Sosai Oyama, 10th Dan, was the founder of Kyokushin Karate 1923-1994. He started training at Chinese Kempo at the age of nine. When he was 15 years old, he started training in karate under Genchin Funakoshi.

Mas. Oyama trained hard under various teachers and made great progress, becoming a 4th Dan at the age of 22. Two years later, in 1947, he won the All Japan Karate Championship.

In 1948, Mas. Oyama decided to undergo the rigors of training alone in the mountains. This he did on Mt. Kiyosumi in the Chiba Prefecture, where he stayed for 18 months, training daily to strenghthen his body and spirit.

It was in 1950, after returning from the mountains, that Mas. Oyama first started matching his strength against that of a bull. He fought a total of 52 bulls, killing three and breaking the horns off of 40.

In 1954, Mas. Oyama made his first of many visits to North America where he held numerous demonstrations and participated in many fights against boxers and wrestlers. He won all fights he participated in.

In 1954, he opened his first dojo in Tokyo. This dojo was the beginning of the KYOKUSHINKAIKAN. In 1964, the Tokyo Honbu was officially opened and the International Karate Organization-Kyokushinkaikan (I.K.O.K.) was established. Kyokushin Karate today is one of the largest and most famous of all karate styles

His spirit lives on in Kyokushin.


Kancho (director) Shokei Matsui 8th Dan.

Near the end of his life, Oyama selected Matsui to succeed him as Branch Chief to take over the running of the IKO. Matsui was born in 1963 and started training in Kyokushin karate at age 13 attaining the rank of Shodan (blackbelt) in little over 1 year.

Matsui has fought on the world stage many times, winning the All Japan Open Karate Championships In 1985 and 86, also in 1986 he completed the 100 man Kumite (100 man fight). The following year (1987) he won the 4th World Open Karate Tournament, becoming the youngest champion ever.