Kyokushin Karate

Discussion in 'Karate' started by TKDFromDMV_Student, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. TKDFromDMV_Student

    TKDFromDMV_Student Yellow Belt

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    Hey guys, I have been doing some research on Martial Arts on the internet and stumbled on Kyokushin Karate. I'm interested in knowing more about it. So to anyone reading this, I want to know: 1) If You are a Kyokushin student, 2) How it differs from other styles of Karate, 3) What you love about it, 4) What are some of its strengths and weaknesses?
     
  2. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I haven't trained actual Kyokushin, but my former style and current style came from it.

    Kyokushin is a bare knuckle style of karate. When they spar, it's typically with only a cup and mouthpiece for protection. More schools are using shin pads. Some now start with protective gear and it's worn less and less as the student progresses in rank and ability.

    Kyokushin's founder, Mas Oyama, trained under Gichen Funakoshi (founder of Shotokan) and his son, and under Gogen Yamaguchi (Goju-Kai). If you look at a Kyokushin kata list, you'll see kata from both schools as requirements. So in essence, Kyokushin is a blend of Shotokan and Goju.

    Strengths -
    Bare knuckle, so there's not much left to the imagination as to what works and what doesn't.
    You learn very quickly that you're not made of glass and being hit won't immediately kill you.
    Very fast paced/high pressure sparring.
    Sparring is continuous, and point-fighting isn't done, except at the beginner levels if at all.

    Weaknesses -
    Some schools can get too competition based, thereby not training to head punch and defend it. Some will put on boxing gloves and head gear and punch to the head.
    Ground fighting, standing grappling, etc. isn't common. Some very high ranking people left Kyokushin because of the lack of head punching and grappling and started their own styles.
    Bare knuckle takes a toll on your body. Being 40, I don't recover like I did in my 20s. When I restarted, I didn't go to the local Kyokushin school because I knew I wouldn't stay forever; I'm not getting any younger.

    Kyokushin has split quite a bit since Oyama's death in '94. A lot of the dust has settled, but there's quite a few different organizations using the Kyokushin name. IKO1, IKO2, etc; IKU; IKF, and on and on. So there's a bit of politics and disagreement between factions. Some do things differently, but there's far more similarities than differences. For someone just starting out, you wouldn't know there were any most of the time.

    My original style was basically re-named Kyokushin. I loved it. I trained from 18-25 years old. It was the same mentality from when I wrestled - keep going forward, don't give up, and training physical and mental toughness.

    Different Kyokushin schools and organizations train a bit differently. One thing I can tell you is that there's very, very little chance of a Kyokushin dojo being a McDojo. The only way to find out if the style and school are right for you is to visit. Most places have a free trial period; take advantage of it.
     
  3. KabutoKouji

    KabutoKouji Green Belt

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    I never practiced Kyokushin but for some reason I end up watching a lot of vids about it and find Mas Oyama very interesting. I heard about him when I practiced ITF Tae Kwon Do. It's interesting that there's no Japanese flag in the dojo - I presume as Mas Oyama was Korean.
     
  4. KabutoKouji

    KabutoKouji Green Belt

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    I never practiced Kyokushin but for some reason I end up watching a lot of vids about it and find Mas Oyama very interesting. I heard about him when I practiced ITF Tae Kwon Do. It's interesting that there's no Japanese flag in the dojo in your video - I presume as Mas Oyama was Korean.
     
  5. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Welcome to the forum, liquidcadmus. Very good post, however I have one small correction...

    IKO1 (Matsui) has added weight classes...

    2013 The 5th World Weight Category Karate Championships Report | News Release | IKO Kyokushinkaikan

    They still have the standard open tournaments without them, but they now run "Weight category" tournaments as well. Other IKOs may have added them too, but I'm not sure if any actually have nor which ones have.
     
  6. KabutoKouji

    KabutoKouji Green Belt

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    yeah I watched an NHK documentary recently on his life and they even talked about his 'youth' and 'growing up' with photos of him when he was young, and still never mentioned Korea or him being Korean o_O
     
  7. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I haven't kept up with what all the different IKOs are doing, but IKO1 has the World Weight Category tournament and the World Open tournament. I'm pretty sure the Open tournament is the one everyone pays far more attention to.

    It's really awful what's gone on with Kyokushin since Sosai's death. But with that many truly excellent senior ranked karateka, even if there was zero controversy surrounding his last will and testament, there would eventually be a decent amount of splintering no matter what.
     
  8. Slycer

    Slycer White Belt

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  9. kravmaga1

    kravmaga1 Yellow Belt

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    Kyokushin Karate is famous for being one of the harder substyles of Karate.Kyokushin is a style of stand-up, full contact karate, founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese Masutatsu Oyama. Kyokushin is the Japanese word for "the ultimate truth." It is rooted in a philosophy of self-improvement, discipline and hard training.

    Kyokushin has had an influence on many other styles. The knockdown karate competition format is now used by other styles. Kyokushin is the basis of glove karate, a knockdown karate format wearing boxing gloves and allowing punches to the head.
     
  10. Psilent Knight

    Psilent Knight Blue Belt

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    1) Yes I am.

    2) There is very little technical differences between Kyokushin and most other traditional Karate styles. The two main differences are Kyokushin Karate's training methods and sparring approach.

    3) The two differences mentioned above make the sparring a little more enjoyable for me and keep my mind and body used to full contact which is to be expected in a real life altercation.

    4) STRENGTHS:
    Full contact sparring.

    Continuous sparring instead of the touch and stop method of point sparring.

    Strong focus on strength and conditioning.

