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Karate Styles
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Kyokushin (極真会館) is a style of stand-up fighting and was founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese Masutatsu Oyama (大山倍達, Ōyama Masutatsu). "Kyokushin" is Japanese for "the ultimate truth". It is rooted in a philosophy of self-improvement, discipline and hard training.[3][4][5] Its full contact style has international appeal (practitioners have over the last 40+ years numbered more than 12 million).[6]
After formally establishing the Kyokushinkaikan in 1964, Oyama directed the organization through a period of expansion.[7] Oyama hand-picked instructors who displayed ability in marketing the style and gaining new members. Oyama would choose an instructor to open a new dojo. The instructor would move to that town and demonstrate his karate skills in public places. After that, word of mouth would spread through the local area until the dojo had a dedicated core of students. Oyama also sent instructors to other countries such as the Netherlands (Kenji Kurosaki), Australia (Mamoru Kaneko and Shigeo Kato), the United States (Miyuki Miura, Tadashi Nakamura, Shigeru Oyama and Yasuhiko Oyama), Great Britain (Steve Arneil), Canada (Tatsuji Nakamura) and Brazil (Seiji Isobe) to spread Kyokushin in the same way. Many students, including Steve Arneil, Jon Bluming, and Howard Collins, traveled to Japan to train with Oyama directly. In 1969, Oyama staged The First All-Japan Full Contact Karate Open Championships and Terutomo Yamazaki became the first champion. All-Japan Championships have been held at every year. In 1975, The First World Full Contact Karate Open Championships were held in Tokyo. World Championships have been held at four-yearly intervals since
Oyama's death
After Mas Oyama's death, the International Karate Organization (IKO) split into two groups, primarily due to personal conflicts over who should succeed Oyama as chairman. One group led by Shokei Matsui became known as IKO-1, and a second group led by Yukio Nishida[8] and Sanpei became was known as IKO-2. The will was proven to be invalid in the family Court of Tokyo in 1995. Before his death, Oyama named no one as his successor, although he did mention Matsui to be the most eligible one[citation needed].
In 1995 any new Kyokushin organization that claimed the name IKO, Kyokushinkaikan, were referred to by Kyokushin practitioners by numbers, such as IKO-1 (Matsui group), IKO-2 etc.[citation needed] Due to this break up, many attempted to establish their own leadership.[citation needed] For example, IKO-2 was not organized by Oyama's family, although Chiyako Oyama was asked to succeed after her husband as Kaicho.[citation needed] Chiyako Oyama stepped away from the political fight and founded the Mas Oyama Memorial Foundation with her daughters, still retaining the rights to the companies that managed IKO Kyokushinkaikan during Mas Oyama's leadership.[
Japan-based Kyokushinkaikan organisations[edit]
Internationally known, Japanese-based organizations that claim the name "International Karate Organization" include:[citation needed]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Sosai", organized by Mas Oyama's daughter, Kuristina Oyama, which by court order has the rights to Mas Oyama's Honbu.(Defunct organisation)[9]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Matsui-Ha" or "Ichi-Geki", headed by Shokei (Akiyoshi) Matsui.[10]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Tezuka Group", headed by Fumiko Tezuka (Wife of Late Kaicho Tezuka) and Kaicho Mori.[11]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Matsushima", headed by Yoshikazu Matsushima.[12]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "All Japan Kyokushin Union" or "Kyokushin Rengōkai", headed by Yasuhiro Shichinohe.[13]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Sakamoto-Ha", headed by Shigenori Sakamoto.[14]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "World So-Kyokushin", headed by Daigo Ohishi.[15]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Nakamura", headed by Makoto Nakamura.[16]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "World Kyokushin Kaikan", headed by Ryuko Take.[17]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan Sonoda Group, headed by Naoyuki SONODA (園田直幸).[18]

Other Japan-based organisations[edit]
Other Japanese Kyokushin groups no longer officially claiming the original name of "IKO" and "Kyokushinkaikan":
  • WKO (World Karate Organization) Shinkyokushinkai, headed by Kenji Midori as president.[19]
  • Kyokushin Shogakukai Foundation, Kyokushin-kan International Karate-do Organization (KIKO), headed by Hatsuo Royama as president.[20]
  • Kyokushin Budo Karate Organization Kyokushin Kenbukai. Founded by Tsuyoshi Hiroshige an apprentice of Mas Oyama.[21]
