About Sosai Mas Omaya

Oyama was born as Choi Young-Eui (최영의) in Gimje, South Korea, during Japanese occupation. At a young age he was sent to Manchuria, Northeast China to live on his sister’s farm. Oyama began studying Chinese martial arts at age 9 from a Chinese farmer who was working on the farm. His family name was Li and Oyama said he was his very first teacher. The story of the young Oyama’s life is written in his earlier books.

In March 1938, Oyama left for Japan following his brother who enrolled in the Yamanashi Aviation School Imperial Japanese Army aviation school.[7] Sometime during his time in Japan, Choi Young-Eui chose his Japanese name, Oyama Masutatsu (大山 倍達), which is a transliteration of ‘Baedal’ (倍達). ‘Baedal’ was an ancient Korean kingdom known in Japan during Oyama’s time as “Ancient Joseon”. 

Oyama was inspired to go to Japan by General Kanji Ishihara who was against the invasion of Asian neighbors (as a consequence, he was ostracized by higher ranks of the Japanese Army) to carve out his future in the heart of the Empire of Japan.

One story of Oyama’s youth involves Lee giving young Oyama a seed which he was to plant; when it sprouted, he was to jump over it one hundred times every day. As the seed grew and became a plant, Oyama later said, “I was able to jump between walls back and forth easily.” The writer, Ikki Kajiwara, and the publisher of the comics based the story on the life experience Oyama spoke to them about- thus the title became “Karate Baka Ichidai” (Karate Fanatic).

In 1963, Oyama wrote “What is Karate” which became a best seller in the US and sold million copies all over the world. It is still considered by many to be the “Bible of Karate” to this day. It was translated into Hungarian, French, and English.

Founding Kyokushin In 1953 Oyama opened his own karate dojo, named Oyama Dojo, in Tokyo but continued to travel around Japan and the world giving martial arts demonstrations, including the fighting and killing of live bulls with his bare hands (sometimes grabbing them by the horn, and snapping the horn off).[9] His dojo was first located outside in an empty lot but eventually moved into a ballet school in 1956. Oyama’s own curriculum soon developed a reputation as a tough, intense, hard hitting but practical style which was finally named Kyokushin, which means ‘the search for the ultimate truth,’ in a ceremony in 1957. He also developed a reputation for being ‘rough’ with his students, often injuring them during training sessions.[10] As the reputation of the dojo grew students were attracted to come to train there from inside and outside Japan and the number of students grew. Many of the eventual senior leaders of today’s various Kyokushin based organisations began training in the style during this time. In 1964 Oyama moved the dojo into the building that would from then on serve as the Kyokushin home dojo and world headquarters. In connection with this he also formally founded the ‘International Karate Organization Kyokushin kaikan’ (commonly abbreviated to IKO or IKOK) to organise the many schools that were by then teaching the kyokushin style.

In 1969, Oyama staged the first All-Japan Full Contact Karate Open Championships which took Japan by storm and Terutomo Yamazaki became the first champion, which have been held every year since. In 1975, the first World Full Contact Karate Open Championships were held in Tokyo. World championships have been held at four-yearly intervals since. After formally establishing Kyokushin-kai, Oyama directed the organization through a period of expansion. Oyama and his staff of hand-picked instructors displayed great ability in marketing the style and gaining new members[citation needed]. Oyama would choose an instructor to open a dojo in another town or city in Japan, whereupon the instructor would move to that town, and, typically demonstrate his karate skills in public places, such as at the civic gymnasium, the local police gym (where many judo students would practice), a local park, or conduct martial arts demonstrations at local festivals or school events. In this way, the instructor would soon gain a few students for his new dojo. After that, word of mouth would spread through the local area until the dojo had a dedicated core of students. Oyama also sent instructors to other countries such as the United States, Netherlands, England, Australia and Brazil to spread Kyokushin in the same way. Oyama also promoted Kyokushin by holding The All-Japan Full Contact Karate Open Championships every year and World Full Contact Karate Open Championships once every four years in which anyone could enter from any style.

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