The founder of Kyokushinkai karate, Masutatsu Oyama, was born in 1923 near Seoul in South Korea.

He studied Chinese kempo at 9 years of age. He went to Japan in the age of 12 years old to live and enrolled at university. After mastering judo, he followed Gichin Funakoshi himself. Making such rapid progress at 24 years old he was 4th dan.

Deciding that he wanted to devote the rest of his life to spreading the knowledge of karate, he spent the next year living in the mountains, subjecting himself to the physical rigours of martial arts training day and night and study of the classical Budo literature. In 1951 he returned back and started his own training hall in Tokyo.
Karate is both an art and philosophy, because each person has a different personality, this reflects in their interpretation. Therefore, karate masters founded their own schools, teaching their style or ryu. “Kyokushinkai” is the name given to our style.
International Karate Organization  Kyokushinkai Tezuka Hellas

Meaning of Kyokushinkai



extreme / ultimate



in this case, spirit / truth


in this case, organization


The symbol of Kyokushinkai is the Kanku. The Kanku is derived from the Kanku kata, “sky gazing” form. In this kata the hands are raised to scan the sky and the symbol is formed. The points of the Kanku represent the fingers and imply the ultimate’s or peaks. The thick sections, represent the wrists and imply power.

The centre represents infinity, implying depth. The whole Kanku is based on and enclosed by a circle, representing continuity and circular action.

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