KYOKUSHIN KARATE HISTORY
1923. Yong I-Choi, who later took the name of Matsutatsu Oyama, and became the Sosai of the International Karate Organization Kyokushin, was born on the 27th July.
1925 Matsutatsu Oyama was sent to his sister's home in Manchuria.
1936 Matsutatsu Oyama entered primary school in Seoul Korea, where he started the study of Chinese Kempo under Mr. Yi. He gained proficiency in the eighteen hands technique and in the second year he gained the equivalent to shodan.
1938 Matsutatsu Oyama entered Yamanashi Airway School in Japan.
He studied karate under Gishin Funakoshi, one of the first three to bring karate to Japan and under Mr. So Nei Chu, who was also Korean and from the same district as Matsutatsu Oyama. So Nei Chu was the foremost expert in Goju Karate at the time and is credited with introducing Goju to Japan.
1940 Matsutatsu Oyama entered Takushoku University. Gained Nidan rank.
1945 Matsutatsu Oyama started the Eiwa karate-do Research Institute in Sinami-ku Tokyo, six months later it closed.
1946 Matsutatsu Oyama entered the physical Education Department of Waseda University. Matsutatsu Oyama visited Eiji Yoshikawa and Shiro Ozaki, two famous Japanese writers, to learn more about the old Samurai way. Eiji Yoshikawa "Musashi" a book that Matsutatsu Oyama took with him when he went into the mountains to give him inspiration. Matsutatsu Oyama went to mount Minobi for training. Matsutatsu Oyama picked this mountain, as it is the place where Musashi developed his Nito-Ryu style of fencing.
1947 Matsutatsu Oyama entered the First All Japan Championships since the war, in Maruyama Gymnasium Kyoto and became Champion.
1948 Matsutatsu Oyama decided to devote his life to karate and trained alone for 18 months on Mount Kiyosumi in Chiba, to perfect his techniques and to form his karate way. After 18 months his sponsor wrote to him and told him that he could no longer support him and Matsutatsu Oyama had no choice but to return to civilization. However by this time he had developed his path of karate and his philosophy of "Ichi geki hissatsu" one strike certain death.
1950 Fought against a bull in Chiba. He acquired a room in a butcher’s establishment and trained to kill bull with his bare hands. Usually by striking them between the eyes. Altogether he killed 47 bulls 4 of which died instantly.
1951 Matsutatsu Oyama started teaching karate to the US. army in Japan, at camp Zama, Fuchu,
Tachikawa, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Yokota and Takorozawa. Matsutatsu Oyama started training in Judo at the Sone dojo in Chiba. He was eventually to achieve the grade of yondan in judo.
1952 A karate organization in America invited Matsutatsu Oyama to the USA. and over the next year he did 32 demonstrations, taught in various states and participated in 7 fights.
1953 Matsutatsu Oyama traveled to the US again, where he fought a bull in Chicago and became popular by chopping off the bulls horns.
1954 Matsutatsu Oyama returned to Japan to under-go training for a movie in Boso Chiba. Matsutatsu Oyama opened his first dojo in a burnt out area in Meijiro Tokyo, which consisted of a grass lot. The instructors were K. Mizushima and E. Yasuda.
1955 Matsutatsu Oyama was invited by a USA promoter to the USA. He also traveled to South America and Europe fighting against many people. Chopping the neck off whisky bottles was a very popular demonstration.
Matsutatsu Oyama fought another bull in Chicago and was highly criticized by the Animals friend Club.
1956 Starting in Okinawa, Matsutatsu Oyama traveled through South East Asia studying many different fighting styles.
The "Oyama Dojo" was opened behind the Rikko University. The instructors were K. Mizushima, E Yasudo, M. Ishibashi and T. Minamomoto. Sosai Oyama said this was the very beginning of Kyokushin, which at that time was called "Oyama Dojo". The beginning of a karate based on the principle of a 1,000 days training a beginner, 10,000 days training, a glimpse of the mysteries.
Matsutatsu Oyama returned from South East Asia.
1957 Matsutatsu Oyama traveled to Europe. Matsutatsu Oyama traveled to USA.
Matsutatsu Oyama traveled to Mexico to fight against a bull; he was injured and required 6 months in hospital.
1958 The book "What is Karate" was published, becoming the first best selling book on Japanese karate. The first overseas branch was opened under Shihan Bobby Lowe.
The FBI. in Washington invited Matsutatsu Oyama to teach and demonstrate.
The West point army school invited Matsutatsu Oyama to teach. Matsutatsu Oyama went to Hokkaido to fight a bear but was unsuccessful.
1959 The first Hawaiian Tournament was held and Matsutatsu Oyama attended as the Supreme Judge. He also demonstrated at this tournament. The Oyama dojo held its first Summer Training School at Ichinoniya in Chiba.