Non Japan-based organisations[edit]
Kyokushin groups outside Japan:
  • International Karate Alliance KyokushinRyu (IKAK) - founded by Shihan Peter Chong, based in Singapore [22]
  • Federal Kyokushin Organization of Karate (FKOK) – founded by Shihan Bertrand Kron, based in France[23]
  • International Federation of Karate, Kyokushin (IFK) – founded by former IKO member Steve Arneil.[24]
  • Kyokushin World Federation (KWF), founded by former IKO members: Loek Hollander, Antonio Pinero and Andre Drewniak.[25]
  • Kyokushin Budokai, IBK, founded by former IKO Jon Bluming.[26]
  • International Kyokushin Union (IKU) – founded by former IKO member David Farzinzad.[27]
  • International Kyokushinkai Association (IKA) – founded by former IKO member Carllos Costa, based in Brazil.[28]
  • International Federation of Kyokushinkaikan Karate (IFKK) – founded by former IKO member Sahinbas Goksel and Malik Dilnawaz, based in Netherlands and Norway.[29]
  • International Seishin Kyokushin Karate Organization (ISKKO) – founded by Mas Oyama Shibucho for Catalunya Pere Lluis Beltran, based in Spain.[30]
  • International Kyokushinkai Karate Federation (IKKF) – founded by former IKO member Teyub Azizov, based in Azerbaijan.[31]
  • World Kyokushin Karate Federation (WKKF) -Founded by IKO Life Member Bodh Narayan Yadav, Based in India.[32]
  • World Kyokushin Budokai (WKB) – founded by former IKO member Pedro Roiz, based in Spain[33]
  • Kyokushin Budo Karate Shakai International (KBKS) – founded by former IKO Sokyokushin member Prasanna Fernando, based in the United Kingdom.[34]
  • World Kyokushinkai Karate Association – founded by Tom Jansen, based in the Netherlands.[35]
  • International Karate Kyokushinkaikan - Established in 1996 by Shihan Paul Sarginson [36]
  • International Kyokushinkaikan Organisation (IKO) - founded by Shihan Emil Kostov, Bulgaria.
  • American Kyokushin karate organization (AKKO) , Founded By Hanshi Don Buck USA.
  • Independent Kyokushin Karate Union (IKKU) - Established in 2013 by Shihan's Alan Cleary, Iain Rodger & Tom Smith - www.ikku.co.uk
Oyama's widow died in June 2006 after a long illness.[citation needed] Mas Oyama's youngest daughter, Kikuko (also known as Kuristina) now oversees the management of the original IKO Kyokushin kaikan Honbu.[citation needed] She also published a book in 2010, a collective memoir of Mas Oyama and his teachings.[citation needed]
In May 2012, the Japanese Patent Office granted the Kyokushin related trademarks to Kikuko Kuristina Oyama, after years of long court battle.[citation needed] She has internationally trademarked and copyrighted her father's work and devotes the proceeds to various charities.[citation needed]
Oyama had designed the Kanji of Kyokushinkai to resemble the Samurai sword safely placed in its sheath. Kanji is the representation (using Chinese characters) of the word Kyokushinkai, which is the name of the ryu or style. Translated, "kyoku" means "ultimate", "shin" means "truth" or "reality" and "kai" means "to join" or "to associate". In essence Kyokushinkai, roughly translated, means "Ultimate Truth".[37] This concept has less to do with the Western meaning of truth; rather it is more in keeping with the bushido concept of discovering the nature of one's true character when tried.[38] One of the goals of kyokushin is to strengthen and improve character by challenging one's self through rigorous training.[39]
Techniques and training[edit]
Kyokushin training consists of three main elements: technique, forms, and sparring. These are sometimes referred to as the three "K's" after the Japanese words for them: kihon (basics), kata (Imaginary forms of Fight), and kumite (sparring).
Kata is a form of ritualized self-training in which patterned or memorized movements are done in order to practice a form of combat maneuverings. According to a highly regarded Kyokushin text, "The Budo Karate of Mas Oyama"[40] by Cameron Quinn, long time interpreter to Oyama, the kata of Kyokushin are classified into Northern and Southern Kata.
The northern kata stems from the Shuri-te tradition of karate, and are drawn from Shotokan karate which Oyama learned while training under Gichin Funakoshi.[2]
Some areas now phase out the prefix "sono" in the kata names.
  • Taikyoku sono ichi[41]
  • Taikyoku Sono Ni
  • Taikyoku Sono San
The Taikyoku kata were originally created by Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan karate.
  • Pinan Sono Ichi
  • Pinan Sono Ni
  • Pinan Sono San
  • Pinan Sono Yon
  • Pinan Sono Go
The 5 Pinan katas, known in some other styles as Heian, were originally created in 1904 by Ankō Itosu, a master of Shuri-te and Shorin ryu (a combination of the shuri-te and tomari-te traditions of karate). He was a teacher to Gichin Funakoshi. Pinan (pronounced /pin-ann/) literally translates as Peace and Harmony.
