People often think of Kyokushin Karate as one of the “hardest” types of Karate. It has kumite, which is full-contact sparring, and it is not allowed to use any sparring gear. You can only protect your mouth and groyne. Even at tournaments, protective gear like helmets and gloves are not worn.
Kyokushin is shown by training that is hard and sparring that is hard. So, people who want to learn this art should have a good level of cardio fitness. It is more than just training; it is a way of life. Now that I’ve given you a brief overview, let’s learn more about where this style came from and how it developed.
Sosai Masutatsu Oyama started Kyokushin Karate. He was born on July 27, 1923, in a village in South Korea. He started learning Chinese Kenpo and the “Eighteen Hands form” at a young age. In 1938, Oyama went to Japan to go to flight school so he could become a pilot. But this dream never came true.
He kept doing martial arts, and he also started doing Okinawan Karate. He worked very hard and by the time he was 20, he had reached the level of 4th Dan. Oyama also joined the Japanese Imperial Army at the same time. When he was in the army, he started doing Judo to learn how to get a good hold on someone. In just 4 years, he reached the level of 4th Dan.
But when Japan lost the Second World War, Oyama was disappointed and sad. Then came So Nei Chu, a Goju-Ryu Karate master. When Oyama joined his dojo, it changed his life in a big way. He was very sad, but he was able to pull himself out of it and learn the spiritual basics of Buddhism. Master So asked Oyama to follow the “Warrior’s Way” for the rest of his life. He went into the mountains by himself to train his body and mind.
Oyama won the All Japan Open Karate Championship twice and did well in a lot of other competitions and championships as well. In 1953, in Mejiro, Tokyo, he opened his first dojo. During this time, he was at his strongest. People say that the way he trained in his dojo was very harsh.
His students came from many different types of martial arts. Oyama carefully watched them and used the best techniques. So, he started making the rules for what is now called Kyokushin Karate.
The International Karate Organization (IKO) was started by Oyama in 1965. At this time, he taught everyone about Kyokushin, which means “the ultimate truth.” This was the start of a new style of Karate. Sosai is the name that was given to Oyama because of what he did.
After he died in 1994, a number of his apprentices started their own groups. So, after a few years, it was decided that the name should be changed to keep it from being confused with something else. Because of this, the “World Karate Organization (WKO) – Shinkyokushinkai” was made. Today, it has 93 country members and is the largest karate organisation in the world.
- Taikyoku Sono Ichi helps students with colour belts practise techniques like kicking, self-defense, and some kinds of strikes.
- Pinan Sono Ichi: This helps a colour belt student concentrate better and get in better shape.
- Sanchin: During a fight, a student can use Sanchin to practise and improve his muscle memory and balance.
- Taikyoku Sono Ichi Ura is very similar to Taikyoku Sono Ichi, but it is the ura version of the kata. So, it’s done by spinning while turning.
- Gekisai Dai is a way to improve your striking and defence by fighting an imaginary opponent.
- Yantsu: Yantsu helps the student learn how to strike quickly and keep their balance as they move through a group of people.
- This is another kata for belts other than black. It teaches the student how to make hard strikes and how to move in an aggressive way.
- Bo Kata Ichi: To learn this kata, the student needs a “Bo staff.” It gives him the chance to learn how to attack with a martial arts weapon.
- Garyu: Garyu lets the student practise different kinds of kicks and helps them keep their balance while doing so.
- Seipai combines both offensive and defensive techniques in a healthy way. Seipai is good for your development as a whole.
- Fudo Dachi Immobile stance
- Heiko Dachi Parallel stance
- Kiba Dachi Position for riding a horse
- Kokutsu Dachi Back Stance stance
- Musubi Dachi Formal Attention stance
- Sanchin Dachi Three Battles position
- Shiko Dachi Sumo stance
- Yoi Dachi Stance of readiness
- Zenkutsu Dachi Front stance
- Kyokushin Kicks
Let’s look at some of Kyokushin Karate’s most well-known kicks. You use these for Kata, self-defense, sparring, and showing off. The names of these kicks will depend on who is teaching you. So, check with your teacher to find out what the right method is at your school.
- Foot Sweep Ashi Barai
- Fumikomi Stomping Kick
- Hiza Geri Knee Strike
- Kin Geri Groin Kick
- Mae Geri Front Kick
- Tobi Geri Jumping Kick
- Jumping Back Kick by Tobi Ushiro Geri
- Yoko Geri Side Kick
- Flying Side Kick Yoko Tobo Geri
One of the most important parts of Karate training is Kumite, or sparring. It means that two students are using sparring gears to fight in a controlled way. “Shotokan Kihon” kumite techniques are used to teach people who are just starting out. It requires a lot of safety gear to keep people from getting hurt. Kyokushin kumite, on the other hand, is not for beginners.
This is because it does let people spar in the usual, Olympic way. When they spar in Kyokushin kumite, they don’t wear gloves or other protective gear. It also lets you kick your opponent in the head, body, or legs. This style of kumite is hard because knee strikes and punches can be used against the body.
The famous “100-man kumite” came about because of Kyokushin. It consists of one person fighting 100 rounds of kumite against 100 other people of the same level or a similar level. Hence, kumite in Kyokushin karate is the hardest kumite to endure.
Kyokushin Karate’s founder made this style so that it could be used for real self-defense, unlike other styles. This is because the style is based on sparring and real-world use. Many dojos force their students to do Kumite every day, which can be scary.
As was already said, Kyokushin sparring is different from other forms of martial arts. Since there is no protective gear, it can be uncomfortable for students who are just starting out. But that doesn’t mean it’s a dangerous form of martial arts. There is the same chance of getting hurt as with other styles. When it comes to real-life situations, this kind of sparring is helpful.
The people who study Kyokushin have a firm grasp on how to use power. This helps them avoid getting hurt when they land hits in a real fight. The kind of training that makes them tough also makes them immune to hits. The whole point is to get the body used to strike and get used to how it makes the body feel.
In a street fight, the drilling part of Kyokushin karate training is also very important. It helps your muscles remember how to do the moves. So, when the body is under pressure, it will automatically do the right moves for offence and defence. Kyokushin training is very realistic, which helps people build great skills that can be very dangerous in a street fight.