History of Kyokushin

What is Kyokushinkai?

Karate is both an art and philosophy because each person has a different personality, this reflects itself in their interpretation. Therefore, karate masters founded their own schools, teaching their style or ryu. Kyokushinkai is the name given to our style.

Meaning of Kyokushinkai

KYOKU – means ultimate
SHIN – truth or reality
KAI – to meet, join, associate.

It takes time to fully understand the meaning.

The Kanku

The symbol of Kyokushinkai is the Kanku.

The Kanku is derived from the Kanku Kata, sky gazing form. In this Kata the hands are raised to scan the sky and the symbol is formed. The points of the Kanku represent the fingers and imply the ultimate or peaks. The thick sections, represent the wrists and imply power. The center represents infinity, implying depth. The whole Kanku is based and enclosed by a circle, representing continuity and circular action.

History of Kyokushin

Kyokushin is a renowned Japanese martial art, known for its rigorous training and full-contact sparring. Founded by Masutatsu Oyama in the mid-20th century, it has a fascinating history that reflects the spirit of determination and discipline.

The origins of Kyokushin can be traced back to Oyama’s early training in traditional Japanese martial arts, including Shotokan karate. Dissatisfied with the sport’s focus on point-sparring, Oyama sought to create a more realistic and intense form of martial arts. In 1953, he established his own school, which he named Kyokushin, meaning “Ultimate Truth.”

Kyokushin emphasizes physical conditioning, with practitioners engaging in strenuous workouts to develop strength, endurance, and resilience. The training involves rigorous kata (pre-arranged forms), kumite (sparring), and tameshiwari (breaking boards or bricks with bare hands and feet). What sets Kyokushin apart is its commitment to full-contact sparring, where participants aim to score knockouts through powerful strikes.

Over the years, Kyokushin gained recognition and expanded internationally. In 1964, the first All-Japan Kyokushin Karate Championship was held, attracting attention and respect within the martial arts community. It continued to spread globally, establishing a presence in Europe, the Americas, and beyond.

Tragically, Masutatsu Oyama passed away in 1994, but his legacy lives on through countless dojos (training halls) worldwide. Today, Kyokushin remains a symbol of discipline, perseverance, and physical prowess, as practitioners continue to uphold its principles of “karate ni sente nashi” (there is no first strike in karate) and strive for the ultimate truth in martial arts.

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