What Is Kyokushin?

Lifelong martial artist Mas Oyama founded Kyokushin karate in 1964 in Japan after earning black belts in Shotokan karate, Gōjū-ryū karate and Kodokan judo. Oyama’s accomplishments made him one of the world’s most famous karate practitioners. He is a pioneer of tameshiwari (“to test and to break”) and jissen kumite (“contact fighting”). 

The word Kyokushin is sometimes translated as “ultimate truth,” an allusion to finding the nature of one’s true character when tested.

Kyokushin is not only characterized by its jissen style but by its practicality. It is a beautiful art of unparalleled power that teaches simplicity and fluidity in movement that anyone can apply regardless of age, experience or gender. As such, it trains techniques ideal for self-defense.

Well-known martial artists with backgrounds in Kyokushin include UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre; kickboxer Andy Hug; as well as actor, director, screenwriter and film producer Dolph Lundgren.

At our dojo, we train in a traditional style. We wear a uniform of white called a dogi and we interact with each other in a courteous fashion, often using the greeting “osu.” The Japanese word has many meanings. For now, think of it as a way to express respect, appreciation and patience. Despite these formalities, we hope you’ll find a lighthearted group that emphasizes improvement, fun and fellowship.

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