Mas. Oyama


(Founder of Kyokushin Karate), From 1923 to 1994

OyamaThe toughest man in the world, founder of I.K.O. Kuokushin Grand Master Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama was born in southwest Korea, a few miles from the coast of the Yellow Sea. The time was 27th of July 1923, and the place Kimji-about 180 miles southwest of Seoul. His father was a renown person name Sun Hyung. He was a well to do landowner and mayor of the town. Mas Oyama was the fourth son of Sun Hyung in a family of six boys and one girl. His childhood name is Hyung Yee. At a relatively young age he was sent to Manchuria, in Southern China, to live on his sister’s farm. He had to walk six miles to school over a hill to  Y ongee primary school.In school he played soccer and took part in cross-country running. But most of boyish  enthusiasm was reserved for Chabee- a short of Korean combination of jujitsu and Kempo. Chabee lessons were given at school by Mr. Yi and Hyung Yee never skipped this session. He was nine years old at the time. In a dramatic moment Hyung Yee discover a 40 years old North Korean as a master. Every day for an hour in the evening, the North Korean farmhand drilled his enthusiastic young pupil in Chabee and Shaolin temple boxing. Each season Hyung Yee practiced under the expert eye of the North Korean until he was 13 years old- the year he went to Seoul to live with his aunt and attend junior high school in the capital. Next year at the tender ge of 14, Hyung Yee left his native land for Japan to attend a boy’s military academy in Yamanashi Prefecture.His specialty was mechanical training in aircraft engines.

The year was 1937. Japan was at war with China and the country was steadily being turned into armed camp. He quickly picked up Japanese name, Masutatsu Oyama- better known to his friends as Mas. Oyama.

While in Yamanashi, he began the study of karate, Shotokan style. He was trained in this electrifying martial art introduced into Japan from Okinawa. But Oyama was not satisfied with the training. In 1938, at the age of 15, he traveled to Tokyo to train as an aviator, to be like his hero of the time, Korea’s first fighter pilot. Survival on his own at that age proved to be more difficult than he thought.

The young Karate enthusiast enrolled at the dojo of Gichin Funakoshi at Takushoku University. Legend   Master Funakoshi- Father of Japanese Karate taught the Shotokan Style. His training progress was such that by the age of seventeen he was already a 2nd Dan, and by the time he entered the Japanese Imperial Army at 20, he was a fourth Dan. At this point he also took a renowned for both his physical and spiritual strength. It was he who encouraged Mas Oyama to dedicate his life to the Martial Way. Mas Oyama studied the Gojukai style of karate serious interest in judo, and his progress there was no less amazing. By the time he had quit training in Judo.

Oyama 021943, It was around this time that Oyama meet the Gojukai specialist, So Ni Chu and trained under him. That time Oyama had married with Chiyako. 1946 when he was 23 years old, Mas Oyama meet Eiji Yoshikawa, the author of the novel Musashi, which was based on the life and exploits of Japan’s most famous Samurai. Both the novel and the author helped to teach Mas Oyama about the Samurai Bushido code and what it meant. That same year, Oyama went to Mt.Kiyosumi in the Chiba Prefecture, after where Musashi had developed his Nito-Ryu style of sword fighting. Oyama thought that this would be an appropriate place to commence the rigors of training he had planned for himself. Enters the mountain for training, But few month later he return.

1945  Started the Eiwa Karate Do Research Institution in Suginami-ku, Tokyo, but 6 th month later it was closed.

1946  Mas. Oyama entered the Physical Department of Waseda University, Tokyo. He visited iji – Yoshikewa and Shiro Ozaki, two famous writers, to study more about the old Samurai way. Mas. Oyama went to Mount Minobu for training.

1947, becomes the champion of All Japan Karate-do Tournament. He studies Goju-ryu Karate extensively under Master Gogen Yamaguchi, and becomes Vice Chairman in the organization, holding 9th Dan degree.
Oyama 031948, again Oyama enters the mountain alone for training. Month after month passed by, he followed a strict daily routine of practicing karate. It was during this time that he made a form of kyokushin and he worked out his original breaking techniques. A year slipped away and still Oyama  remained on Mount Minobu , living and training like the Yamabushi (warrior monk)  of ancient Japan. After 18 months he came down from Mt Minobu.

