The founder of our style (Ryu), Masutatsu Oyama was born in 1923 near Seoul in South Korea. He studied Chinese Kenpo at 9 years old and at the age of 12 went to Japan to live and enrol at University. After mastering Judo he became a pupil of Gichin Funakoshi, making such rapid progress, that at the age of 17 he gained his Nidan (2nd level) and at 24 became Yondan (4th level). During the war he was drafted into the military. After the war in 1947, he won the All Japan Karate Championships against all comers.

Deciding that he wanted to devote the rest of his life to spreading his knowledge of Karate, he spent the next few years in seclusion, living in temples and in the mountains, subjecting himself to the physical rigours of martial arts, training day and night, meditating on Zen precepts and seeking enlightenment. During this 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 self discipline. In 1951 he returned to civilisation and started his own training hall (dojo). His fame spread rapidly as his abilities were 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. There are now Kyokushin Branches in over one hundred and twenty three countries in the world.

Honbu, situated in Tokyo, Japan, is the World headquarters for the LK.O.- International Karate Organization. and is headed by Kancho Matsui, the successor to Sosai Mas Oyama.

The World Open Knockdown Karate Tournament is held every 4 years in Japan where fighters from all over the world compete over three days to win the ultimate prize – World Champion.

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