In the series, Ryo is a martial artist that practices his family's fighting style, the Kyokugenryu...

, Robert Garcia
Robert Garcia
is a video game character created by SNK Playmore, formerly known as SNK. Robert stars in the fighting video game Art of Fighting as the lead character along his best friend Ryo Sakazaki. The game features both of them as practitioners of the Kyokugenryu Karate fighting who search for Ryo's younger...

, Yuri Sakazaki
Yuri Sakazaki
is a video game character from SNK Playmore's Art of Fighting series. She first appears in the original Art of Fighting being kidnapped by Mr. Big, a criminal from the fictional city of Southtown. The players, Yuri's brother Ryo and his friend Robert Garcia spend the game searching for her...

, Takuma Sakazaki and Marco Rodriguez/Khushnood Butt, is heavily based on Kyokushin Karate.

Karate Master Knock Down Blow a recent game from Crian Soft that is heavy Kyokushin based.

Movies

A trilogy of films starring Sonny Chiba
Sonny Chiba
, also known as Sonny Chiba, is a Japanese actor, singer, film producer, film director and martial artist.Chiba was one of the first actors to achieve stardom through his skills in martial arts, initially in Japan and later before an international audience.- Early life :Born in Fukuoka, Fukuoka,...

 and directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
is a Japanese film director.-Career:Born in Nagano Prefecture, Yamaguchi graduated from Waseda University and began working at the Tōei studios in Kyoto...

 were produced in Japan between 1975 and 1977: Champion of Death
Champion of Death
, also known as Karate Bullfighter, is a Japanese martial arts film made by the Toei Company in 1975. It was the first in a trilogy of films based on the manga Karate Baka Ichidai , a manga based on Masutatsu Oyama's life by Ikki Kajiwara, Jiro Tsunoda and Jōya Kagemaru.Sonny Chiba stars as his...

, Karate Bearfighter
Karate Bearfighter
is a Japanese martial arts film made by Toei Company in 1975 and directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi. It is the second installment of a trilogy of films based on the manga Karate Baka Ichidai by Ikki Kajiwara, Jiro Tsunoda and Jōya Kagemaru.In the film, a piece of grindhouse cinema, Sonny Chiba...

and Karate for Life
Karate for Life
Karate for Life is a 1977 Japanese martial arts film about the martial arts master Mas Oyama starring Sonny Chiba.-Cast:*Sonny Chiba as Mas Oyama*Kôjirô Hongo as Shuzô Fujita*Hideo Murota as Great Yamashita*Yôko Natsuki as Reiko...

. Chiba plays Master Oyama who also appears in two of the films.

The James Bond movie "You Only Live Twice
You Only Live Twice (film)
You Only Live Twice is the fifth spy film in the James Bond series, and the fifth to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film's screenplay was written by Roald Dahl, and loosely based on Ian Fleming's 1964 novel of the same name...

", starring Sean Connery
Sean Connery
Sir Thomas Sean Connery , better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globes Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born 25 August 1930), better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy...

, 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 the well-known 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.

Fighter in the Wind
Fighter in the Wind
Fighter in the Wind is a 2004 South Korean film. It is based on the Japanese book Karate Baka Ichidai which is an account of karate competitor Choi Yeung-Eui who went to Japan after World War II to become a fighter pilot but found a very different path instead...

 (Korean: 바람의 파이터) is a 2004 South Korean film. It is based on the same title Korean Comic book "Fighter in the Wind" by Hak-gi Bang which is a fictionalised account of karate competitor Choi Yeung-Eui (최영의) who went to Japan during World War II to become a fighter pilot but found a very different path instead. He changed his name to Masutatsu Oyama
Masutatsu Oyama
, more commonly known as Mas Oyama, was a karate master who founded Kyokushinkai Karate, considered the first and most influential style of full contact karate. He was born Choi Yeong-eui . A Zainichi Korean, he spent most of his life living in Japan and acquired Japanese citizenship in 1964...

 (大山倍達) and went across the country, defeating martial artists one after another. This film concentrates on the period when he is still young, and developing his famous karate style, Kyokushin. It is very loosely based on Oyama's life and by using Oyama's name and the name of Kyokushin it in fact is quite misleading. However, it has served to introduce Oyama to many Koreans who previously had not heard of him.

