In 1947, a few months after his return to society, Oyama won the first Japanese National Martial Arts Championship. Yet, he was unsatisfied and felt there was still much to be gained. He deeply regretted not completing the three years of intensive training. It was then that Oyama decided to dedicate himself completely to Karate and began another period of training alone on Mount Kiyozumi.
Oyama trained twelve hours a day. His regimen consisted of physical training, fasting, misogi (meditation under waterfalls) and study of Zen and philosophy. He used trees and stones to strengthen his techniques, and bench pressed his body weight 500 times daily! After eighteen months of rigorous training, Oyama was ready to leave the mountain and confidently face his future.
In 1950, Oyama began his famous barehanded battles with bulls. He fought 52 bulls (which were to be slaughtered) in all, killing three instantly, and taking the horns off 49 of them with his powerful knife hand blows. Oyama’s intent was not to be cruel, he simply wished to demonstrate to the world, his powerful Karate.
Oyama traveled to the United States in 1952 and engaged in 270 matches against boxers, wrestlers, Judo, and Karate fighters, and defeated every one. Matches lasted no longer than three minutes and were often won with one blow.
In 1953, a grass lot in Mejiro, Tokyo served as Oyama’s first “dojo”. In 1956, he opened the Oyama Dojo in a former ballet studio behind Rikkyo University. By 1957, the enrollment had reached 700 members.
Oyama opened the organization’s world headquarters in Tokyo in 1964 and subsequently adopted the style name Kyokushin, which translates as “the ultimate truth”. Oyama’s Karate continued to spread to 123 countries with over 10 million members.
Kyokushin, today, continues to spread worldwide. Oyama firmly believed that hard training could greatly benefit any person, both physically and spiritually, and that practitioners would thus play a part in making the world a better place.