1950, starts training against the live bulls, living beside the cattle .That time he had developed huge calluses on his fist knuckles. Oyama went to the cattle ranch every day, observing the bulls, watching them be killed with a hammer. He could break 30 pieces of tile with his fist at a single stroke, but so could a hammer. A hammer could also kill a bull, so why not Oyama? Although there have been reports that Mas Oyama has killed 53 bulls 4 killed in instant.
Toyo Miyatake Studio Rafu Shimpo Collection1952, visits America for Karate instructions and demonstrations in 32 locations has 7 times of real matches.

1953, visits America, he fights against a bull in Chicago, where he breaks its horn by Shuto strike (knife hand).

1954 , Oyama decided to go on a three month karate tour of Southeast Asia, in this tour he accept a challenge fight from top welter weight famous Kick boxer Black Chopra, needless to say, Oyama won all of the rest.

1955, goes all around South America and Europe with Bedford Day, President of Chrysler Corp. He fights numerous mix matches.

1956, starts small Oyama Dojo at an old ballet school behind Rikko University.
1957 Mas Oyama  travelled to the most northern islend of Hokkaido.He even challenged fighting a Bear during his stay there. It is also the year  in which Oyama completed his first Karate book ‘What is Karate’.

1958 January, publishes “What is Karate” which becomes a best seller of 500,000 copies. Oyama went back to the states in 1959, giving exhibitions teaching and opening ‘School of Oyama’ dojos in Chicago, Los Angeles, Sun Francisco. This year he accept the invitation from  FBI in Washington D.C. for Karate instructions and demonstration, same year, invited by West Point Military Academy for Karate instructions and demonstrations.

1960 Oyama put out a larger edition of ‘What is Karate’.

fotooyama41961 He changed the named “school of Oyama” to “Kyokushinkai”.In 1961 it wasn’t until

1962, Thai Boxing challenges to Japanese Karate, where Oyama Dojo alone accepts 3 matches 2 wins.

1963 that he built his four-story Honbu Dojo near the old one in Ikebukuro directly behind the Hiratsuka Hospital.

1964  Muai Thai Kick Boxing challenged Japanese Karate, but this challenge was not accepted by the Japanese Karate federation. At this time the Mas. Oyama Karate School (dojo) will accepted this challenged and sent three student to Thailand, Won 2 fights, redeemed the name of Japanese Karate. Sato ( Former Prime Minister of Japan ) who had recently won a Nobel Prize, became the President of the Kyokushinkai Karate Organization, Mas. Oyama became (Kancho) Director. International Karate Organization (I.K.O.) Headquarter (Honbu) was officially opened, and established. The Georgia State University invited Mas. Oyama for teaching Karate.

1965  The first Winter Training Camp was held at Mount Mitsumine. The Book “This is Karate”was published and became known as the Bible of Karate. 3,000 pages of preparation notes and 20,000 photos were used for this publication. S. Arneil of Britain achieved the 100 men Fight (KUMITE), the first student of Kyokushin Karate to do so.

1966  K. Kurosaki was sent to Europe to teach Karate. The Book “Dynamic Karate” and Modern Karate was Published. Segero Oyama was sent to USA to teach Karate. The USA I.K.O. was founded. Sean Connery of 007fame came to Japan and received Kyokushin Karate lessons from Mas. Oyama. Segero Oyama achieved the 100 Men Fight (Kumite).

1967  Kato was sent to Australia to teach Karate. Lock Hollander of Holland achieved 100 Men Fight (Kumite). The Book “ Vital Karate “ was published.

1968  S. Ogura was sent to Brazil to teach Karate. The story book “Fighting Travel Around the world” was published. The European I.K.O. was founded. The Middle East I.K.O. was started. Mas. Oyama gave private Lessons to His Majesty the King of Jordan. The South Pacific I.K.O. was founded.

1969 The Movie “ Boys Karate “, “ Karate for the Millions” and “ Young Man’s Karate self-defense “ were released. The South African and the South East Asia I.K.O. was started. Y. Matsushima went to South East Asia to teach Karate. The 1st Japan Open Karate Tournament was held in Tokyo which attracted Kick Boxing, Judo-Ka, Other stylists karate and a large audience.