    Nine times out of ten you can count on a
    Kyokushin black belt to be a tougher more
    legit fighter than an equal black belt in a non contact style.

    WEAKNESSES:
    No face punches while sparring. Some students tend to keep their guard low because of this which is an undesirable habit.

    The focus on physical fitness and developing strong bodies also breeds bad habits in some practitioners. While sparring they will ignore defense and are content to take a shot in order to deliver one.
     
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  11. 513toro

    513toro White Belt

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    Hello. Im new the site. kyokushin karate is full-contact karate or budo karate. Primarily, kyokushin is a fusion of shotokan and goju karate. There are other characteristics from other styles but that is the boiled down ingredients. as far as that , kyokushin and its derivatives (kyoushin break-aways) all maintain a realistic idea or approach to fighting. Everything that we train is to be ready for the fight, Conditioning the body, strengthening the body and mind. as far as being different, techniques are very similar to kickboxing technique, maintaining longevity in extreme situations. In competition at advanced levels, no hand or foot protection, or head gear. matches are bare-knuckle, all kicks and leg kicks and knees are allowed and can be used . on any target of the body and to the head. Groin attacks are not permitted. Punching any where on the body except groin and head.
     
  12. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    There’s a few other areas you’re not allowed to hit, but they’re obvious - knees, back, neck/throat, back of the head, etc.
     
  13. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Kyokushin is not a full contact style of karate.

    Kyokushin is a style of karate whose practitioners are known for engaging in full contact competition with little protection and usually train accordingly.
     
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  14. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    What is the difference you're suggesting here? To me if it's a form of karate where the practitioners train for full contact, that would make it full contact karate.
     
  15. MetalBoar

    MetalBoar Yellow Belt

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    Could you tell me which of the Kyokushin related arts are most likely to include standing grappling, etc.? I've been interested in Kyokushin, but I'd be REALLY excited to find an art with similar training methods that included grappling!

    At over 40 I worry a little that the bare knuckles training would take a toll, so that's not necessarily a strict requirement, but I would prefer a style that had pretty hard contact, continuous sparring as a regular option.
     
  16. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Enshin, Ashihara, Daido Juku/Kudo off the top of my head. All were started by former Kyokushin guys. None are particularly easy to find in the US if you’re here.

    Enshin is based in the US, being headquartered in Denver. There aren’t many schools, and somehow I hear of legitimate schools that aren’t listed on their headquarters’ website. Perhaps email them asking if there’s a school near you.
     
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  17. MetalBoar

    MetalBoar Yellow Belt

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    Yep, I'm in the US, Seattle to be specific. I've heard of Enshin before but I didn't know it was related to Kyokushin. We've got Kyokushin and Seido schools locally, but I haven't run across anything else in that family. I'm really on the fence about staying in this area because it's gotten so expensive. Right now I'm waiting for my landlord to decide whether he's going to continue renting us his house or whether he's going to sell it (and if so, for how much). If we can't stay in this house, either renting or buying, my wife and I are both feeling really motivated to look for work somewhere else that's more affordable.

    Since I'm not actively training with anyone right now and don't want to start something new until I've got my living situation more settled, I'm trying to compile a list of styles that interest me as there's no telling what might or might not be available in a new city. I wouldn't want to miss out on something good just because I was too ignorant to bother looking at it.

    Thanks!
     
  18. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I train in Seido, so if you’ve got questions, fire away.
     
  19. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master Black Belt

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    Yep definitely Enshin and the others mentioned cover that.

    In terms of safety etc I would just say to always keep safety, longevity and sustainability in mind. I trained in Kyokushin for about 8 years, and it turned out to be not very good for me. My instructor was fantastic though and always looked out for us, but we did get pushed very very hard, which is a standard and hallmark within the style. I learned an incredible amount from that style of training, and realised so much about myself that I couldn't have gotten from alot of other training, and there is something really magic about the intensity and spirit of osu and perseverance. I also realised in the end that I had to leave that style of training behind and work on being much kinder to myself (yes, broken record am sure I've mentioned it far too many times here hehe).

    Train smart and listen to your body at all times, but if something within you is really drawn to it I say go for it!

    In hard styles which have alot of heavy contact and the need for alot of tension, to me it's best that you find some way to balance the training out with relaxation and flexibility/mobility work. Stuff that opens up the body from an incessantly contracted state (externally and internally ;) ).
     
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  20. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    When I restarted training, a local Kyokushin school was at the top of my list. I had to be really honest with myself about things when I was contemplating it. At almost 39, I had to ask myself how long I’d be willing and able to put my body through that. I did it in during my first stint from 18-about 25. I came to the conclusion that I could maybe put myself through it for a good 5 years or so before I just got tired of the constant pounding on my body. The bare knuckle arts are great for someone in their late teens-mid 30s while their body still recovers relatively quickly, but you teach a point after that where you take longer and longer to bounce back.

    I tested for shodan at 22 in a bare knuckle system. The test was about 5 hours nonstop, and ended with what’s basically a 20 man kumite. That test was on a Saturday, and I was in the dojo on Monday night for class. Had that been today at 42, I could get through it again, but I’d be out for at least a week (probably 2 weeks) trying to recover.

    I just don’t need that anymore. Been there done that. It’s a great thing for when you’re young and can take it day in and day out. When you’ve already done that for a significant amount of time, I struggle to see the point. Where I train is full of people who’ve gone through that and still remember (and feel :) ) the lessons taught by it. We go hard enough in sparring to keep sharp, yet we’re not trying to keep each other from coming back the next day.

    Karate is supposed to be a lifelong study, not exclusively a young guy’s thing.

    All IMO.
     
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