TV

Kyokushin was featured on Fight Quest
Fight Quest
Fight Quest was a television show on the Discovery Channel that had a preview episode air on December 28, 2007 and began airing weekly on January 4, 2008...

 on Discovery Channel as the Japanese Martial Arts Style.
Kyokushin was the style of karate featured in an episode of Human Weapon
Human Weapon
Human Weapon was a weekly television show on The History Channel that premiered on July 20, 2007. The hosts, Jason Chambers and Bill Duff, travel across the world studying the unique martial arts, or styles of fighting, that have origins in the region....

.

Notable practitioners

  • Terutomo Yamazaki
    Terutomo Yamazaki
    is a Japanese karateka from the Kyokushin Kaikan and professional lightweight kickboxer. He is the founder of Gyakushin-Kai and a Director of Karate in Japan. He presides over the International Budo Karate Organization Gyakushin-Kai from the headquarters of the organization in Ōmiya-ku, Saitama,...

    , the first champion of the All-Japan Full Contact Karate Open Championships and professional kickboxer
    Kickboxing
    Kickboxing refers to a group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai and western boxing....

  • Sonny Chiba
    Sonny Chiba
    , also known as Sonny Chiba, is a Japanese actor, singer, film producer, film director and martial artist.Chiba was one of the first actors to achieve stardom through his skills in martial arts, initially in Japan and later before an international audience.- Early life :Born in Fukuoka, Fukuoka,...

    , actor and martial artists
  • Jon Bluming
    Jon Bluming
    http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSas5UGbfWewSi8q5DfzywF065UUqhGmIWUOksP4AOhttp://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSas5UGbfWewSi8q5DfzywF065UUqhGmIWUOksP4AOhttp://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSas5UGbfWewSi8q5DfzywF065UUqhGmIWUOksP4AO...

     said by Oyama to be one of his strongest student, who left Oyama's organization in the 60's and did not return, although he continued to teach a hybrid karate/judo style in his native Netherlands.
  • Bobby Lowe
    Bobby Lowe (karateka)
    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...

    , Oyama's first international student
  • Tadashi Nakamura
    Tadashi Nakamura
    is the founder of Seidō juku karatedo.-Early years:Tadashi Nakamura was born on the February 22, 1942 in the town of Maoka on the island of Karafuto. Nakamura trained in various martial arts including Goju-Ryu, Kendo, and Kyokushin...

    , founder of Seidō juku
    Seidō juku
    Seidō is a style of karate founded by Master Tadashi Nakamura in 1976 in New York City. It is unique for being a physical, traditional style and incorporating Zen meditation in training.- History :...

  • Hideyuki Ashihara
    Hideyuki Ashihara
    was a Japanese master of karate who founded the Ashihara karate system in 1980. This karate style is based on Kyokushin karate. Ashihara, often attributed as one of the originators of the tai sabaki method, held the rank of 10th dan in karate and wrote three books on his martial art.-Early...

  • Steve Arneil
    Steve Arneil
    Steve Arneil is a prominent South African-British master of Kyokushin karate. He learned directly from Masutatsu Oyama and was a senior instructor in Oyama's International Karate Organization until 1991, when he resigned from the IKO...

    , in-charge of Kyokushin Branch in Great Britain, who broke away from the IKO of Oyama and started his own organization.
  • Hatsuo Royama
    Hatsuo Royama
    , is a master of Kyokushin Karate and current Kancho of the Kyokushin-kan International Honbu, one faction of the International Karate Organization founded by Mas Oyama .-External links:* *...

     founder of Kyokushin-kan
  • John Jarvis
    John Jarvis (karateka)
    John Hugo Jarvis is a karateka from New Zealand. He is Shihan, 5th Dan. His first instructor was Steve Arneil in 1967. Later, John Jarvis was a personal representative of Masutatsu Oyama and Kyokushinkai chief instructor in New Zealand. In 1974, he switched to Okinawa Goju-ryu karatedo...

  • Yoshiji Soeno
    Yoshiji Soeno
    is a Japanese karateka from the Kyokushin Kaikan and a retired professional welterweight kickboxer. He is the founder of Shidōkan and a Director of Karate in Japan. His title as head of the Shidōkan organization is “Kancho” ....

     founder of Shidokan
  • Peter Chong
    Peter Chong (karateka)
    Peter Chong, PBM is a Kyokushin karate master and a former Assistant Superintendent of Police in Singapore. He is the International Committee Chairman for Asia and the Middle East in the International Karate Organization founded by Masutatsu Oyama and now led by Shokei Matsui.-Early life:Chong...

