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Lies Behind Mas Oyama's Mountain Training, Kyokushin Karate.

 As I research and go deeper into the history of Kyokushin Karate I become even more fascinated. Between legend and story, somewhere lays the truth. We may never know fully, but it is wonderful to speculate, learn and share.



It is believed that Mas Oyama killed a man who was sent to attack him, the police started following him up and down, and even tried framing him. Mas Oyama was later advised by a close friend to retreat to the mountains to avoid what was happening. But is this true? well i can't say yes because all this information is not verifiable.

Here is what I found to be true.

Mas Oyama at Mt. MinobuOyama also met Eji Yoshikawa, author of the book ‘Musashi’, a fictionalized account of the life of Miyamoto Musashi, Japan’s most famous samurai warrior. Thanks to this book and the writer, Mas Oyama begins to understand the profound meanings of the Samurai Bushido Code, and ultimately shapes his own philosophy on martial arts.

Influenced by Nei-chu So and the writing of Yoshikawa, Mas Oyama decided to withdraw from social life and live in solitude for a period of 3 years and dedicate his time completely to the intense training of body and mind, as Musashi did in his lifetime. Oyama traveled to Minobu mountain, the same place where Musashi created Nito-ryu kenjitsu. Mas Oyama was only 23 years old at the time. In his opinion this would be the perfect place to start his severe training of body and mind that he had planned for himself.

Accompanied by one of his students, Yashiro, and assisted by a friend who provided them with the monthly food supplies they went to the wilderness to train. After 6 months however Yashiro decided to return to civilization, overwhelmed by loneliness he leaves Oyama alone. After 14 months of training, his sponsor and friend sends a message to Oyama that he can no longer help him with his monthly food supplies. Because of this Oyama stops his training and returned to civilization.


A few month’s later, in 1947, Mas Oyama participated in the Karate division of the “1st Japanese National Martial Arts Championships” after WWII and wins. After this victory Oyama decided to dedicate the rest of his life to karate and again returns to the wilderness for training. This time he went to the Kiyozumi Mountain, also in the prefecture of Chiba. Accorfing to Oyama, his training was very intense and rigorous. Training for about 12 hours a day. He trained standing below ice-cold waterfalls, breaking river stones, using trees as his makiwara, etc.


Oyama also spent hours reading and studying, including Zen Buddhism and

Mas Oyama’s training notes


other philosophies. His goal was to create a martial art going back to the origins of the true samurai way of fighting. During these 18 months of rough and intense training Mas Oyama combined the most effective techniques of different systems and made up his own unique style. After this time he returned back to society as a completely different man. Mentally, Physically and Spiritual.

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