Oyama Masutatsu


Oyama Masutatsu (大山倍達)


27th July 1923. Qa-Ryong-Ri Yong-chi-Myo'n Chul Na Do. South Korea.

Where Trained

China, Korea, Japan


Mr Yi - Kempo. Funakoshi Gichin, Gogen Yamaguchi


26th April 1994.

Masutatsu Oyama was born 'Young-Li' in South Korea but took on the Japanese name when he moved to Japan.

At the age of 9, while living on his sister's farm in Southern China he began studying the Southern Chinese form of Kempo called 'Eighteen Techniques' under the instruction of a Mr Yi, who was also working on his sister's farm. After 2 years training he attained his first Dan. He returned to Korea at the age of 12 where he studied the Korean Martial Art known as Taiken or Chabi for a year.

At 13 he was sent to Japan to train as an aviator at the Yamanashi Youth Aviation Institute where he also learnt Boxing and Judo, being a Korean in Japan caused problems during his studies and his aviator training was stopped. Masutatsu Oyama saw a student practicing Okinawa Karate, interested he went and joined Funakoshi Gichin's Dojo at the Takushoku University.

By the time he was 17 he had gained his 2nd Dan with 4th Dan achieved at 20. During this period he had also been studying Judo and within 4 years had become 4th Dan in Judo.

Oyama joined the Butokukai which was the academy for the Imperial Japanese Military, spending 2 years (Until the end of World War II) training in guerrilla warfare, espionage and hand to hand combat. He then studied Goju-Ryu Karate under a student of Miyagi Chojun. With all his skills in the different martial arts Oyama demonstrated his own style, which included the famous 'Bull fights' testing his power and skill by fighting bulls bare handed. Of the 52 bulls he fought, 3 were killed instantly and 49 had their horns broken off with knife hand strikes.

Oyama opened his first Dojo in Tokyo in 1953, having over 700 members by 1957. Some of his successful students opened Dojo's around the world, later the World Headquarters were opened in 1964 where the name Kyokushin (Ultimate Truth) was adopted. Masutatsu Oyama died of lung cancer (Oyama was a non smoker) in April 1994.

He was the founder of the Kyokushin-kai style of full contact karate. A notable British student of his was Steve Arneil.

you may be interested in some of Mas Oyama's books;-

click here for a list of Master Oyama Masutatsu books click here for a list of Master Oyama Masutatsu books

or click here for a list of Master Oyama Masutatsu books

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