  • Kanku Dai
Some organizations have removed the "Dai" from the name, calling it only "Kanku", as there is no "Sho" or other alternate Kanku variation practiced in kyokushin. The Kanku kata was originally known as Kusanku or Kushanku, and is believed to have either been taught by, or inspired by, a Chinese martialartist who was sent to Okinawa as an ambassador in the Ryukyu Kingdom during the 16th century. Kanku translates to "sky watching".
  • Sushiho
The Kata Sushiho is a greatly modified version of the old Okinawian kata that in Shotokan is known as Gojushiho, and in some other styles as Useishi. The name means "54 steps", referring to a symbolic number in Buddhism.
  • Bassai-dai
A very old Okinawan kata of unknown origin, the name Bassai or Passai translates to "to storm a castle". It was originally removed from the kyokushin syllabus in the late 1950s, but was reintroduced into some kyokushin factions after Oyama's death and the resulting fractioning of the organization.
  • Naihanchi
This kata is a very old Okinawan kata, also known as Tekki in Shotokan. It is generally classified as belonging to the Tomari-te traditions. The name Tekki translates to "iron horse" but the meaning of the name Naihanchi is "internal divided conflict". It was originally removed from the kyokushin syllabus in the late 1950s, but was reintroduced into some kyokushin factions after Oyama's death and the resulting fractioning of the organization.
  • Sokugi Taikyoku sono ichi
  • Sokugi Taikyoku sono ni
  • Sokugi Taikyoku sono san
These three kata were created by Masutatsu Oyama to further develop kicking skills and follow the same embu-sen (performance line) as the original Taikyoku kata. Sokugi literally means Kicking, while Taikyoku translates to Grand Ultimate View. They were not formally introduced into the Kyokushin syllabus until after the death of Oyama.
The southern kata stems from the Naha-te tradition of karate, and are mostly drawn from Goju-ryu karate, which Oyama learned while training under So Nei Chu and Gogen Yamaguchi.[1] One exception may be the kata "Yantsu" which possibly originates with Motobu-ha Shito-ryu.
  • Gekisai Dai
  • Gekisai Sho
Gekisai was created by Chojun Miyagi, founder of Goju-ryu karate. The name Gekisai means "attack and smash". In some styles (including some Goju-ryu factions) it is sometimes known under the alternative name "Fukyugata".
  • Tensho
Tensho draws it origin from Goju-ryu where it was developed by Chojun Miyagi, who claimed credit for its creation. There are however some who claim that it is merely a variation of an old, and now lost, Chinese kata known as "rokkishu" mentioned in the Bubishi (an ancient text often called the "Bible of Karate"). It is based on the point and circle principles of Kempo. It was regarded as an internal yet advanced Kata by Oyama. The name means "rotating palms".
  • Sanchin
Sanchin is a very old kata with roots in China. The name translates to "three points" or "three battles". The version done in kyokushin is most closely related to the version Kanryo Higashionna (or Higaonna), teacher of Chojun Miyagi, taught (and not to the modified version taught by Chojun Miyagi himself).
  • Saifa (Saiha)
Originally a Chinese kata. It was brought to Okinawa by Kanryo Higashionna. Its name translates to "smash and tear down".
  • Seienchin
Originally a Chinese kata, regarded as very old. It was also brought to Okinawa by Kanryo Higashionna. The name translates roughly to "grip and pull into battle".
  • Seipai
Originally a Chinese kata. It was also brought to Okinawa by Kanryo Higashionna. The name translates to the number 18, which is significant in Buddhism.
  • Yantsu
Yantsu is an old kata with unknown origin that is alternately classified as belonging to the Naha-te or Tomari-te karate tradition. Outside of kyokushin it is today only is practiced in Motobu-ha Shitō-ryū (that today is part of the Nihon Karate-do Kuniba-kai), where it in a slightly longer variant is called "Hansan" or "Ansan". The name Yantsu translates to "keep pure". How the kata was introduced into Kyokushin is unknown, although it is speculated that it was somehow imported from Motobu-ha Shito-ryu.
  • Tsuki no kata
This kata was created by Seigo Tada, founder of the Seigokan branch of Goju-ryu. In Seigokan goju-ryu the kata is known as Kihon Tsuki no kata and is one of two Katas created by the founder. How the kata was introduced into Kyokushin is largely unknown, but since Tadashi Nakamura are often claimed in error as the creator of the kata in Kyokushin, speculations are that he introduced it into Kyokushin after learning it from his Goju-ryu background.
