Kyokushin Karate

The strongest Karate

Kyokushin is a style of karate that focuses on sparring. But don’t worry, you’ll ease into it as your skills develop.

Training is tough but rewarding – not only do you get a great cardiovascular workout, but you’ll also develop self-esteem.Strength of character and, of course, the confidence of knowing you can look after yourself when needed. Kyokushin classes are broken into three aspects.

Warmup

Kihon / Kata

Kumite

At the beginning of the class, you’ll be taken through some basic stretching and joint-loosening movements, and then some aerobic exercise such as light jogging. This is to get you warmed up and reduce your risk of injury when the actual training begins

Kihon means basic training, and in this part of the class you’ll learn how to punch, kick, block and move in the karate style. A kata is a pattern of karate movements organized into a set sequence, almost like a dance routine. 

Beginners will have to wait for a few weeks while you work on your kihon. For safety reasons, hand attacks to the head are not permitted, and punches cannot be aimed at women’s chests or the groin of either gender. Initially, you’ll take part in slow-motion and light-contact sparring.

What is Kyokushin karate?

What is Kyokushin karate?  To some, it is a way to develop and maintain physical strength and learn effective self-defense techniques.  To others, it is much more than that.  Kyokushin karate is a way of life that transcends the physical aspects of training.  Kyokushin karate is Budō Karate.

The philosophy of Budo is evident in the name that Mas Oyama chose for his karate style, Kyokushin, which means “Ultimate Truth”.  It is also reflected in the Training Hall Oath (Dōjō Kun), in Mas Oyama’s Eleven Mottos (Zayū no Mei Jūichi Kajō), and in the Spirit of Osu (Osu no Seishin).

The essence of Budo Karate cannot readily be depicted by reading a few paragraphs; Budomust be experienced.  However, one can get a glimpse of its meaning by looking at the origin of the martial arts and its relationship with Eastern philosophies, and by examining the words “Karate” and “Budo” themselves.

Kyokushin karate, like most martial arts, can trace its origin to Bodhidarma (Daruma in Japanese), an Indian prince and Buddhist priest who traveled to the Shaolin temple in China in the early sixth century.  There, he developed the Chan, or “Intuitive” school of Mahayana Buddhism.  Under the Chan philosophy, enlightenment was sought through meditation, rather than by the practice of rituals or the study of religious texts.  According to legend, Bodhidharma sat facing the wall in the Shaolin temple for nine years, until he achieved enlightenment.  (Other legends have him sitting and facing a wall in a cave for nine years.)  Bodhidharma also developed martial arts as a physical regimen to accompany the mental discipline of the meditation.  During the following centuries, the Chan (or Zen in Japanese) philosophy spread to Okinawa and then to Japan, accompanied with martial arts.  Over time, Zen and martial arts became intermingled with each other and deeply ingrained in Japanese society.

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