1970  “ Karate Class “ and “ Advanced Karate “ were published.

1971  “ For People who Start Karate “ was published. The USA Main Branch was established in Manhattan, New York. N. Kishi was sent to USA to teach Karate.

1972  “ Fighting Spirit” was published. Seiji Isobe was sent to Brazil to teach Karate. Y. Oyama went to USA to teach Karate. The Movie “ Kenka Karate “ was released.

1973  Mas. Oyama visited many branches throughout the world in connection with staging the World Karate Tournament 2 years later.Miuko Miura achieved the 100 men fight (Kumite). The Movie “My Karate Life” was released.​

1974  Mas. Oyama demonstrated for Prince Sharam of Iran and awarded the Prince Hon. 2nd Dan.

1975  The First World Open Karate Tournament was held in Tokyo. 128 competitors attended from 36 countries.  “My Karate Gorin-no-sho” was published.

1976  “ Karate All Round the World “ published. The First World Tournament movie      “ The Strongest Karate” was released. “ The Way of Kyokushin” was published.           “The Strongest Karate – part-2 “was released.

1977  “ Challenge to the Limits” was published. The English quarterly magazine “ Kyokushin Karate” started. The Japanese monthly magazine “ Power Karate “ started.
1978  “The Godhand “ comic strip started. Mas. Oyama went to Hong Kong. And He gave a grand and important speech in the ancient capital of Nara, Japan. The first European Karate Tournament as held in London. The Malaysian Open Karate Tournament was held.

1979  The 2nd World Open Karate Tournament was held in Nippon Budokan indoor stadium, 62 countries participated, 32,000 spectators followed the event over three days.

1980  Release the book “ The Last Strongest Karate “ concerning the 2nd World open Karate Tournament. The relese of the Second L.P. “ the Essence of Kyokushin Karate – Mas. Oyama`s Philosophy “ under the label of King Records.

1981  The 1st Asia open karate Tournament was held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

1982  Following requests from the Hong Kong, Mr. Mizuguchi and Mr. Oga, under the leadership of Shihan Goda gave Karate exhibition. TBS broadcasted the Kyokushin Karate demonstration. Singapore Kyokushin karate Branch arrange karate demonstration, held in the FAFRA gardens of the Singapore Army.

1983 A welcoming Karate demonstration for the France Navy’s crew of Jean D` Arc. The first Sri Lanka Karate Championships was held. 3,000 people attended a party to celebrate 20 years of Ktokushin Karate and 35 th Wedding ceremony of Sosai Mas. Oyama and Mrs. Oyama. Dec. – “ My Karate Budo Education “ and “ Showa Gorin-no-Sho “ were Published.

1984  The 3rd World Karate Tournament was held at Nippon Bodokan from 20th to 23rd Jan.

1985  The Movi “ The Kyokushin Way “ was released by Shochiku Fuji Co. The 17th All Japan Karate tournament was held at Tokyo, The Champion Mr. Akiyoshi Matsui. The book “ Kuken-Shikon “ was published.

1986  Jun, Akiyoshi Matsui ( Now he is the Director of the I.K.O.) succeeded in completing the one hundred man Fight ( Kumite ) at Daiei Oizumi Studio in Nerima, Tokyo. He is the 3rd man to achieve this in the Kyokushin History. The 18th All Japan Karate Tournament was held at Yoyogi National Stadium, Champion – Akiyoshi Matsui.

1987  Nov. The 4th World Open Karate Tournament was held at Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, from 6th to 8th. the Champion – Akiyoshi Matsui.

1994 April, 23rd to 24th The 6th All Asia Open Karate Tournament was held in Katmandu, Nepal. Akiyoshi Matsui, Keiji Sampei and Shihan Goda was attended in Tournament but unfortunetly due to ill Sosai Mas. Oyama can not Come in Nepal.        April 26 morning 8.30 am. very Sad News for  every Kyokushin Karatekas around the world breaking their heart, The Karate God hand, Grand Master- Sosai Mas. Oyama Past Away, we all crying but no way. ​

After Mas.Oyama`s death, Shokei Akiyoshi Matsui, Became Director of the International Karate Organization (I.K.O) Kyokushinkaikan.



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