  • Garyu
The kata Garyu, is not taken from traditional Okinawan karate but was created by Oyama and named after his pen name (Garyu =reclining dragon), which is the Japanese pronunciation of the characters 臥龍, the name of the village (Il Loong) in Korea where he was born.

Le premier dojo Kyokushinkai est créé dans un quartier de Tokyo en 1953. C'est Shihan Bobby Lowe qui exporte pour la première fois le Kyokushinkai en dehors du Japon, avec l'ouverture d'un dojo à Hawaii. 1964 voit l'ouverture du premier Honbu dojo, et c'est en fait seulement à cette date que Maître Oyama donne à son style le nom de Kyokushinkai. Kyokushinkai signifie en japonais « école de la vérité ultime ». Développé par Masutatsu Oyama, à partir des techniques du karaté japonais, le Kyokushin est un karaté de full-contact, qui met l'accent sur l'efficacité en combat réel. La légende veut qu'Oyama ait, à l'occasion de démonstrations, combattu et mis à mort des taureaux, sans arme ni protection, mais cela semble être une déformation des faits réels (voir la section consacrée au témoignage de Jon Bluming dans l'article sur Masutatsu Oyama).
Dans cette école, les étudiants aussi bien que l'enseignant prennent part aux combats. À la différence des autres styles de karaté, le Kyokushin, en règle générale, n'autorise pas le port d'une protection lors des combats. Les coups sont portés avec une force maximale. Il n'est pas permis de frapper avec les poings dans la tête de l'adversaire, en revanche les coups de pied et de genou sont permis sans retenue.
Les combats (Kumite) seniors se déroulent aux K.O. sans protections. Des épreuves spécifiques de « casse » départagent les match-nuls. Pour les enfants, les juniors et les femmes, des protections adéquates sont parfois obligatoires selon les compétitions.
Partout sur la planète, des compétitions régionales, nationales et internationales sont organisées tout au long de l'année dans les deux disciplines que sont les compétitions Kumite et Kata.
Le symbole du Kyokushinkai est le Kankū, dont les origines proviennent du kata Kanku. Kankū se traduit littéralement par « Contempler le ciel ». Ce kata commence en levant les mains ouvertes avec les pouces et les index qui se touchent. L'attention est alors dirigée vers le centre des mains, afin d'unifier l'esprit et le corps. Les pointes du Kanku représentent les doigts et signifient la finalité. La partie épaisse représente l'espace entre les mains et signifie l'infini, la profondeur. Les cercles intérieurs et extérieurs signifient la continuité et le mouvement circulaire.
Au Japon, puis à travers le monde, Masutatsu Oyama a su faire connaître le Kyokushin avec la parution du livre Vital Karate, puis d'une véritable encyclopédie de trois ouvrages : What is Karate, This is Karate et Advanced Karate, où les différents aspects du travail du Kyokushin sont analysés et détaillés.
Pour les plus endurcis de ses karatékas, Maître Oyama a établi une épreuve que chacun peut présenter quand il le désire - Hyaku Nin Kumite - l'épreuve des cent combats.
La calligraphie japonaise du mot Kyokushinkai est reproduite sur le Dogi des membres de ce style de karaté dans le monde entier. Ces caractères ont été originellement peints par Haramotoki Sensei, grand maître de calligraphie et ami de Sosai Oyama.
Le Kyokushin a donné naissance à plus de vingt styles de combats. On peut citer le Mejiro Kick Boxing (après le défi des maîtres du Muay Thai et le départ d'un des élèves d'Oyama), et le Kudo Daido Juku (créé par un autre élève d'Oyama).

Le système de combat du Kyokushin est basé sur les styles plus traditionnels de karaté, notamment le Shōtōkan et le Gōjū-ryū. Il se démarque par une recherche d'efficacité au combat alliant des coups directs et lourds. La devise 'Ichigeki' du Kyokushin signifie « Un coup, une victoire ».
Les combats se mènent souvent à distance très serrée, les coups principaux sont portés à répétition en direction des jambes de l'adversaire et visent à détruire sa capacité de tenir le combat.
L'absence de gants ou de protection et la sévérité des combats fait des pratiquants de ce style des karatékas endurcis, capables d'assumer une grande charge physique et spirituelle dans tous les sens du terme.