    , International Committee Member (IKO Matsui) and Asia/Middle East Chairman
  • Miyuki Miura
    Miyuki Miura
    is a prominent Japanese master of karate, first practising Shotokan, then Kyokushin, then World Ōyama, and now operating independently.-Early life:...

  • Katsuaki Sato
    Katsuaki Sato
    is the founder and director of Satojuku Karate, also known as Odo karate. The Satojuku honbu is located in Tachikawa, Japan....

    , first Kyokushin World Champion and founder of the Sato-juku style.
  • Howard Collins
    Howard Collins
    Howard Collins is a Welsh master of Kyokushin karate based in Sweden. He holds the rank of 7th dan and the title of Shihan. Collins learned directly from Masutatsu Oyama, founder of Kyokushin karate, and was a prominent competitor in world karate tournaments through the 1970s...

  • Kazuyoshi Ishii
    Kazuyoshi Ishii
    is a Japanese master of Seidokaikan karate and founder of the K-1 fighting circuit, a widely televised international martial arts competition combining Muay Thai, karate, sanshou, taekwondo, kenpo, boxing, and kickboxing...

    , founder of Seidokaikan
    Seidokaikan
    is a style of full contact karate, or Knockdown karate, founded by Kazuyoshi Ishii in 1980.-History:First formed in 1980 by Kazuyoshi Ishii, a former Kyokushin Karate practitioner who began his training under Hideyuki Ashihara in 1969...

  • Joko Ninomiya
    Joko Ninomiya
    is the founder and director of Enshin Karate. He presides over the Enshin organization from the headquarters in Denver, Colorado. His title as head of the Enshin organization is "Kancho" .-Early history:...

  • Dolph Lundgren
    Dolph Lundgren
    Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, and martial artist. He belongs to a generation of film actors who epitomise the movie action hero stereotype including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme.A graduate in chemical...

  • Akira Masuda
    Akira Masuda
    is a Japanese Kyokushin kaikan karateka. In March 1991 he completed the 100 man kumite supervised by Mas Oyama.He was born in 1962 in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Ishikawa prefecture, Japan. In junior high school he was captain of the school judo club. When he was 16 years old he joined Kyokushin Kaikan...

  • Andy Hug
    Andy Hug
    Andy Hug was a Swiss Seidokaikan and Kyokushin karateka and kickboxer from Wohlen. Hug was the K-1 World Grand Prix 1996 champion and runner up in 1997 and 1998.-Biography and career:...

    , the most recognizable K-1 fighter
  • Michael Jai White
    Michael Jai White
    Michael Jai White is an American actor and martial artist who has appeared in numerous films and television series. He is the first African American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture, having starred as Al Simmons, the protagonist in the 1997 film Spawn...

  • Sam Greco
    Sam Greco
    Sam "Slam 'em" Greco is a retired Australian super heavyweight kickboxer, heavyweight mixed martial artist and professional wrestler of Italian descent, who fought in Kyokushin karate, professional kickboxing, and K-1 tournaments....

    , Karate World Cup Champion 1994, K-1 World GrandPrix 1999 3rd Place
  • Francisco Filho
    Francisco Filho (martial artist)
    Francisco "Chiquinho" Filho is a Brazilian former Kyokushin Karateka and kickboxer. He is one of the few karate-ka to have successfully completed the 100 man kumite more than once....

  • Hajime Kazumi
    Hajime Kazumi
    is one of Kyokushin's most successful knockdown karate fighters and an instructor of full-contact fighting techniques.-Career:At age twenty Kazumi defeated many top fighters to reach the finals of the All Japan Karate Tournament. Since then Kazumi has never finished outside of the top two places in...

  • Jacques Chouinard
    Jacques Chouinard
    Lieutenant General Jacques Chouinard, CMM, CD was the Commander, Mobile Command of the Canadian Forces.-Military career:...

  • Glaube Feitosa
    Glaube Feitosa
    Glaube "Brazilian Warrior" Feitosa is a Brazilian former kickboxer and a kyokushin full contact karate practitioner who was competing in K-1. In 2005 Feitosa won K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Las Vegas tournament and was the K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 finalist...

  • Nicholas Pettas
    Nicholas Pettas
    Nicholas Pettas is a Greek-Danish karateka, former heavyweight kickboxer and actor, who fought out of Team Sprit AE in Tokyo, Japan...

