Kyokushin kaikan.gif
HardnessFull contact
Country of originJapan Japan
CreatorKorean Empire Masutatsu Oyama
Famous practitionersTerutomo Yamazaki, Tadashi Nakamura, Sonny Chiba, Glaube Feitosa, Francisco Filho, Andy Hug, Hajime Kazumi, Katsunori Kikuno, Bobby Lowe, Dolph Lundgren, Akira Masuda, Shokei Matsui, Kenji Midori, Glen Murphy, Andrews Nakahara, Nicholas Pettas, Jerome Le Banner, Bas Rutten, Semmy Schilt, Peter Graham, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tiger Schulmann, Georges St-Pierre, Ewerton Teixeira, Marius Zaromskis, Mariusz Pudzianowski, Michael Jai White, Uriah Hall, Sean Connery, Tenshin Nasukawa, Masahiro Yamamoto, Takayuki Kohiruimaki, Azuma Takashi, Steve Arneil, Maryse Ouellet
Ancestor artsGōjū-ryū,[1] Shotokan[2]
Descendant artsAshihara, Enshin, Seidokaikan, Shidokan, Kudo

Kyokushin (極真) is a style of stand-up, full contact karate, founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese Masutatsu Oyama (大山倍達, Ōyama Masutatsu). "Kyokushin" is Japanese for "the ultimate truth". It is rooted in a philosophy of self-improvement, discipline and hard training.[3][4][5] Its full contact style had international appeal (practitioners have over the last 40+ years numbered more than 12 million).[6]



After formally establishing the Kyokushinkaikan in 1964, Oyama directed the organization through a period of expansion.[7] Oyama hand-picked instructors who displayed ability in marketing the style and gaining new members. Oyama would choose an instructor to open a new dojo. The instructor would move to that town and demonstrate his karate skills in public places. After that, word of mouth would spread through the local area until the dojo had a dedicated core of students. Oyama also sent instructors to other countries such as the Netherlands (Kenji Kurosaki), Australia (Shigeo Kato and Mamoru Kaneko), the United States (Tadashi Nakamura, Shigeru Oyama and Yasuhiko Oyama, Miyuki Miura), Great Britain (Steve Arneil), Canada (Tatsuji Nakamura) and Brazil (Seiji Isobe) to spread Kyokushin in the same way. Many students, including Jon Bluming, Steve Arneil, and Howard Collins, traveled to Japan to train with Oyama directly. In 1969, Oyama staged The First All-Japan Full Contact Karate Open Championships and Terutomo Yamazaki became the first champion. All-Japan Championships have been held at every year. In 1975, The First World Full Contact Karate Open Championships were held in Tokyo.[citation needed] World Championships have been held at four-yearly intervals since.[citation needed]

Oyama's death

After Mas Oyama's death, the International Karate Organization (IKO) split into two groups, primarily due to personal conflicts over who should succeed Oyama as chairman. One group led by Shokei Matsui became known as IKO-1, and a second group led by Yukio Nishida[8] and Sanpei became was known as IKO-2. The will was proven to be invalid in the family Court of Tokyo in 1995. Before his death, Oyama named no one as his successor, although he did mention Matsui to be the most eligible one[citation needed].

In 1995 any new Kyokushin organization that claimed the name IKO, Kyokushinkaikan, were referred to by Kyokushin practitioners by numbers, such as IKO-1 (Matsui group), IKO-2 etc.[citation needed] Due to this break up, many attempted to establish their own leadership.[citation needed] For example, IKO-2 was not organized by Oyama's family, although Chiyako Oyama was asked to succeed after her husband as Kaicho.[citation needed] Chiyako Oyama stepped away from the political fight and founded the Mas Oyama Memorial Foundation with her daughters, still retaining the rights to the companies that managed IKO Kyokushinkaikan during Mas Oyama's leadership.[citation needed]

Multiple organisations

Japan-based Kyokushinkaikan organisations

Internationally known[citation needed], Japanese-based organizations that claim the name "International Karate Organization" include:[citation needed]

