Kyokushin Karate

Discussion in 'Japanese Martial Arts Articles' started by Saz, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Saz

    Saz Nerd Admin

    Pronounced Kai-Ko-shink-eye (Kyokushinkai) or Kai-Ko-shink (Kyokushin), it is both a martial art and a philosophy of life. Our style was founded in the 1950's by Masutatsu Oyama, and exists today in many different forms and groups, all of whom follow Mas Oyama as their Sosai (President).
    • Kyoku - Ultimate
    • Shin - Truth or reality
    • Kai - To meet, join or associate
    Kyokushinkai is a Japanese rather than Okinawan form of Karate. It is a 'hard' style based mainly on linear punches, strikes, blocks and kicks. Lower/Mid level Kyokushinkai is similar in style to Shotokan, whilst Higher Level Kyokushinkai is similar to Goju Ryu.

    The Kanku


    Our symbol is the Kanku (see fig i). The Kanku is symbolic of many things. The points of the Kanku represents the fingers and is symbolic of ultimate or physical peaks. The thick middle section represents the wrists, and implies strength and power. The centre is symbolic of infinity and depth. The circle that encloses the Kanku suggests unity and continuity. The Kanku is derived from the Nidan Kata, Kanku Dai, where the karateka scans the sky with their hands in the Kanku form at the start and end of the kata

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    (fig i) The Kanku ​

    Grades


    The Grading structure of Kyokushinkai is set out something like this:
    • Novice - White Belt 10th kyu to 3rd Kyu
    • 10th Kyu - Red Belt Gradings taken at 3 monthly intervals
    • 9th Kyu - Red Belt + Black stripe
    • 8th Kyu - Blue Belt
    • 7th Kyu - Blue Belt + Black stripe
    • 6th Kyu - Yellow Belt
    • 5th Kyu - Yellow Belt + Black stripe
    • 4th Kyu - Green Belt
    • 3rd Kyu - Green Belt + Black stripe 3rd Kyu to 1st Kyu
    • 2nd Kyu - Brown Belt Gradings may be taken bi annually
    • 1st Kyu - Brown Belt + Black Stripe
    1st Kyu's must hold their grade for 1 year before applying for Shodan. Shodan to Nidan is held for 2 years, and Nidan to Sandan is held for 3 years. Dan Grades are gradeable up to 3rd Dan. Any grade higher than that must be awarded on recommendation of the organisations leader (Hanshi Steve Arneil in the UK) and is given for services to Karate.

    The Founder of Kyokushinkai

    Kyokushinkai Karate was founded by Sosai Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama in 1951. He is famed for his amazing martial arts ability, particularly in Tameshiwari (Art of Breaking), and also for having killed a bull with his bare hands. He was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1923, and began studying Chinese Kempo in 1932, aged 9. As a child, Oyama was fascinated by aviation, and he moved to Japan to live aged 12, with the intention of learning to become a pilot. Whilst in Japan, he began studying Judo. Later, he began studying what would become Shotokan karate, under the great Gichin Funakoshi. He was seen as a natural, and made such rapid progress in Shotokan that Funakoshi awarded him his Nidan aged just 17. By the time he was 20, he had earned the rank of Yondan. Oyama was drafted into the Japanese Army during World War II, but the war ended before his squadron were due to enter it. Oyama was bitterly disappointed at the loss of the war and the subsequent occupation of Japan. It was around this time that he decided to devote his life and soul to Karate, and in 1946, spent a year in solitude in the Japanese mountains. He trained harshly for 12 hours a day every day, training under icy waterfalls (something we still practise today in Kyokushinkai) breaking rocks and using trees as Makiwara. During this immensely physical and mental endurance feat, Oyama's had virtually no contact with the outside world. He returned to civilisation in 1947 and entered the 1st All Japan Karate Championships, which he won. After this he returned to the mountains again, for 20 months this time.

    In 1952, Oyama travelled to the United States as a representative of Japanese karate. Whilst he was there, he held many Tameshiwari demonstrations, believed to be around 270 in all. Due to this ability, he became known as the 'God Hand' and his most famous demonstrations include breaking large blocks of ice and breaking the top of a glass bottles with a knife hand strike. He also fought Exhibition matches with professional boxers and wrestlers, and beat all opponents. It was around this time that Oyama chose the name Kyokushinkai, roughly translated as The Way of Ultimate Truth. When he arrived back in Tokyo, he began to build the Honbu Dojo in Nishi Ikebukuro. This was to become the World HQ for Kyokushinkai, as the style spread rapidly over the world. The Honbu can still be visited today as a Memorial Hall to Mas Oyama, who sadly died on April 26th 1994 of cancer, aged 70.


