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History of Kyokushin

Mas Oyama – The heart of our karate is real fighting. There can be no proof without real fighting. Without proof there is no trust. Without trust there is no respect. This is a definition in the world of martial arts.

Kyokushin Karate is a full contact style of karate known as the strongest style in the World and was  founded by Sosai Masutatsu Oyama.


Masutatsu Oyama was born in 1923 near Seoul in South Korea. He studied Chinese Kempo at nine years of age and at the age of twelve went to Japan to live and enrol at University. 

After mastering Judo he became a pupil of the legendary Gichen Funakoshi, making such rapid progress that at seventeen he gained Nidan and at twenty-four became Yondan. During the war he was drafted into the military. After the war in 1947 he won the All Japan Karate Championship against all comers!


Deciding that he wanted to devote the rest of his life to spreading the knowledge of karate, he spent the next years in seclusion, living in the temples and the mountains, subjecting himself to the rigours of martial arts training day and night, meditating on Zen precepts and seeking enlightenment.


During the period of self-exile he struggled with wild animals, smashed trees and rocks with his bare hands and meditated under icy waterfalls in an extremely severe course of rigid discipline. In 1951 he returned to civilisation and started his own training Dojo. 


His fame spread rapidly as his ability was sensational! Among many feats he had defeated a bull with his bare hands!


After many successful tours, demonstrating his skills, training Dojo's were set up all over the World. In 1965, the five-storey building, Honbu, was opened in Tokyo. Today there are Kyokushin Branches in most countries in the World, including, of course Great Britain.

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Tom is the head instructor at Ronin Kyokushin in Melton Mowbray, where he strives to pass on his knowledge, experience and passion for kyokushin karate on to the next generation and produce future champions.