Certaines techniques du Kyokushin ne sont guère utilisées dans d'autres arts martiaux japonais, même si elles existent dans les katas de la plupart des styles de karaté : hiza geri (coup de genou), mae oroshi kagato geri (coup de hache), gedan mawashi geri (coup de pied rotatif bas), shutô mawashi uke (dont la forme est différente en Shotokan). Certains pratiquants de Kyokushin, comme Francisco Filho ou Glaube Feitosa sont apparus dans des combats de K-1. Il y a des coups autorisés en Kyokushinkai qui ne sont pas autorisés en Shotokan ou en Wado ryu comme Hiza geri (coup de genou) ou Do Kaiten Mawashi tobi geri (coup de pied retourné sauté sur un axe de frappe vertical).
Le karaté Kyokushin possède son propre système de ceintures de couleur, comparable mais non exactement similaire aux autres écoles de karaté2. Dans le schéma adopté au Japon, elles se présentent dans l'ordre suivant : blanche, orange, bleue, jaune, verte, marron et noire.
Hiérarchie des ceintures en Kyokushin KarateBlancheOrange 10e & 9e KyuBleue 8e & 7e KyuJaune 6e & 5e KyuVerte 4e & 3e KyuMarron 2e & 1er KyuNoire Tous dan
  • 1er dan – Noire avec une barrette dorée et les nom et prénom de la personne qui réussit son grade envoyé par le Honbu Dojo (quartier général) ;
  • chaque dan suivant rajoute des barrettes dorées en travers de la ceinture.
Une fois que l'étudiant a atteint le 1er kyū, qui correspond au plus haut classement des débutants, il peut présenter le 1er dan. Pour atteindre la ceinture noire 1er dan, ou shodan, il doit maîtriser le kihon (bases techniques en statique), les ido geiko (techniques en déplacement), le stamina (résistance aux épreuves physiques), les sanbon et ippon kumite (formes de combats pré arrangés), les kata et leurs bunkai (compréhension des mouvements), le tameshiwari (casse de briques et de bois) et le kumite final (série de combats à frappes réelles).
Les examens dans le Kyokushin sont très difficiles et, à partir de 8e kyū, chaque examen de grade comporte des combats qui augmentent en nombre progressivement.
Le prétendant au grade doit affronter durant ces combats des adversaires supérieurs en grade (ou de niveau égal en cas de manque) et tenir le combat de façon convaincante. Les combats en passage de ceinture sont menés à frappes réelles avec recherche de mise hors combat, comme en compétition, le mental étant aussi important que les qualités techniques et physiques.
Le Kyokushin permet l'obtention d'un 1er dan après environ 4 à 8 ans de pratique selon les qualités intrinsèques du pratiquant en cours et en stages internationaux, son assiduité et le niveau de l'enseignement reçu.

Il Kyokushinkai o Kyokushin Karate ("Via della verità" o "Verità assoluta" - Kyokushinkai significa letteralmente "Associazione per l'estrema verità") è uno stile di Karate fondato dal maestro Masutatsu Ōyama ufficialmente nel 1961 in occasione dell'apertura di un dojo a Los Angeles, sebbene Oyama fosse noto anche fuori dei confini del Giappone, e in particolare negli Stati Uniti, già dagli anni cinquanta.
Ispirato al Confucianesimo e alla filosofia Zen, questo stile di Karate rappresenta la sintesi delle esperienze del maestro Oyama, che sin da giovanissimo si è dedicato alle arti marziali praticando il Judo e la boxe. Determinante per la sua formazione la frequentazione del dojo di Gichin Funakoshi, futuro fondatore del Karate Shotokan, presso l'università Takushoku, dove inizia a studiare con dedizione il Karate di Okinawa. Tra le esperienze del fondatore del Kyokushinkai si segnala inoltre il biennio nella Butokukai, l'accademia formativa dell'Arma Imperiale Giapponese specializzata in guerriglia, spionaggio e combattimento a mani nude.
Lo stile Kyokushin si basa su una severa disciplina e un allenamento particolarmente rigoroso anche perché in gara si prevede il contatto pieno e nessuna protezione, sebbene siano vietati i pugni al volto[1]. I gradi di abilità sono distinti con vari colori delle cinture che gli allievi indossando su una divisa, rigorosamente bianca, e sono nell'ordine: bianca, arancione, blu, gialla, verde, marrone e nera.
L'associazione "Karate Kyokushinkai" conta oggi migliaia di allievi, con scuole sparse in tutto il mondo[senza fonte], e ha sede principale a Tokyo; al vertice dell'organizzazione il maestro Kancho Shokei Matsui, che ha sostituito Oyama dopo la sua morte. L'organizzazione risulta comunque divisa perché altri illustri allievi ritengono di essere i veri eredi dello stile di Oyama.
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