  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Sosai", organized by Mas Oyama's daughter, Kuristina Oyama, which by court order has the rights to Mas Oyama's Honbu.[9]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Matsushima", headed by Yoshikazu Matsushima.[10]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Matsui-Ha" or "Ichi-Geki", headed by Shokei (Akiyoshi) Matsui.[11]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "All Japan Kyokushin Union" or "Kyokushin Rengōkai", headed by Yasuhiro Shichinohe.[12]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Sakamoto-Ha", headed by Shigenori Sakamoto.[13]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "World So-Kyokushin", headed by Daigo Ohishi.[14]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Nakamura", headed by Makoto Nakamura.[15]
  • IKO Kyokushinkaikan "World Kyokushin Kaikan", headed by Ryuko Take.[16]

Other Japan-based organisations

Other Japanese Kyokushin groups no longer officially claiming the original name of "IKO" and "Kyokushinkaikan":

  • WKO (World Karate Organization) Shinkyokushinkai, headed by Kenji Midori as president.[17]
  • Kyokushin Shogakukai Foundation, Kyokushin-kan International Karate-do Organization (KIKO), headed by Hatsuo Royama as president.[18]
  • Kyokushin Karate Union Kyokushin Kenbukai. Founded by Tsuyoshi Hiroshige an apprentice of Mas Oyama.[1]

Non Japan-based organisations

Kyokushin groups outside Japan:

  • Federal Kyokushin Organization of Karate (FKOK) – founded by Shihan Bertrand Kron, based in France[19]
  • International Federation of Karate, Kyokushin (IFK) – founded by former IKO member Steve Arneil.[20]
  • Kyokushin World Federation (KWF), founded by former IKO members: Loek Hollander, Antonio Pinero and Andre Drewniak.[21]
  • Kyokushin Budokai, IBK, founded by former IKO Jon Bluming.[22]
  • International Kyokushin Union (IKU) – founded by former IKO member David Farzinzad.[23]
  • International Kyokushinkai Association (IKA) – founded by former IKO member Carllos Costa, based in Brazil.[24]
  • International Federation of Kyokushinkaikan Karate (IFKK) – founded by former IKO member Sahinbas Goksel and Malik Dilnawaz, based in Netherlands and Norway.[25]
  • International Seishin Kyokushin Karate Organization (ISKKO) – founded by Mas Oyama Shibucho for Catalunya Pere Lluis Beltran, based in Spain.[26]
  • International Kyokushinkai Karate Federation (IKKF) – founded by former IKO member Teyub Azizov, based in Azerbaijan.[27]
  • World Kyokushin Karate Federation (WKKF) – founded by IKO member Bodh Narayan Yadav, based in India.[28]
  • World Kyokushin Budokai (WKB) – founded by former IKO member Pedro Roiz, based in Spain[29]
  • Kyokushin Budo Karate Shakai International (KBKS) – founded by former IKO Sokyokushin member Prasanna Fernando, based in the United Kingdom.[30]


Oyama's widow died in June 2006 after a long illness.[citation needed] Mas Oyama's youngest daughter, Kikuko (also known as Kuristina) now oversees the management of the original IKO Kyokushin kaikan Honbu.[citation needed] She also published a book in 2010, a collective memoir of Mas Oyama and his teachings.[citation needed]

In May 2012, the Japanese Patent Office granted the Kyokushin related trademarks to Kikuko Kuristina Oyama, after years of long court battle.[citation needed] She has internationally trademarked and copyrighted her father's work and devotes the proceeds to various charities.[citation needed]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Kyokushin Kaikan
asturianu: Kyokushinkai
azərbaycanca: Kyokusinkay
български: Киокушин
čeština: Kjokušin karate
español: Kyokushinkai
euskara: Kyokushinkai
فارسی: کیوکوشین
français: Kyokushinkai
한국어: 극진회관
hrvatski: Kyokushin
Bahasa Indonesia: Kyokushin kaikan
italiano: Kyokushinkai
lietuvių: Kiokušin
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ကျို့ရှင်း
Nederlands: Kyokushinkai
日本語: 極真会館
polski: Kyokushin
português: Kyokushin
русский: Кёкусинкай
slovenčina: Kjokušin
کوردی: کیۆکۆشین
српски / srpski: Кјокушин
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kyokushinkai
suomi: Kyokushin
svenska: Kyokushinkai
Tiếng Việt: Kyokushin Karate
中文: 極真會館