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What is Kyokushin Karate

mas oyama

Kyokushin karate was founded by the late Sosai Masutatsu Oyama (1923-1994).

Who, after many years of rigorous training in various fighting styles, formed his own style and decided on the name derived from ‘kyoku’ meaning ultimate or extreme and ‘shin’ meaning truth.

The ideals of Sosai were to overcome your own presupposed physical limitations and attain a level of ‘truth’ in yourself and your karate forged by hard training.


His own legendary training followed a regimen of self-sacrifice and hardship that will never be repeated. It included 18 months of solitary training in the mountains, where he “trained every day for longer than I slept”. It included running up steep slopes, lifting large rocks as weights, jumping bushes and boulders many times, striking trees to condition his hands and feet and meditation under freezing waterfalls.

After he amazed the world with his amazing karate prowess, he opened his first Dojo, training hall, in 1953, and after training many overseas students in the ‘Honbu’, world headquarters, Kyokushin Karate spread globally and became the largest martial art association with over ten million members worldwide.

Sadly, Sosai passed away in 1994, but his legend and legacy still lives on today with instructors passing on his philosophy in dojo throughout the world.