Kyokushin: can anyone tell me about it?

Gotkenpo

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I came across a Kyokushin Karate school today and it looked pretty interesting. Can anyone tell me about Kyokushin and how it compares to other Japanese styles, particularly JKA Shotokan. I am a disable veteran searching for a martial art to begin studying. I am seriously leaning on starting a new journey in Kenpo Karate with Mr Dennis Conatser here in Phoenix. It might be easier for me to take lunchtime classes with this Kyokushin instructor though. I have studied Shotokan, Tae Kwon Do, and Kenpo all to orange green levels and no higher. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


Beau
 

PGadd

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From MartialArtsInfo.com:

Martial Arts: Kyokushin Karate Kyokushinkai

Kyokushin is a Karate style that is famous for its knock-down system of fighting. The style is characterized by its tenous training, conditioning and full contact sparring. Kyokushin Karate was developed by Sosei Masutatsu Oyama who in 1964 gave the style the name Kyojushin, which translates to The Ultimate Truth. Oyama held a 4th Dan in Judo, and also studied Goju Ryu Karate, Shotokan Karate (reaching 4th Dan at the age of 20) and some Korean martial arts which he developed into his own style called Kyokushin-kai (Kyokushin Karate).

Oyama was an extremely strong man who popularised his art by inviting challengers to fight him and through stunts, such as killing bulls with his bare hands. Black belt gradings in Kyokushinkai are well known for their large number of kumite (sparring fights), sometimes as many as a 100.
 
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Gotkenpo

Gotkenpo

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From MartialArtsInfo.com:

Martial Arts: Kyokushin Karate Kyokushinkai

Oyama held a 4th Dan in Judo, and also studied Goju Ryu Karate, Shotokan Karate (reaching 4th Dan at the age of 20) and some Korean martial arts which he developed into his own style called Kyokushin-kai (Kyokushin Karate).
So it does have some roots from Shotokan Karate then? If so, do they share some of the same KATA?

Beau
 

exile

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The story about Oyama killing bulls is a crock, however. See the interview with his most senior student, Jon Bluming, at http://www.kyokushinbudokai.dk/interview_with_kancho_jon_blumin.htm

Another bit of dojo-folklore, endlessly repeated because people would rather believe something like that than do some basic checking. I'm guilty too, alas...
 

Grenadier

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PGadd's post was fairly encompassing.

Basically, Kyokushin Karate is a traditional system of Karate which places a heavy emphasis on offensive attacking, and they spar full contact, no pads, on a regular basis. They won't punch at each other's heads or faces, but hitting someone with full power in the body is quite common.

They do practice some kata, but again, do not place a significant emphasis on it.

My opinion on it is this: it's not going to be the right system for many folks, especially given that they practice full contact fighting on a regular basis. Given your situation, I'd recommend something else.



On another note:

Oyama was a very talented fighter, and one tough individual, indeed. Very powerful. Probably the last person in the world with whom you'd ever want to get into a bare knuckles brawl.

As exile pointed out, though, many stories of him are rather exaggerated, especially the deal with the bull.

Oyama's insistence on everyone in his organization behaving in an honorable fashion, is still alive and well to this date. Here in my area, Yasuhiko Oyama, runs a school, and the people who teach and train over there are exemplary citizens for the most part.
 

PGadd

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So it does have some roots from Shotokan Karate then? If so, do they share some of the same KATA?

Beau
Absolutely. At least 30 years ago it did. The Kyokushin kata were partially Shotokan-derived (Pinans (aka Heians), Taikyoku), and partially Goju (Sanchin, Tensho, Saiha, Seinchein). The Shotokan kata gave you the strength and linear movements, while the Goju balanced that quite nicely with the circular & deflective Goju movements.
 

exile

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PGadd's post was fairly encompassing.

Basically, Kyokushin Karate is a traditional system of Karate which places a heavy emphasis on offensive attacking, and they spar full contact, no pads, on a regular basis. They won't punch at each other's heads or faces, but hitting someone with full power in the body is quite common.

They do practice some kata, but again, do not place a significant emphasis on it.

My opinion on it is this: it's not going to be the right system for many folks, especially given that they practice full contact fighting on a regular basis. Given your situation, I'd recommend something else.

This matches exactly what I've heard about kyokushin over the years. It has a fearsome reputation because of the ferocity of the training routine that Grenadier describes. You just have to feel that when people train very hard linear karate with full contact on a regular basis, they are going to be extremely capable in self-defense situations. The down side is, it is probably going to be extremely intimidating to train that way, and pretty wearing on one's spirits to have to face that kind of barrage on a daily basis...



On another note:

Oyama was a very talented fighter, and one tough individual, indeed. Very powerful. Probably the last person in the world with whom you'd ever want to get into a bare knuckles brawl.

I agree, Oyama was among the toughest of the toughand I think that too is a reason why kyokushin has some of the cachet it has: a bit of Oyama's personal formidableness still lingers around the style he created (or maybe synthesized?but synthesis is a large component of all creativity, so ...) I have to say, I always felt kind of sad whenever I read about Oyama's supposed use of bulls as targets for his most damaging techniques... it just seemed to me another instance of needless cruelty. I was actually quite happy to learn from the Bluming interview that the whole bull-killing story was almost complete fluff, that Oyama had only hurt one animal (an ox, not a bull, NB!) and had not killed it, and felt bad about doing it and never did it again. To me, it's much more to his credit that he didn't do that stuff...
 

takadadojokeith

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I came across a Kyokushin Karate school today and it looked pretty interesting. Can anyone tell me about Kyokushin and how it compares to other Japanese styles, particularly JKA Shotokan. I am a disable veteran searching for a martial art to begin studying. I am seriously leaning on starting a new journey in Kenpo Karate with Mr Dennis Conatser here in Phoenix. It might be easier for me to take lunchtime classes with this Kyokushin instructor though. I have studied Shotokan, Tae Kwon Do, and Kenpo all to orange green levels and no higher. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


Beau

I guess whether or not kyokushin is best for you depends on what you want to do. If you're interested in full-contact sparring and/or competition, it's a good style for you.
 

jim777

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Late to the party as always, but I was wondering if Seido has moved very far from its roots in Kyokushinkai? Is it the same full contact sparing as Kyokushinkai?

The reason I ask is that there's a huge (15 thousand sq. ft) Seido school about 2 blocks from my office with a large "100 days-100 dollars-No contracts or commitments" sign out front. I'm going over this afternoon ;) just wanted to ask the folks here about the style a bit first. I know it broke off from Kyokushin in '76, but that's about all I know at this point.

jim
 

Omar B

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Jim, I did Seido for a while as a kid/teen. The styles are very similar in my eyes, Seido has more of an emphasis on meditation, personal growth (ya know, the stuff in class that has nothing to do with fighting).
 

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