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Kyokushin Karate was founded in the early 1960's by the late Grandmaster Masutatsu Oyama. The Japanese translation of "kyokushin" is as follows:

KYOKU - ultimate

SHIN - truth

Kyokushin is therefore translated as "the search for the ultimate truth".

Kyokushin is well known for its disciplined and rigorous training. Influences of Shoto-kan and Goju-ryu, which were also studied by Mas Oyama in his early years, can be seen in various techniques and kata (forms) in the Kyokushin system.

Kyokushin Symbols

The two symbols associated with Kyokushin Karate are the round kanku symbol and the kanji which is the written word "Kyokushin".

Kanku Symbol

The Kyokushin kanku symbol shown to the left depicts the hand positions in the kata Kanku Dai - sky gazing form. In this kata the hands are raised above the head with the thumbs and index fingers touching as the practitioner focuses their gaze through the hands.

The parts of the kanku are symbolized as follows:

The top and bottom points represent the fingers and thumbs and imply peaks or ultimate goals one strives for. The wide side sections represent the wrists and imply power. The center circle denotes infinite depth; learning is never complete. The perimeter circle symbolizes continuity and circularity as Kyokushin is a system of points and circles. Many techniques are circular and revolve around a central point. For example blocks are circular and revolve around the elbow which acts as the point.

The Kyokushin kanji (shown to the right) is the written Japanese calligraphy "Kyokushin-kai".

This symbol is worn on the uniform (dogi) of all kyokushin practitioners world wide. As previously mentioned, kyokushin translates as "the ultimate truth". In most instances, the name will appear as Kyokushin-kai; the latter part of the calligraphy "kai" translates to society, association or organization.

Read more about Mas Oyama

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