In the world of martial arts, there are many styles, each with its own unique philosophy and approach to combat and personal development. Among them stands Kyokushin Karate, known for its intense physical and mental discipline. The latest episode of our podcast delves deep into the heart of this martial art, drawing inspiration from its founder, Mas Oyama, and exploring the indomitable legacy he left behind.

Masutatsu Ōyama’s teachings transcend the confines of time, continuing to inspire martial artists across the globe. His book, “This is Karate,” is not just a manual of techniques; it’s a manifesto of the warrior spirit. As the founder of Kyokushin, his story is one of cultural heritage and the pursuit of excellence, both in martial arts and in life.

This episode pays homage to his life’s work, exploring the rigorous training techniques and the legendary 100-man kumite challenge. It’s an insight into how Mas Oyama’s philosophy fosters mental resilience and strength in practitioners, proving that Kyokushin is more than just a form of self-defense—it’s a transformative journey.

This is more than just a discussion; it’s a call to action. A call to embrace the warrior spirit within and embark on a journey of self-improvement through the discipline of karate. It’s an invitation to step onto the path of Kyokushin, to test your limits, and to transform not just your body, but your entire being. Whether you’re a seasoned martial artist or someone seeking a new path to personal growth, this episode offers valuable insights into the world of Mas Oyama’s Kyokushin Karate and the transformative power it holds. Join us in this deep dive into martial arts and awaken the warrior spirit that resides in us all.

Check out Part 1 of the Mas Oyama series here.

BADASS-ness of Mas Oyama

Amidst the rugged terrain, Mas Oyama endured an arduous eighteen-month training sabbatical, pitting himself against the raw elements through rigorous training regimens, which encompassed:

  • Engaging in intricate techniques and deep contemplation beneath icy waterfalls, jumping and climbing over dense foliage and massive stone formations repetitively.
  • Employing sturdy timber and formidable boulders as impromptu striking surfaces to fortify the integrity of his hands and feet.
  • Navigating cliffs and high climbs with relentless ascents and descents, Hoisting substantial masses repeatedly to cultivate raw power.

Commencing his days at the break of dawn, Oyama delved into extensive martial arts treatises and Buddhist scriptures post-training. The culmination of his day was marked by introspective meditation, wherein the seeds of his distinctive style, Kyokushin Karate, took root, and the audacious concept of ‘confronting ‘fighting a bull’ to assay his prowess first germinated.

Oyama conceived the 100-man kumite, a crucible he successfully completed over three grueling days.

Renowned for his indomitable spirit, his strikes were so potent that deflecting them incurred injury upon the defender. Despite sustaining injuries during the 3-day Kumite, he remained resolute, poised for a potential fourth day, but everyone quit because they didn’t want to fight him any longer.

His prowess extended to duels with a Bull sans weaponry, engaging in combat with fifty-two bulls throughout his lifetime. Allegedly, he de-horned several and dispatched three instantaneously with a single blow, earning the epithet “Godhand.”

In his twilight years, Oyama grappled with osteoarthritis, yet persisted in his training regimen, showcasing his martial prowess through demonstrative physical feats.

A prolific author, he penned over eighty tomes in his native Japanese tongue.

On April 26, 1994, in Tokyo, Japan, Oyama succumbed to lung carcinoma at the age of seventy.

Inspiration I have derived from the wisdom of Mas Oyama

Immerse yourself completely – Embrace the suck, dedicate to rigorous training or learning, and commit to your promises.

In truth, half-hearted endeavors yield mediocre results. It’s not about enjoying every task; sometimes, determination must override inclination.

Strive for excellence, even amidst adversity – Oyama epitomized dedication; once committed, retreat was inconceivable, even in dire circumstances. Despite claiming victory in championships, he returned to the mountains to hone his skills, emerging as a formidable force in the world of karate. His prowess was unmatched, yet he encountered moments teetering on the brink of perilous injury.

Oyama’s valor shone through not only in enduring injury but triumphing in every encounter. His physical strength was remarkable, but his greatest attribute was his refusal to succumb to pain or exhaustion. He epitomized peak performance, even in adversity.

Sensei’s counsel echoes, “Conceal your weariness” – Though adversaries may best you, never concede defeat. “Your rivals may assail you relentlessly, but demonstrate your resolve to persevere, to emerge victorious.”

Oyama Ideas/Quotes

Karate is the most Zen-like of all the Martial Arts.  It has abandoned the sword.  This means that it transcends the idea of winning and losing to become a way of thinking and living for the sake of other people in accordance with the way of Heaven.  Its meanings, therefore, reach the profoundest levels of human thought.

For a long time, I have emphasized that karate is Budo, and if the Budo is removed from karate, it is nothing more than sport karate, show karate or even fashion karate – the idea of training merely to be fashionable.

Karate that has discarded Budo has no substance.  It is nothing more than a barbaric method of fighting or a promotional tool for the purpose of profit.  No matter how popular it becomes, it is meaningless.

Mind, Body Spirit

He was alone on the mountain. Legend says he trained 12 hour days, 7 days a week. No one to push him daily or critique him. He had to find out who he truly was to endure this.

Physical training also trains your mind and spirit. Focus, determination, discipline are all parts of this puzzle.


He removed what he thought was ‘extraneous’ techniques, katas, etc… and focused on his striking power. “One strike, one kill” power. 

There will be many, many different fitness programs created in the world, but you just can’t beat the tried and true methods of getting into shape and losing weight…

Eleven Mottos

  1. The Martial Way begins and ends with courtesy. Therefore, be properly and genuinely courteous at all times.
  2. Following the Martial Way is like scaling a cliff – continue upwards without rest. It demands absolute and unfaltering devotion to the task at hand.
  3. Strive to seize the initiative in all things, all the time guarding against actions stemming from selfish animosity or thoughtlessness.
  4. Even for the Martial Artist, the place of money cannot be ignored. Yet one should be careful never to become attached to it.
  5. The Martial Way is centred in posture. Strive to maintain correct posture at all times.
  6. The Martial Way begins with one thousand days and is mastered after ten thousand days of training.
  7. In the Martial Arts, introspection begets wisdom. Always see contemplation on your actions as an opportunity to improve.
  8. The nature and purpose of the Martial Way is universal. All selfish desires should be roasted in the tempering fires of hard training.
  9. The Martial Arts begin with a point and end in a circle. Straight lines stem from this principle.
  10. The true essence of the Martial Way can only be realized through experience. Knowing this, learn never to fear its demands.
  11. Always remember, in the Martial Arts the rewards of a confident and grateful heart are truly abundant.







(0:00:01) – Inspired by Masayama’s Warrior Ethos
Masayama’s influence on martial arts, his unique training methods, Korean heritage, challenges in Japan, and dedication to self-improvement.

(0:10:30) – Philosophy of Martial Arts Training
Karate is more than just fighting; it is a path of personal development, perseverance, and aligning with a higher purpose.

(0:24:16) – Karate Training Techniques and Drills
Examining techniques like candle extinguishing, breathing, and breaking objects in sport karate from an International Karate League book.

(0:38:45) – Exploring Inspiration in Masayama’s Book
Masayama’s teachings on karate inspire me, but I maintain distance from his personal life. Join me on this journey and share your feedback.

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