Mas Oyama

Masutatsu (‘Mas’) Oyama was the founder of the KYOKUSHIN system of martial arts. After studying several martial arts styles in Korea, China and Japan, Mas Oyama found that none offered what he felt was the ‘true’ way. He began practicing alone, and developed his own training, fighting methods and philosophy.

Because Mas Oyama’s technique was so powerful and realistic, he gained widespread recognition in Japan, and soon a huge following of would-be students around the world wanting to follow what they coined as “The Strongest Karate”. Mas Oyama named his system, KYOKUSHIN™ which translates to “The True Way” or “The Ultimate Truth”, and his legacy began. The International Karate Organization Kyokushin Kaikan was established in 1964, and has evolved into a global network of karate practitioners numbering over 12million in 125 countries.

Sosai (founder) Mas Oyama is credited as originating the “full-contact” style of karate. Since it’s inception, Kyokushin has directly spawned thousands of martial arts champions. Indeed full-contact knockdown fighters of today can trace their current methodology in some way to the success of Kyokushin.

Mas Oyama passed away in April 1994 in Tokyo, Japan. Before his untimely death, he named his favorite student and long-time protege, Shokei Matsui to succeed him as Director of the IKO Kyokushinkaikan. The IKO Kyokushinkaikan “Honbu”, World Headquarters, are continuously operating in Tokyo, Japan.


国際空手道連盟極真会館創始者。 1923年6月4日生まれ。幼少の頃より拳法を学び、14歳で山梨少年航空学校に入学。


1964年、国際空手道連盟 極真会館設立。1969年には『直接打撃制(フルコンタクト)』を提唱し、第1回全日本空手道選手権大会を開催。1975年には通称『カラテオリンピック』と呼ばれる第1回全世界空手道選手権大会を開催して、全世界に極真空手ブームを巻き起こす。世界120ヵ国に公認道場を持ち、1200万人の門弟の総裁として、その生涯を極真空手に捧げた。1994年4月26日、肺癌のため急逝。享年70歳。