Kyokushin kaikan (or Kyokushinkai) is a style of stand-up, full contact karate, founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese karate master, Masutatsu Oyama who was born under the name Choi Young-Eui. Kyokushinkai is Japanese for "the society of the ultimate truth".
Kyokushin is rooted in a philosophy of self-improvement, discipline and hard training. Its full contact style has had international appeal (practitioners have over the last 40+ years numbered more than 12 million). This martial art was invented to counterbalance numerous non- and semi-contact Karate training schools spread all over the world in a few past decades. Kyokushin demonstrates the power and elegance of the real Karate, that's why it became extremely popular worldwide as a real combative sport rather than a form of fitness. Kyokushin absorbed not just Karate techniques but many other techniques from Korean and Chinese martial arts.
For the time being, Oyama strongly objected participating of women in Karate. However, after he watched a Kumite (Karate contests) in which women participated, he changed his mind. Moreover, he used photographs of contesting women in his book for illustration Karate techniques (for instance, “Classic Karate”).
The very purport of Oyama's selfless life was to revive Karate as a Martial combative art. Proclaiming ideals of Budo Karate (Budo means martial arts), Oyama made a principle distinction of the military training and practice from combative sports. He followed the old Japanese traditions of Bushido (the way of the samurai life). Ironically, the revival of Karate was triggered by extensive propaganda of Karate as a sport for millions, even far away from Japan. Kyokushin kaikan became especially popular as a serious combative sport. Thus the development of Kyokushin kaikan happened to become closely connected to sport organizations, Olympic movement and combative sports which had very little to do with the warrior training methodic.
During the half a century, Kyokushin kaikan substantially changed the terms and training principals and gained a foothold in the world of combative sports. As a result, this martial art became a respectable and widely popular sport - among men and women. Kyokushin kaikan has developed into a technically sophisticated sport.
Kyokushin kaikan bouts are extremely spectacular shows. Competitions (Kumite) are held in full contact without protective outfit (like gloves, helmets, protectors). During past decades women have been actively practicing this martial art, so an exception was made for them – they were allowed to wear breast and crotch protectors (not mandatory though). In fact, being very efficient combat style, Kyokushin kaikan does not cause marks at the face, that's another reason for women to practice it.
Full-contact Kyokushin competitions with high kicks and powerful punches always attract spectators and keeps them in suspense. Kyokushin practitioners fight without gloves; that's why punches to head are not allowed in order to avoid brain traumas and hand injuries. This restriction encourages karatekas to substantially develop kicking techniques and to bring them to perfection. Kyokushin bouts look quite differently from other martial arts – first of all, due to not punching to the head. Fighters usually compete in close posture: punches to the torso alternate with lightning kicks to the neck or to the head (more often to the side or back of the head). The most of knockouts are achieved by a kick to the front of the head – face or jaw. In order to implement that, a fighter must possess a complex technique of sharp body deviation with simultaneous precise leg lunge. Nevertheless, experience fighters are able to deliver crushing punches in the chest, belly and arms which allow not just to stun an opponent but also to knock him/her down. Even terms exist: knockout to the leg, knockout to the chest, etc.
Practicing this martial art helps to develop reliable self-defense capability which would allow you to effectively disable an attacker by striking any of his body parts, including head and crotch.
Imposing a ban on punching to the head, accomplishing throws and grips, has been introduced in order to perfect striking techniques which especially important for self-defense because street fights very rarely involve wrestling moves. These modern restrictions have been introduced also in order to lower injury rate because Kyokushin enthusiasts wish their martial art to become an Olympic sport. Such safety precautions are preconditions for the Olympic committee. It is doubtfully though that Kyokushin kaikan will be included into the Olympic soon because a similar martial art – Taekwondo – is already there. One of the differences between Taekwondo and Kyokushin kaikan is that in Taekwondo gloves and solid protectors are worn.
Nonetheless, all these restrictions apply only to the athletic element of this martial art (Budo). The entire Kyokushin kaikan system includes grips, holds, weapon techniques, and many more.
Skills, formed by practice of Kyokushin kaikan are successfully used in different martial arts and combative sports. There are a lot of world stars in MMA, K1, M1 and other tough combative sports who developed their skills and abilities practicing Kyokushin kaikan.
В то время как кёкусинкай – это один из видов карате, в самом этом виде существует несколько стилей и школ, например, стиль ашихара, в котором разрешены захваты до 3 секунд и броски. Ашихара - это универсальный боевой стиль карате - в отличие от кёкусинкай, в нем активно применяется бросковая техника, направленная на быстрое выведение противника из строя, что при умелом владении приемами предоставляет возможность вести бой с тремя и более противниками. Ашихара-карате - логический результат развития кёкусинкай. В отличие от кёкусинкай, в Ашихаре броски не просто декларируются, но активно используются. Различия кёкусинкай и ашихара относятся не только к ведению поединка, но и к упражнениям ката. Помимо ашихара, кёкусинкай породил таие стили карате как Шидокан, Ояма Каратэ, Сэйвакай, Будокай, Косики, Кудо (Дайдо-Джуку) и другие.
We have an interesting observation sent by a martial arts fan: “Karate Kyokushin is one of the most dangerous and trauma inflicting martial art. Kicks to the head and bare knuckle punches to the torso (especially to women’s chest) are much more dangerous than punches in boxing in which big gloves allow to effectively defend the body. In Kyokushin, knockouts are deeper and brain injuries are worse than in boxing. However, boxing looks much more brutal: broken noses, black eyes, soaking blood, exhausted (and often brutal) faces of boxers. In Kyokushin everything looks much more sedate and decorous…"
Fight in the Club "Victory": Zita Zatyko dominates over Aniko Szabo in the heavyweight division.
Photo by Jozsef Stefanovics from his web page Victory Martfu
Перепечатывается с разрешения автора
Photos by Jozsef Stefanovics from his website Victory Martfu
Reprinting with the author's permission
Photo by Jason Aspinall. Recource Flickr
Reprinting with the author's permission