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    Sarah Evans 2002
     
  2. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    Are you sure? I thought you said it kinda like "Clock Ship Guy" (kyok-shin-kai).
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  3. Saz

    Saz Nerd Admin

    I wrote this 6-7 years ago now :p

    I've always been taught to say it that way, Steve Arneil did too and I assume he learnt that off Mas Oyama. Unless something got lost in translation :p
     
  4. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    I'm just basing that on my beginner level knowledge of Japanese pronunciation. I wonder if it could be an accent thing - Steve Arneil's south African isn't he? Any native Japanese speakers around? I'm curious to know the answer because it could have repercussions for my Japanese pronunciation generally! :eek:
     
  5. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Moderator Supporter

    well, japanese pronounciation tends to be more or less as it's written, with vowels and consonants having relatively the same sounds as their analogues in most romanic languages(spanish, portiguese, french, italian, etc.). i'm not a native japanese speaker, but i've heard japanese being spoken in real life(seminars) and voice acting with subs, and the word kyokushin would, AFAIK, be pronounced kyo-ku-shin(Kyio-koo-shin), just like that.
    the confusion arises partially because the vowels in japanese involve just one sound, instead of the more compplex vowel sounds used in english, Ex: a-Ah(as in apple); e-eh(as in elefant); i-i(as in bit); o-o(a short o, as in oblong); u-oo(similar to blue, but shorter). the y and w are pronounced, roughly, Yi(an extremely short i following the y) and Wu respectively, and the r has a softer sound which i think doesn't exist in english, but is common in spanish and italian.
     
  6. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    There are a lot of soft vowels in japanese though - a lot of "u"s in particular are short exhalations rather than voiced sounds. I maintain that the u in kyokushin would be unvoiced and the y is part of the "kyo" syllable rather than being "kai" and "you". So the pronunciation would be "kyok-shin". I might ask this in the japanese language forum and see if anyone can help.
     
  7. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Moderator Supporter

    well if you look at romanized japanese words you'll find that most if not all of those short semi-voiced Us are always AFTER the accented syllabe, which is why they're so short, due to the fast nature of japanese. sumo and tsuki don't have unvoiced Us because they're on accented syllabes. i maintain that it should be KYOkushin, but i agree about posting it in the japanese language forum, good idea.
     
  8. Saz

    Saz Nerd Admin

    Gonna have to be a thread in the Japanese language forum :D

    Steve Arneil is South African but lived in Japan for a long time training with Sosai before finally settling in the UK.
     
  9. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Moderator Supporter

    well kanazawa and enoeda, after years and years in english speaking countries, weren't exactly the most un-accented of speakers, so it could be the same case. OR, he could also be using an anglicised pronounciation of the romanized word "kyokushinkai" and he pronounces it like in japanese when he speaks japanese(if he does).

    but i can tell you that the kyo is pronounced kyo, that's definite
     
  10. lordtains

    lordtains New Member

    Its pronounced Kyokushinkai: Kio-k'shin-kai
    The i in kio is hardly pronounced. The u in ku is not pronounced either.
    The A is pronounced like in father.

    I know basic japanese, but when it comes to pronounciation I'm almost flawless.
    I'm dutch and japanese pronounciation is not really hard for us.

    so just take it from me, kyo is pronounced kyo, the U is not pronounced and its kai and not shink-eye.
    the K is part of kai, not shink.

    きょくしかい 
     
  11. wires

    wires Valued Member

    It's the only kind of karate I really like. It's great - crushing body shots. I'd like to learn some from a Kyokushin fighter.
     
  12. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    Do we know who the pro boxers and wrestlers were?
     
  13. puma

    puma Valued Member

    Yeah, any footage?
     
  14. Manila-X

    Manila-X OSU!

    The belt system in Kyokushin is somewhat different from the other styles of Karate.

    Unlike Shotokan and other Ryu's, the yellow is already of middle intermediate level. It is usually beginning intermediate for the other mentioned styles.
     

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