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Mas Oyama's Essential Karate
A book review
In Essential Karate, founder of the hard style of Kyokushin and Karate legend, Mas. Oyama details the basic information needed for any student of Karate.
The book, translated by Tomoko Murakami and Jeffery Cousiminer, was first published in 1979 and details the fundamentals of Karate including the Japanese names for each technique or weapon right down to the basic exercises, breathing, kata and kumité.
This most interesting aspect if the book can be found in the brief, but insightful, foreword in which the author gives the reader an insight into the personality of the man famed for killing bulls with his bare hands.
“It was developed over a thousand years ago, not only as form of unarmed combat but as a way to discipline the body in order to improve the spirit.”
The book has photographs as well as illustrations by Tokiashi Morishita, and was originally published in 1975 in Japan by Kodansha Ltd.
May Oyama’s Essential Karate is an essential tool and a text book for any student learning any style of Karate and should not be limited to only students of Kyokushin.
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Naomi Ali nee Woods
Kyokushin is the style of karate developed by Mas Oyama during his lifetime. It is a unique style blending traditional karate with techniques from other martial arts like boxing, taekwondo and many others.
The style is best known as a knockdown karate and famous for its full contact kumite or sparring and hard training.
Kyokushin is also considered a traditional style because it maintains the practice of kata in its training and grading system. The katas are taken from Shotokan and Goju Ryu; styles which Oyama studied and mastered.
100 Man Kumite
Kyokushin karate is also famous for its 100 man kumite; a test of physical and mental endurance that only a few have accomplished. As the records stands today, only 20 people have managed to complete this test, with one of them Naomi Woods, the first female to take the challenge.
Woods is also the first woman to complete the 50 man kumite!