Mas Oyama


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I would be so curious what type of conversation Mas Oyama and Bruce Lee would have about the martial arts.. For those who are not aware, but Mas Oyama was not Japanese; he was Korean. During his life in the martial arts, the Japanese did not give Oyama a straight-narrow road. He was not going to be denied. Through his vigorous training, he was overcame the top martial arts masters in Japan by studying from the philosophies of Miyamoto Musashi.

In 1953 Oyama opened his own karate dojo, named Oyama Dojo, in Tokyo but continued to travel around Japan and the world giving martial arts demonstrations, including the fighting and killing of live bulls with his bare hands. His dojo was first located outside in an empty lot but eventually moved into a ballet school in 1956. Oyama’s own curriculum soon developed a reputation as a tough, intense, hard-hitting but practical style which was finally named Kyokushin, which means ‘the search for the ultimate truth,’ in a ceremony 1957. He also developed a reputation for being ‘rough’ with his students, often injuring them during training sessions. As the reputation of the dojo grew students were attracted to come to train there from inside and outside Japan and the number of students grew. Oyama, believing that no other style was comparable to his, accepted the challenge and sent three students (Kenji Kurosaki, Tadashi Nakamura, Noboru Ōsawa) to Thailand who won 2 of the 3 fights, thus redeeming the reputation of his karate style.

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He was also known for fighting bulls bare-handed. In his lifetime, he battled 52 bulls, three of which were purportedly killed instantly with one strike, earning him the nickname of “Godhand”. Many martial artists believe that the bulls he beat were at a disadvantage, because they were tamed and tied with nose rings and rope when Mas Oyama fought them (haters).

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