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 ~

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Extreme Self Isolation Training

Below is an excerpt from a post that appeared at The Martial Way blog about the extreme self isolation training undergone by the legendary Mas Oyama. He was famous for this. The full post may be read here.

With everyone in most parts of the world in quarantine and self-isolation, people are looking for inspiration everywhere to train. Separated from the dojo many are lost, and looking to online classes, trainers, methods and inspiration. Feeling anxious by what is happening, and confused with what to do at home.
As Kyokushin students we should draw our inspiration from the founder, Sosai Mas Oyama, who didn’t do a few of weeks of self-isolation in his quest to develop Kyokushin. He did years!
In 1946, Masutatsu Oyama met Eiji Yoshikawa, the author of the novel Musashi, which was based on the life and exploits of Japan’s most famous Samurai, Miyamoto Musashi. 

Thanks to this book and the writer, Mas Oyama begins to understand the profound meanings of the Samurai Bushido Code, and ultimately shaped his own philosophy on martial arts.
Influenced by Nei-chu So, his friend and Sensei in Goju-ru, and the writing of Yoshikawa, 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 would travel to Minobu mountain, the same place where Musashi created Nito-ryu kenjitsu, in the Chiba Prefecture. 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. He set off, a student name Yashiro accompanied him, and assisted by a friend who provided them with the monthly food supplies, they went to the wilderness to train.

The relative solitude was strongly felt, and after 6 months, Yashiro secretly fled during the night. It became even harder for Oyama, who wanted more than ever to return to civilisation. So Nei Chu wrote to him that he should shave off an eyebrow in order to get rid of the urge. Surely he wouldn’t want anyone in public to see him that way! This and other more moving words convinced Oyama to continue, and he resolved to become the most powerful karate-ka in Japan.
After 14 months of training, his sponsor and friend sent a message to Oyama that he could no longer help him with his monthly food supplies. Due to this Oyama stoped his training and returned to civilization.

A few months later, in 1947, Mas Oyama participated in the Karate division of the “1st Japanese National Martial Arts Championships” after WWII and won. After this victory Oyama decided to dedicate the rest of his life to karate and again return to the wilderness for training.

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