Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Myth, history and Mas Oyama

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    96
    Likes (received)
    19

    Default Myth, history and Mas Oyama

    Reading about the Judo tournament that judo might not have won and Shorinji Kempo vs Tai Chi on a couple threads recently got me to thinking. I am not going to comment directly on those threads but hopefully give my thoughts on the overall value of stories in martial arts, true, false or exaggerated.

    A couple of years ago on karate underground forum someone who had obviously watched Sonny Ciba's Champion of Death asked about the karate master who defeated all challengers. I knew he was talking about Oyama Sensei but someone quickly replied,"Which one didn't defeat every challenger, how is it these guys never ran into each other?"

    A lot of Mas Oyama stories inspire you to train harder, to look for deeper levels and to really challenge yourself. The Bullfights, the challenge matches all over America, the 300 man kumite, etc.

    The year in the mountain training alone should draw us all into thinking of the value of our solo training. If you are not in a position to go to class for a variety of reasons why not run through some kata or kihon? Are you honestly going to get worse by starting up again? This is the only Oyama Sensei story that has a negative side. Oyama Sensei supposedly abandoned a pregnant girl friend who later became his wife to do this. Wrong, if true, no matter how great your karate, responsibilities first. Anything else is really anti-budo.

    The challenge matches in Thailand. Detail change about how high a level the Thai Boxers were and how many Kyokushinkai fighter won but I think everyone agrees they were the first Japanese Karateka to fight in Thailand under Thai rules. Talk about going outside your comfort zone.

    Then there are the stories that make us think about levels beyond where our current training takes place. Oyama Sensei said there was one opponent he could not defeat a Tai Chi master named Chen. Different people speculate this might actually be Kenichi Sawai Sensei of Tai Ki Ken (actually a Japanese interpretation of Hsing-i Chuan not Tai Chi Chuan). Some place I read where Mas Oyama told a reporter he did mean Kenichi Sawai one day then told him the next day it was Chen, and chuckled.
    Another story is Jon Bluming Sensei one of Oyama Sensei's toughest black belts breaking his fist punch Wang Su Jin in the stomach. Another story that talks of a higher level.
    So my point is this, actual martial arts history is full of uncertainties. Things we cannot know for sure, one way or another but stories are valuable if they:
    1. Inspire us to train harder
    2. Inspire us to train outside our comfort zone
    3. Inspire us to look to other arts with respect and interest.
    stories can be bad if they:
    1. lead us to be irresponsible human beings
    2. lead us to feel narrowly about other arts feeling our lineage has all the answers
    3. promote violence
    The choice is ours especially if we are adults. The story can be the same but what we get from it is up to us.
    Respectfully, Len McCoy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    96
    Likes (received)
    19

    Default

    Sorry lost my train of thought. Last negative about stories is if they can make us excessively reliant on our heritage. Simply put even if Mas Oyama Sensei was an unstoppable fighter I cannot rely on that to make me an unstoppable fighter. What I get is dependent on how hard I train. Anything else is the martial arts equivalent of my dad can beat up your dad.
    Respectfully,
    Len McCoy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    98
    Likes (received)
    21

    Default

    Dear Mr Mc Coy,

    You will find here after an interview of Jon Bluming who was introduced to Mas Oyama by Don Draeger. Bluming talks specifically about Mas Oyama starting from 4´40.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKS7HVIe29w
    Deception is one of Kenpo´s best technique.

    Väck ej björnen som sover


    Raphael Deutsch

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Argyll, Scotland
    Posts
    40
    Likes (received)
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by len mccoy View Post
    Simply put even if Mas Oyama Sensei was an unstoppable fighter I cannot rely on that to make me an unstoppable fighter.
    Quoted for truth!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tokorozawa, Japan
    Posts
    1,275
    Likes (received)
    18

    Default

    I recall reading about how a younger Choi Young-Eu (he was still using his Korean name back then) was defeated in judo by Taiji Kase. He then gave Kase his business card and stated that he was also a brown belt in karate under Funakoshi, to which the then 3rd dan Kase replied "Then why haven't I heard of you?"
    Andrew Smallacombe

    Aikido Kenshinkai

    JKA Tokorozawa

    Now trotting over a bridge near you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Argyll, Scotland
    Posts
    40
    Likes (received)
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew S View Post
    I recall reading about how a younger Choi Young-Eu (he was still using his Korean name back then) was defeated in judo by Taiji Kase. He then gave Kase his business card and stated that he was also a brown belt in karate under Funakoshi, to which the then 3rd dan Kase replied "Then why haven't I heard of you?"
    According to what I have read, Mas Oyama gained his 2nd dan in 1940 at the age of 17, this would have made him a young brown belt at that meeting.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    France
    Posts
    9
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew S View Post
    I recall reading about how a younger Choi Young-Eu (he was still using his Korean name back then) was defeated in judo by Taiji Kase. He then gave Kase his business card and stated that he was also a brown belt in karate under Funakoshi, to which the then 3rd dan Kase replied "Then why haven't I heard of you?"
    Considering their respective ages, and their respective beginnings in Shotokan karate, this seems, in my opinion, highly improbable.
    Emmanuel Betranhandy
    Paresse martiale (in french, my blog) - sometimes writing in Yashima & Dragon magazine spécial aïkido (journals in french also).

Similar Threads

  1. reality VS the myth
    By Old Dragon in forum Karate Archive
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 7th March 2004, 07:12
  2. The Jet Li Myth
    By Big in forum Member's Lounge
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 25th August 2003, 09:45
  3. is it myth or not??
    By seskoad in forum Sword Arts
    Replies: 60
    Last Post: 17th April 2003, 09:12
  4. Myth of the Samurai
    By Zoyashi in forum Koryu: History and Tradition
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 30th April 2002, 15:56

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •