History of Kyokushin Karate Sosai Masutatsu Oyama was born on July 27th, 1923, in a village in Southern Korea. In 1938 Mas Oyama traveled to Japan with the desire to enter an aviation school and become a fighter pilot, but he was forced to abandon his dream and find work. He continued practicing judo and boxing and his interest in Martial Arts led him to the dojo of Gishin Funakoshi and thus, he started practicing Okinawa Karate.
With his dedication, Mas Oyama progressed quickly and by the time he was 20 years old he had obtained his fourth Dan. It was at this time that Mas Oyama entered the Japanese Imperial Army and began studying judo in the hope of mastering its holding and grappling techniques. When he stopped training in judo, after about 4 years, he gained a fourth Dan.
In 1946, Mas Oyama went into training, at a remote spot, on the Mt. Kiyosumi in Chiba Prefecture. He was accompanied by one of his students named Yashiro and a friend Mr. Kayama brought them food supplies every month. Through vigorous training, Mas Oyama learnt to overcome the mental strain caused by solitude but Yashiro could not bear it and fled after 6 months. About fourteen months later Mr. Kayama told Mas Oyama that due to unforeseen circumstances he could no longer sponsor Mas Oyama’s retreat in the mountains and thus Mas Oyama’s original plan of remaining in solitude for three years was brought to an end.
In 1950, Mas Oyama began his famous battles with bulls; partly to test his strength and also to make the world sit up and notice the power of his karate. All together, Oyama fought 52 bulls, killing 3 instantly and taking the horns of 49 with knife-hand blows. Mas Oyama opened his first “Dojo” in 1953 in Mejiro, Tokyo. This was the time that Mas Oyama’s karate strength was at its peak so the training was severe. Many students were members of other styles and Mas Oyama would compare styles and build on his karate. He would take what he felt were the best techniques and concepts from any Martial Art and gradually fit them into his training; therefore, laying the foundations of Kyokushin Karate.
The first “School of Oyama” outside Japan was opened in 1957 by Shihan Bobby Lowe in Hawaii. In 1952, Mas Oyama gave his first demonstration in Hawaii.
The building of the World Headquarters started in 1963 and was officially opened in 1964. It was at this time that Mas Oyama adopted the name Kyokushin “The Ultimate Truth”. Kyokushin had started its spread around the globe and at present is one of the largest martial art organization in the world. It goes without saying that a style is only as strong as the students who represent it. This is why it is the responsibility of all those who have chosen to follow Sosai, to train hard and forge and indomitable spirit so that the tradition of strength in Kyokushin Karate may be recognized by all for many years.
The One Hundred Man Kumite of Kyokushinkai Karate The Kyokushinkai organization has built its strength on a foundation of the fighting ability and courage not only of its founder, the late Grandmaster Masutatsu Oyama, but its students. Sosai Oyama therefore introduced a test unique only to Kyokushin Karate, the “Hyaku Nin Kumite” or the “One Hundred Man Kumite”. This is considered the ultimate test in Kyokushin Karate as one has to fight 100 opponents in full contact knockdown fighting with each bout lasting two minutes. Should one be knocked down for more than five seconds, one would fail the test even if it were your last fight. To make it more difficult, one must win a greater percentage of your fight by Ippon (full points) and not take continuous punishment or block only, in order to stay on your feet. To show that this feat could be done, in his prime Sosai Oyama fought 100 opponents on each of three consecutive days. He wanted to continue for a fourth day but there were no opponents left to fight. It is little wonder that only 13 other people in the whole world have successfully completed this test, where only the strongest, both mentally and physically, survive.
Since it was first started 35 years ago, the 100 man Kumite was always completed over two days and 50 fights on each day. Then Sosai Oyama decided that the test should be completed on one day. On December 1, 1972, Shihan Howard Collins 7th Dan of Britain, completed his 100 fights in less than four hours in one day. The Hundred Man Kumite offers the dedicated and serious Karate warrior a challenge like no other in any other martial art or sport today.