Founder of Kyokushin
Founder of Kyokushin
Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama was born on the 27th of July, 1923.
At University in Japan he noticed some students training in Okinawan Karate.
This interested him very much and he went to train at the dojo of Gichin Funakoshi at Takushoku University, where he learned what is today known as Shotokan Karate.
His training progress was such that by the age of seventeen he was already a 2nd dan, and by the time he entered the Japanese Imperial Army at 20, he was a fourth dan.
When he was 23 years old, Mas Oyama met Eiji Yoshikawa, the author of the novel Musashi, based on the life and exploits of Japan’s most famous Samurai.
Both the novel and the author helped to teach Mas Oyama about the Samurai Bushido code and what it meant.
That same year, Oyama went to Mt. Minobu Oyama thought that this would be an appropriate place to commence the rigours of training he had planned for himself.
His training was fanatical — 12 hours a day every day with no rest days, standing under (cold) buffeting waterfalls, breaking river stones with his hands, using trees as makiwara, jumping over rapidly growing flax plants hundreds of times each day. Each day also included a period of study of the ancients classics on the Martial arts, Zen, and philosophy. After eighteen months he came down fully confident of himself, and able to take control of his life. Never again would he be so heavily influenced by his society around him.
Kenji Midori (緑 健児 Midori Kenji, born April 18, 1962) is a Japanese martial artist.
Midori was a student of Masutatsu Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin Karate. Midori eventually assumed leadership of the WKO Shinkyokushinkai to focus on improving Knockdown karate (Fighting Karate).
He lost in the 4th World Tournament to British Michael Thompson. After the 4th World Tournament, Midori went on to claim his third All Japan Weight title and reached the final of the All Japan Tournament.
Four years later, Midori entered the 5th World Tournament, where he defeated the reigning All Japan Champion Akira Masuda to become the 5th Kyokushin Karate World Champion.
After the death of Masutatsu Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin Karate, the International Karate Organization initially broke into three groups, one of which is known as World Karate Organization Shinkyokushinkai, initially led by Yukio Nishida. After Nishida resigned, he was succeeded by Keiji Sanpei, who was in turn succeeded by Yasuhiro Shichinohe and then eventually Kenji Midori. Under Midori’s leadership the organization formally changed its name to WKO Shinkyokushinkai in 2003. Today, Midori holds the position of Daihyo (President) of the WKO Shinkyokushinkai.