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History of Kyokushinkai

Oyama Masutatsu


Kyokushin karate is founded in 1964 by Oyama Masutatsu(大山倍達) which is style of stand-up, full contact karate.
After formally establishing the Kyokushinkaikan in 1964, Oyama directed the organization through a period of expansion.
Oyama sent instructors to many countries such as the Netherlands, Australia, the United States, Great Britain, Canada and Brazil to spread Kyokushin in the same way.
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. One group led by Shokei Matsui became known as IKO-1, and a second group led by Yukio Nishida and Sanpei became was known as IKO-2.

In 1995 any new Kyokushin organization that claimed the name IKO, Kyokushinkaikan, were referred to by Kyokushin practitioners by numbers, such as IKO-1, IKO-2 etc. Due to this break up, many attempted to establish their own leadership.

Multiple organisations

Japan-based Kyokushinkaikan organisations

  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Sosai", organized by Mas Oyama's daughter, Kuristina Oyama, which by court order has the rights to Mas Oyama's Honbu.
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Matsushima", headed by Yoshikazu Matsushima.
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Matsui-Ha" or "Ichi-Geki", headed by Shokei (Akiyoshi) Matsui.
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "All Japan Kyokushin Union" or "Kyokushin Rengōkai", headed by Yasuhiro Shichinohe.
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Sakamoto-Ha", headed by Shigenori Sakamoto.
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "World So-Kyokushin", headed by Daigo Ohishi.
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Nakamura", headed by Makoto Nakamura.
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "World Kyokushin Kaikan", headed by Ryuko Take.
  • 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.
    • Kyokushin Shogakukai Foundation, Kyokushin-kan International Karate-do Organization (KIKO), headed by Hatsuo Royama as president.
    • Kyokushin Karate Union Kyokushin Kenbukai. Founded by Tsuyoshi Hiroshige an apprentice of Mas Oyama.

Non Japan-based organisations

  • Federal Kyokushin Organization of Karate (FKOK)
  • International Federation of Karate, Kyokushin (IFK)
  • Kyokushin World Federation (KWF)
  • Kyokushin Budokai, IBK
  • International Kyokushin Union (IKU)
  • International Kyokushinkai Association (IKA)
  • International Federation of Kyokushinkaikan Karate (IFKK)
  • International Seishin Kyokushin Karate Organization (ISKKO)
  • International Kyokushinkai Karate Federation (IKKF)
  • World Kyokushin Karate Federation (WKKF)
  • World Kyokushin Budokai (WKB)
  • Kyokushin Budo Karate Shakai International (KBKS)


Kanji representation of Kyokushinkai :

  • "kyoku" (極) means "ultimate".
  • "shin" (真) means "truth" or "reality".
  • "kai" (会) means "to join" or "to associate".

In essence Kyokushinkai, roughly translated, means "Ultimate Truth". 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.
One of the goals of kyokushin is to strengthen and improve character by challenging one's self through rigorous training.

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