Masutatsu Oyama Brief History

July 27th, 1923, born in Tokyo, Japan.

Learns Chinese Fist of Chakuriki in the land of Manchuria. He was 9 years old.

1938, becomes student under Master Gichin Funakoshi of Shotokan Karate.

1946, enters the mountain 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 with Gogen Yamaguchi of Goju-ryu

1948, enters the mountain alone for 18 months of training.

1950, starts training against the live bulls, living beside the cattle butchery. Out of 47 bulls, 4 killed in instant.

1952, 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).

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

1956, starts small Oyama Dojo at an old ballet studio.

1957, fights against a bull in Mexico City.

1958 January, publishes "What is Karate" which becomes a best seller of 500,000 copies.
September, invited by FBI in Washington D.C. for Karate instructions and demonstrations.
October, invited by West Point Military Academy for Karate instructions and demonstrations.

1964, Thai Boxing challenges Karate-do, where Oyama Dojo alone accepts. 3 matches 2 wins.

1971, though a popular comic book series "Karate Baka Ichidai," and the movie "World's Strongest Karate" in 1975, his name and of Kyokushin become known all over Japan.

1975, helds Kyokushin Kai's First World Karate-do Open Tournament.

April 26, 1994. Dies of lung cancer at the age of 70.

In addition to described above, he visits elsewhere researching and fighing real matches against other Martial Arts of the world. Kyokushin as the largest Karate organization, he has students numbered 12,000,000 in 140 nations worldwide. He is also noted for starting the Full-Contact, Bare-Knuckle tournament system.

  • Where he was born: This is told by Mas Oyama himself. Other sources tell he was born in Seoul, Korea.
  • Chakuriki: The Japanese pronounciation of the name of a Chinese Martial Art that may be translated into "Force of Taking." He mensions that its style is of Chinese Fist. He tells that the man who taught him this art was one of the survived members involved in Boxers Rebellion, noted in Chinese history. (Note the K-1 fans: Chakuriki Dojo of Holland, that produced Champions like Peter Aerts and Branko Cikatic, is indeed named after it.)
  • Karate Baka Ichidai: A popular comic book series authored by Ikki Kajiwara, written about Mas Oyama, and based on the life of Oyama.
  • World's Strongest Karate: A movie that filmed the First World Kyokushin Tournament and introduced Kyokushin Kai Karate to the public. The English version of it is titled, "Fighting Black Kings."