Masutatsu Oyama trained with several of the greatest karate instructors in Japan during the period between the World Wars, and graded to a high level. But he was dissatisfied with the karate he was being taught. He felt it was not practical enough, and had become too stylised and sanitised. He wanted to return to true “budo” karate – a fighting style that was primarily aimed at learning how to effectively disable a genuinely aggressive opponent.
The style of karate he developed was originally known as Oyama Karate, but he later named it Kyokushin. In Japanese, ‘kyoku’ means ultimate, and ‘shin’ means truth.
As part of this development he struggled to find a method of practising his practical karate without his students seriously injuring each other. Eventually he developed a form of sport karate called knockdown fighting. Although the techniques allowed in competition are limited, they are delivered with full power and without protective equipment. In this way students can learn to give (and take) full power attacks to the body and limbs. Full power kicks to the head are allowed. But punches and elbows to the head and face are prohibited because they fight with bare knuckles – no gloves.
You can watch numerous examples of knockdown fighting on YouTube by searching ‘kyokushin’ or ‘kyokushinkai’. We have included a selection of videos on our Videos page on this site.
Knockdown competition is not for everyone. But everyone can learn the Kyokushin training methods, techniques and conditioning exercises to help them to become the toughest fighter they can be.
Adult classes – 8.00-9.30 pm every Tuesday and Thursday
Classes usually start with warming up, stretching and some basic calisthenics.
We then work on kihon (basic techniques) which are the foundations on which your progress is built.
A typical class will also include kata training (a formal sequence of movements requiring precision and power) and often move on to bag training for more fitness as well as preparing any students who are interested in fighting competitively.
Junior classes – 6.00-7.00 pm every Tuesday and Thursday
Junior classes follow a similar format. But juniors do not currently participate in full-contact knockdown sparring. For juniors we work on “clicker” fighting. Clicker is a points based system requiring speed, accuracy and control, in which only light contact to the body is permitted. No contact to the face or head is allowed in clicker fighting.
The minimum age for juniors to join the club is 6 years old.