News Release

"Towards the 50th Anniversary of the Kyokushinkaikan"

"Towards the 50th Anniversary of the Kyokushinkaikan"

In 2014, IKO Kyokushinkaikan will celebrate our 50th Anniversary. Kyokushinkaikan was established in 1964, emanating from Oyama Dojo and originated by Sosai Masutatsu Oyama.

Masutatsu Oyama's charisma, reputation and philosophy fascinated scores of young karate enthusiasts and experienced practitioners from many different styles of martial arts to the renowned Oyama Dojo. Those various unique individuals brought many different viewpoints and values to Oyama Dojo, which helped shape the Kyokushinkaikan from the beginning.

At the time, Oyama Dojo did not have an established philosophy or goal. It was as if the many members each painted from their own experience whatever they liked on a vast blank canvas. If you look at the canvas up close, the conjured image is chaotic, but step back from it to view its entirety, and suddenly what you see is a masterpiece. This was an original characteristic of Oyama Dojo. In the beginning, random disciples were attracted simply by the magnetism of Masutatsu Oyama. Soon after, a great organization evolved to answer the emerging demands of its practitioners and the general populace.

When Sosai Masutatsu Oyama passed away in April 1994, we succeeded the IKO Kyokushinkaikan and have continued his legacy without interruption. We are privileged to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Kyokushinkaikan next year 2014. As we move forward, we brace ourselves for the challenges of the future, while we embrace each other in the promise of an even more profound organization in the next 50 years.

Sosai Oyama used to state, "I would rather have one strong apprentice, than 100 average students." And, "When I get old, I will go to the mountain, and spend the rest of my life in solitude." He naturally attracted millions of followers during his lifetime, (indeed, he still does posthumously to this day), yet Sosai suggested with these statements that he would have been completely satisfied with a quiet, ordinary life. Whether he liked it or not however, Sosai Oyama established the IKO Kyokushinkaikan, outlining a 'true path' with a firm direction and philosophy based on his intent and conviction to create the 'strongest karate'. Sosai clearly succeeded in his endeavor, and we, his descendants, humbly continue the custodial duty to carry on the strongest, largest and most renowned karate organization on earth.

It was 1969 when IKO Kyokushinkaikan first proposed full-contact Karate competition to the world at the First All Japan Open Karate Championship. Good or bad, the event drew a lot of attention and mixed reviews; praise as the most authentic karate practice, and criticism as 'street fighting'. Sosai Oyama faced disparagement, slander, and resentment initially, but he challenged those hurdles head on. Sosai succeeded not only in bringing Kyokushin Karate into the mainstream, but is credited for lighting the spark for the current full-contact martial arts trends of today. We should be proud of Sosai Oyama's endeavors and carry his torch into the future.

Sosai Oyama used to say, "Kyokushin is Karate with philosophy. We execute kihon (basics) with a strong foundation, kata (sequence of forms) with clear theory and kumite (fighting) with splendid technique." In accordance with this saying, we should develop our karate skills to the utmost proficiency and make sure to hand over this organization to the next generation with hope for the future that our example will not only be embodied by our posterity, but be vastly enriched by their future achievements.

We should continue to develop ourselves passionately for the next 5 decades and celebrate the next great milestone, our 100th Anniversary, together. OSU!

Kancho Shokei Matsui
President, International Karate Organization Kyokushinkaikan


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