    , Mas Oyama's last uchi-deshi (live-in student)
  • Georges St. Pierre
    Georges St. Pierre
    Georges St-Pierre , often referred to as GSP, is a Canadian mixed martial artist and the current Welterweight Champion of the UFC. St-Pierre is ranked as the No. 1 Welterweight in the world according to Sherdog, MMAWeekly and numerous other publications. St-Pierre is ranked the No. 2 pound for...

    , Current and 2-time UFC Welterweight Champion
  • Mariusz Pudzianowski
    Mariusz Pudzianowski
    Mariusz Zbigniew Pudzianowski is a Polish former strongman and current mixed martial artist...

    , 5-time World's Strongest Man, 3-1 in MMA
  • Bas Rutten
    Bas Rutten
    Sebastiaan "Bas" Rutten is a retired Dutch mixed martial artist, Karate and Taekwondo blackbelt, and kickboxer. He was a UFC Heavyweight Champion, a three time King of Pancrase world champion, and finished his career on a 22 fight unbeaten streak...

    , former UFC Heavyweight Champion, 3 time King of Pancrase world champion
  • Ewerton Teixeira
    Ewerton Teixeira
    Ewerton Teixeira is a Brazilian Super Heavyweight kyokushin karateka and kickboxer, currently competing in K-1. He obtained his first K-1 title in 2008 at K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 in Fukuoka by beating Keijiro Maeda in the final...

  • Semmy Schilt
    Semmy Schilt
    Semmy Schilt , also known as Sem Schilt, is a Dutch Ashihara karateka, kickboxer, mixed martial artist and four time K-1 World GP champion. He is the first and only fighter in K-1 history to win the championship three times in a row, and also shares the record with Ernesto Hoost for most GPs won,...

    , 4-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, reigning K-1 Super-Heavyweight Champion
  • Peter "The Chief" Graham
    Peter Graham (kickboxer)
    Peter "The Chief" Graham is an Australian kickboxer, boxer and mixed martial artist. His enterance music is AC/DC's Thunderstruck andhe has trademarked his special moves like his somersault kick, The Rolling Thunder.-Kickboxing:...

    , professional Australian kickboxer
  • Glen Murphy
    Glen Murphy
    Glen Murphy MBE is an English actor.He is perhaps best known as George Green between 1988 and 2002 on the television drama London's Burning....

     actor, 1st dan
  • Katsunori Kikuno
    Katsunori Kikuno
    Katsunori Kikuno is a Japanese mixed martial artist, and currently fighting for Dream. Kikuno is a practitioner of traditional martial arts including Judo and Kyokushin Karate and is known for incorporating these styles effectively in mixed martial arts fights...

    , DEEP 2001 International Lightweight Champion.
  • Jayson Vemoa
    Jayson Vemoa
    Jayson "Supercharge" Vemoa a former Muay Thai World Champion from New Zealand leading a successful coaching career in Japan as the Head Kickboxing Coach at the Ichigeki Academy in Tokyo for the IKO1 Kyokushin Organization, preparing Kyokushin kaikan for K-1 and other world wide professional...

     World Muay Thai Champion 1998, K-1 trainer to Glaube Feitosa and Ewerton Teixeira

See also

  • Full contact karate
    Full contact karate
    Full contact karate is a wide term used to differentiate between competition formats of karate where competitors spar full-contact and allow knockout as winning criterion, and those competitions that use light contact/semi contact point sparring where a knockout is regarded as a foul.The term is...

  • List of kyokushin techniques
  • Comparison of karate styles
    Comparison of karate styles
    The four earliest Karate styles developed in Japan are Shotokan, Wado-ryu, Shito-ryu and Goju-ryu. The first three styles find their origins in the Shuri region of Okinawa whilst Goju-ryu finds its origins in the Naha province....

  • Masutatsu Oyama
    Masutatsu Oyama
    , more commonly known as Mas Oyama, was a karate master who founded Kyokushinkai Karate, considered the first and most influential style of full contact karate. He was born Choi Yeong-eui . A Zainichi Korean, he spent most of his life living in Japan and acquired Japanese citizenship in 1964...

  • Kick Boxing
  • Karate
    Karate
    is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed from indigenous fighting methods called and Chinese kenpō. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands. Grappling, locks,...

  • karate kata
    Karate kata
    Kata is a Japanese word describing detailed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in pairs....


External links

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