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The founder of our system, Masutatsu Oyama - 10th Dan, was born on 27th July 1923,
near Seoul in South Korea.
He is know to the world and our Style as "Sosai" Mas Oyama, Sosai meaning President.
He studied Chinese Kempo, at the age of 9. When he was 15, he moved to Japan to enter
aviation school. In Tokyo he became a pupil of Master Gichin Funakoshi, of Shotokan
Karate. Such was his progress, that at 17 he was a 2nd Dan and by 24 he had
achieved 4th Dan. Young Oyama also studied with Master So Nei Chu of Goju Ryu.
He achieved 6th dan in Goju-ryu, and after establishing Kyokushin he eventually was
awarded 10th Dan by the Kyokushinkaikan branch chiefs in the mid-1980s.
In 1946, he went to Mount Minobu and trained for 14 months. Then in 1947, when he
emerged, he won the Karate section of the first Japan National Martial Arts tournament
Following this, he decided to devote his life to Karate and develop his own Way, or “Do”, so he went into mountain seclusion once more (Mt. Kiyosumi). While there, he trained 12 hours per day, perfecting his skills, physical and spiritual, so that when he emerged 18 months later, he was ready for any challenge.
1950 he fought his first bull (all the bulls Mas Oyama fought were destined for the slaughter house). Altogether he fought 52 bulls, 3 dying instantly, and the others having their horns knocked off with a knife hand blow.
1951 saw Mas Oyama training Judo at Sone Dojo, Chiba. He maintained his Judo training for four years finishing with a 4th Dan.
In 1952 he travelled to America to demonstrate Karate to the Western world. He toured for a year, displaying Karate and accepting challenges from all comers (boxers, wrestlers, strong men etc...) In all the challengers he took on over the years, he was never defeated once, usually winning in the first minute of the fight, such was his strength and skill.
After returning to Japan, he started teaching in a grass lot in Tokyo and in 1956, opened a dojo behind Rikkyo University. This event marks the beginning of the Kyokushin karate as a formal organisation.
He was also a master of tameshiwari (test of breaking), inventing such breaks as the bottle break.
In his quest to make Kyokushin the strongest Karate, he also began the 100 man kumite tradition, where a person must fight 100 challengers in a row, all in the same day. Sosai Oyama did this on three consecutive days. "300 Fights" In 1964 Oyama Dojo accepted a Muay Thai (kickboxing) challenge and sent 3 students to Thailand, winning 2 out of 3 fights.
Since 1975 Sosai Oyama and Kyokushinkai have staged the most successful Full Contact World Tournament every 4 years.
In 1977 Sosai Oyama visited Australia for the first time to attend the first Australian Full Contact Tournament, held at the Sydney Town Hall. He visited Australia on a number of other occasions.
Mas Oyama was married and had three daughters. Sadly Sosai Oyama passed away on the 26th April 1994 due to lung cancer, and was mourned by 12 million Kyokushin practitioners worldwide.
His wife Chiyako joined him in 2006, and his oldest daughter died in a car crash. The youngest daughter, Kuristina, now manages his legacy.
The Kyokushin International Karate Organisation, KIKO, was founded in 2017 by
Kancho Doug Turnbull to:
If there was one goal Kancho Doug Turnbull is to achieve it is a standard of Kyokushin as taught by Sosai Mas Oyama.
As Sosai Mas Oyama always said the only way an international organisation could be unified is by regulating the practice and teaching of kata and kihon across the various national organisations whereby all Kyokushin karateka, in any Dojo from any country should perform the techniques and kata in the same manner.
Kancho Doug Turnbull will continue the grading syllabus for the KIKO and on Kyokushin Kata, Kumite, Kihon to enable the individual to strive for the same level of excellence.
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