What is Kyokushin Karate?

Kyokushin (極真) is a style of stand-up, full contact karate, founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama. Kyokushin is Japanese for “the ultimate truth”, developed from the determination of the pursuit of ultimate truth of mind, technique, and body. Kyokushin is rooted in a philosophy of self-improvement, discipline and hard training. It is grounded in both the Okinawan Shuri-te traditions (such as Shorin-ryu and Shotokan) and hard and soft characteristics of Naha-te and Tomari-te styles, such as Goju-ryu, and also includes realistic fighting.

“Kyokushin” means “Ultimate Truth”. Kyokushin Karate was born in the determination for the pursuit of ultimate truth of mind, technique, and body.

Karate is developed over a thousand years ago not only as a form of unarmed combat but as a way to discipline the body in order to improve the spirit. By practicing Karate, one can increase his/her alertness, self-awareness and self-confidence by conditioning the body as improving speed, strength, and co-ordination. It is to achieve the unity of body and spirit.

Kyokushin Karate has been know as “The strongest karate”, not only because of the incredible feats of strength and endurance that Founder Masutatsu Oyama performed, but also because of the rigorous requirements of the training and tournaments.

The founder, Sosai Masu Oyama, often said that the difference between sports and the Budo Way is the path of self-discipline. Sports can always be associated with a game in some form or another where people compete for leisure, money, or fame. The Budo way is never these since it was developed from harsh-living situations where one must fight for their life in the midst of human suffering and pain – this can either be of the mental or physical kind. The Budo Way is this challenge in life itself. Kyokushin Karate was founded by a man who was dedicated to the Budo Way.

Today, registered members of Kyokushin karate exceed 10 million located at more than 120 countries making it one of the largest martial arts organization in the world.