Kyokushin Karate

“Keep one’s head low (modest),
eyes high (ambitious), mouth shut (silent),
base yourself on filial piety and benefit others.”
– Kyoskushin ideal by Sosai Mas Oyama

 

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

The Kyokushin system is based on traditional karate like Shotokan and Goju-ryu, but incorporates many elements of combat sports like boxing, Muay Thai and kickboxing in kumite. Many techniques used in Kyokushin Karate are not found in other styles of karate.

In Kyokushin the instructor and his/her students all must take part in hard sparring to prepare them for full contact fighting. Unlike some forms of karate, Kyokushin places high emphasis on full contact fighting for adults at advanced belt levels. This level of contact is tempered because bare-handed punches to the head are not allowed. This reduces the risk of both immediate and long-term head injury. Whilst knees and kicks to the head and face are allowed, owing to the nature of these techniques, injuries are rare and those that cause long-term brain damage, common in boxing, are virtually non-existent. This makes the Kyokushin style of training very popular amongst professionals.

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 advances in the system.