White Crane Kung-fu the roots of Kyokushin Karate?

masoyamaIf you’re as passionate about Kyokushin as me, and have looked into the history, you know that Kyokushin is a style of stand-up, full contact karate, founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama. Sosai Mas Oyama was a 4th Dan Black Belt in Shotokan and a 7th Dan Black Belt in Gōjū-ryū Karate. Combining his knowledge and adding his own elements he created Kyokushin Karate.

So, Kyokushin is grounded in the Okinawan Shuri-te traditions (Shotokan) as well as the hard and soft characteristics of the Naha-te and Tomari-te style (Goju-ryu). Many kata from both styles are found in Kyokushin. However, this isn’t the beginning. Goju-ryu itself trances its roots back to China and most martial scholars believe the main influence was White Crane Boxing in Fujian province, China.

Though the local boxing style originated from Southern Shaolin, it has since spread its influence to Taiwan, Ryukyu (Okinawa) and mainland Japan, where it became Karate.

The following documentary traces the roots of this, which is hosted by Stephen Au Kam-tong, a black belt in full-contact Karate.



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