Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Budo and Kyokushin Karate

Scott, over at The Martial Way had a nice article about the influences on Mas Oyama's ideas of Budo and how is studied in Kyokushin Karate.

An excerpt is below. The full post may be read here.

Sosai (founder) Masutatsu ‘Mas’ Oyama was heavily influenced by his Goju-ryu Karate teacher, Nei-chu So, a fellow native countryman of the teenage Yeong-eui Choi (Masutatsu Ōyama).
Oyama 1955

The defeat of Japan and the subsequent indignity of Occupation almost proved to be too much for Mas Oyama, who nearly despaired. Nei-chu So encouraged Mas Oyama to dedicate his life to Budo, the Martial Way. It was he who suggested that Oyama should retreat away from the rest of the world for 3 years while training his mind and body.

Oyama also met Eji Yoshikawa, author of the book ‘Musashi’, a fictionalized account of the life of Miyamoto Musashi, Japan’s most famous samurai warrior. Thanks to this book and the writer, Mas Oyama began to understand the profound meanings of the Samurai Bushido Code, and ultimately shapes his own philosophy on martial arts.

Oyama became heavily influenced by the great swordsmen Miyamoto Musashi (1584 – June 13, 1645), founder of the Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū or Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship and in his final years authored The Book of Five Rings (五輪の書 Go Rin no Sho), a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today.

Influenced by Nei-chu So, the writing of Yoshikawa, and Musashi’s works, Mas Oyama decided to withdraw from social life and live in solitude for a period of 3 years and dedicate his time completely to the intense training of body and mind, as Musashi did in his lifetime. Oyama traveled to Minobu mountain, the same place where Musashi created Nito-ryu kenjitsu. Mas Oyama was only 23 years old at the time. In his opinion this would be the perfect place to start his severe training of body and mind that he had planned for himself.

After returning to civiliation Oyama stated that “traditional karate” is non-contactand while at it s peak of recognition, Oyama claimed that the true way of Budo Karate was in the actual physical contact.

The philosophy of budo is evident in the name that Mas Oyama chose for his karate style, Kyokushin, which means “Ultimate Truth”. It is also reflected in the Dojo Kun and in the Spirit of Osu.

The Spirit of Kyokushin emanates from the Budo axiom,

“One thousand days of training completes a beginner.
Ten thousand days of training begins the mastery of the art.”

The training to find the Ultimate Truth is a rigorous and never-ending process for the practitioner.

It is a life long dedication to the Kyokushin Way.

The greeting OSU used in Kyokushin resonates humility, gratitude, perseverance and above all, respect for one another.

Mas Oyama summed up his entire martial arts philosophy in eleven mottos, known as the Zayu no

Mei Juichi Kajo, which are central to his teaching:

Zayu no Mei Juichi Kajo

座右の銘十一個条 – Eleven Mottos of Kyokushin

- The Martial Way begins and ends with courtesy. Therefore, be properly and genuinely courteous at all times.

- Following the Martial Way is like scaling a cliff – continue upwards without rest. It demands absolute and unfaltering devotion to the task at hand.

- Strive to seize the initiative in all things, all the time guarding against actions stemming from selfish animosity or thoughtlessness.

- Even for the Martial Artist, the place of money cannot be ignored. Yet one should be careful never to become attached to it.

- The Martial Way is centred in posture. Strive to maintain correct posture at all times.

- The Martial Way begins with one thousand days and is mastered after ten thousand days of training.

- In the Martial Arts, introspection begets wisdom. Always see contemplation on your actions as an opportunity to improve.

- The nature and purpose of the Martial Way is universal. All selfish desires should be roasted in the tempering fires of hard training.

- The Martial Arts begin with a point and end in a circle. Straight lines stem from this principle.

- The true essence of the Martial Way can only be realized through experience. Knowing this, learn never to fear its demands.

- Always remember, in the Martial Arts the rewards of a confident and grateful heart are truly abundant.

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