1960 Matsutatsu Oyama started 72 Branches in 16 countries.
1961 The first North American Open Tournament was held in Madison Square Gardens, at which Matsutatsu Oyama attended as the Chief Judge.
1963 Construction started on the building in Ikebukuro, which was to become the Kyokushin Karate Honbu.
1964 Muai Thai kickboxing challenged Japanese karate. Matsutatsu Oyama accepted the challenge as no other style was up to it. He sent three students to Thailand, who won 2 out of the three fights, redeeming the name of Japanese karate. E. Sato (former Prime Minister and Nobel Prize winner) became the Kaicho (President) of Kyokushin Kaikan. Matsutatsu Oyama became Kancho (director).
Tokyo Honbu was officially opened and IKO was established.
1965 The first winter training was held at Mount Mitsumine.
This is karate was published and became the "Bible " of karate. 3,000 pages of preparatory notes and 20,000 photographs were used for this publication.
1966 K. Kurossaki was sent to Europe to teach "Dynamic Karate" (Japanese edition) was completed and the Japanese magazine "Modern Karate" was started. This magazine became very popular. The USA IKO was founded. The South American IKO was founded.
1967 Shigero Kato was sent to Australia to teach. Vital Karate was published.
Loek Hollander achieved the 100-man kumite.
1968 Kancho Oyama began a long overseas trip to promote Kyokushin Karate. The trip covered Hawaii, USA Britain, Europe and Jordan. The European IKO was established.
Loek Hollander was appointed Chairman. The Middle East IKO was established.
The South Pacific IKO was established. Ivan Zavetchanos was appointed Chairman.
Kancho Oyama gave private lessons to His Majesty the King of Jordan.
1969 Matsutatsu Oyama organized the First Open Kyokushin Full-Contact Karate Tournament in Tokyo. The event attracted Kickboxers, Judo-ka and other karate styles. A very large audience attended and it had 48 competitors.
The results were:
1st Terutomo Yamazaki
2nd Yoshijim Soena
3rd Ikko Hasagowa.
The South Africa IKO was established. The South East Asian IKO was established.
Yoshikazu Matsushima went to South East Asia to teach.
1970 Advanced Karate and Karate Class (Japanese edition) was published.
1971 The "Karate Baka Ichidai" was published, the comic book story of Sosai's life. It become am instant success. The Area Chairman was appointed.
1972 Fighting Spirit (Japanese edition was published).
The Nippon Karate-Do Fajko Team lost in the Non-Contact World Championships in Paris. Kancho was most upset and published a long speech on his views. Causing a major rift between the two groups.
1974 Matsutatsu Oyama gave a demonstration for Prince Sham of Iran. Matsutatsu Oyama (then Kancho) was made 9th dan by all the Branches.
1975 The First World Open Kyokushin Karate Tournament was held on the 1st November, with 128 competitors from 32 countries participating.
1976 The First World Tournament Movie "The Strongest Karate" was released.
The second edition "Strongest Karate" movie was released.
1977 Matsutatsu Oyama attended the 1st Australian Open Full-Contact Tournament.
The English Quarterly Magazine "Kyokushin Karate" began. The Japanese Monthly magazine "Strongest Karate" began.
1978 The comic strip "The Godhand" started
1979 The second World Open Kyokushin Karate Tournament was held on the 23rd - 25th November, with 187 competitors from 62 countries.
1980 Shigeru Oyama, Hideyuki Shihara and Yoshiji Soeno were all suspended from Kyokushin Kai.
1981 H. R. H. Prince Faizel of Saudi Arabia went to Honbu for a private meeting with Sosai Matsutatsu Oyama.
1982 Matsutatsu Oyama lectured at the Kyoto Citizen's University.
1983 3000 people attended a party to celebrate 20 years of Kyokushin Karate.
1984 The Third World Open Kyokushin Karate Tournament was held on 20th, 21st & 23rd January. "My Karate Budo Education" and "shawa Gorin-no Sho" was published
Crown Prince of Nepal came to see Sosai Matsutatsu Oyama and a demonstration was held.
1985 The movie "Kyokushin Way" was released by Shochiku Fuji Company.
The President of Kyokushin Kaikan, Mr. Matsuhie Mori died on the 12th May.
1987 The Forth World Open Kyokushin Karate Tournament was held on the 6th - 8th November with 207 competitors.
1988 The first British Commonwealth Kyokushin Championships was held in Sydney. Sosai Oyama attended the event.
1991 The Fifth World Open Kyokushin Karate Tournament was held on the 2nd - 4th November with 250 competitors.
1994 Sosai Matsutatsu Oyama passed away thereby ending an area that was unsurpassed in history.
With the death of Matsutatsu Oyama died a united Kyokushin karate. So, too ended many dreams of even greater things for Kyokushin. Smaller men with smaller minds tore Kyokushin apart. History will not look upon these men with kindness.