View Full Version : Regarding Oyama Sensei...

27th February 2003, 02:54
Sorry, I don't want to start a flame war here but...
A picture says a thousand words.
Taken from Oyama's book, "What is karate?"

27th February 2003, 03:00
The picture was too big.

27th February 2003, 12:45
How would those pictures start a flame-war?

The first was Oyama posing with a bull (marked for slaughter) that he chopped the entire horn from it's head.

The second picture is a bottle breaking. The secret is if the bottle isn't weighted with water, the whole bottle will fly off. I have slow motion video and experience to know that.

27th February 2003, 14:58
I just didn't want to start something between the believers
and the non believers.
Oyama was one of the reasons why I started karate.

Budoka 34
27th February 2003, 17:36
My first instructor was Robert Fabrey of Sharpsville Pa.. He was a student of Mas Oyama and Shigeru(sp?)Oyama. He used to tell stories about Mas Sensei breaking ice, killing bulls, and catching swords between his hands.
Fabrey's claim to fame was in breaking ice, bats with his shin, and pains of glass linedup together, which I witnessed on several occasions.
He never consisder these tricks or showing off, they were demonstrations of proper technique and mental focus.

His stories of both Oyama Sensei and his teaching fueled my MA fire for many years.


28th February 2003, 22:57
Exaggeration is nothing new in the MAs. Look at all the old stories of the "Masters". Regardless of whether or not you feel that some hyperbole was included with Oyama's exploits, you have to admit he was a committed and great karateka. Kyokushinkai is a more sound fighting art than most karate out there. Its offshoots Enshin, Ashihara, Seidokaikan and ShidoKan are the epitome of Japanese karate. There are many Kyokushinkai members in my sensei's organization, and they are awesome!

I use to refer to Kyokushin as a new Shotokan, but after seeing them for reals I've changed my mind. Very external, but damn, the internal effects are devastating. Their use of Taisabaki is superb! Mas Oyama is one of the greatest karate masters of the 20th century. PERIOD.

Bryan Cyr

1st March 2003, 00:26
Originally posted by Amphinon
How would those pictures start a flame-war?

The first was Oyama posing with a bull (marked for slaughter) that he chopped the entire horn from it's head.

The second picture is a bottle breaking. The secret is if the bottle isn't weighted with water, the whole bottle will fly off. I have slow motion video and experience to know that.

The picture doesn't show him chopping the horm of the bulls head, it shows a bull bleeding and without a horn. What this says or doesn't say about kyokushinkai, I do not know, but it isn't a picture I'd wish my name to appear, even if it were a show of focus and centering, it is an ugly photo.

Markded for slaughter or not, some just won't find that picture amusing. At the least, it shows a complete disregard for the life of an animal which soon would be on someone's dinner table. The Talmud (the first five books of the old testament) say we should feed the animals before we feed ourselves. It isn't a new sentiment.

There are people who just generally find it to be cruel and heartless, and cutting the horn, whether by saw or by one's hand, will cause flame wars in some places if not here, then elsewhere.


1st March 2003, 02:23
I see your point. I apolgize if it offended you in any way.

Like it or not, this part of karate's past.
Every culture has a dark history. I see it the same way that
the sword makers tested their blades on human bodies.
Live or deceased. I admire the craftsmanship and quality
of the blade but there is no respect for the dead.

I would not condone a demonstration like this in this day and age,
but you must keep in mind, the mind set of the people and the
time this was done in. Animals had no rights. I'm asian and I
have no problem with people eating dogs, cats or horses, but to
alot of westeners, this would not be appetizing.

Even today, I see many "artists" use students to hold/prop
apples, watermelons or cucumbers while they use a sharp sword
to demonstrate their skill. I personally find this disrespecful
toward the student.

I admire the skill and dedication Oyama had.
Again, I apologize to all who find distaste in this photo.


Gene Williams
1st March 2003, 02:37
Hi, It is disrespectful to the sword. To heck with the student! Gene

4th March 2003, 12:19

No disrespect, but there is video of him doing these things, If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the video.

Bull Video (http://www.myroken.com/videos/OyamaBull1.avi)
Bull Video 2 (http://www.myroken.com/videos/OyamaBull2.avi)
Breaking River Rock (http://www.myroken.com/videos/OyamaRock.avi)

Plus in addition, these videos were taken in the early 50's.

You'd think that there would be more of an uproar about the running of the bulls and that practice rather than focusing on something one man did 50 years ago - even more so now since he is dead.

Incidently, both videos I posted links too are clips from the actual footage. When he (Oyama)has his right hand under his ribcage with the look of pain on his face, that is the location he was gore by the horn of that bull.

5th March 2003, 02:43
It is only the picture that offends, the act was just plain silly. I think with PETA and other animal right organizations around, it might get that type of reaction.

I've seen the clips of what Oyama has done as a Pro-rassler and this surly does fit in that arena.

I just changed my mind. It's offensive because it is silly.


(I really have seen those clips. I also didn't mean to turn the thread from the title post, it was more a warning to you of people who really may get a bit POd if/when they see it).

Go on and ignore my comments but (thank you for your concern) it just portends of what may come..or not.

5th March 2003, 12:26
I agree that nowdays it seems that people are overly sensitive. You have PETA and their activists all over the news as of late. The problem I have with PETA is they act like vigilanties.

If PETA has a problem with something that happened 50 years ago, they might as well start boycotting Kyokushin schools.

And while they're at it, boycott the Kentucky Derby (some of those horses are treated better than humans) and protest the domestication of animals that are beasts of burden. Heck, we have been eating meat even much longer. As far as I'm concerned, PETA is nothing more than skinheads (sorry if I offended any skinheads out there :D )!

Over sensitivity is what has lead to the demise of the modern martial art. It is hard work that develops the martial artist. Now, all that most martial arts schools seem to turn out are people with no idea of control, honor, discipline, or for that matter - how to take a hit, roll with the punch. Parents sign their kids up and a school turns into a Black Belt selling machine.

Then these "Black Belts" get out into the real world and discover the inadequacies. They do something stupid, and Martial Arts is deemed ineffective. We all take the hit for the McDojo's around the world.

I hardly think that any true Martial Artist would question the legitamacy of Mas Oyama and Kyokushin.

How did get into this quagmire? More impotantly, can we get out?

Gene Williams
5th March 2003, 17:30
David, thanks for a good post.The first two karate books I ever bought were "This Is Karate", by Mas Oyama, and "Karate: The Art of Empty Hand Fighting," by Nishiyama and Brown! My very first karate lesson was with a KK guy and he taught very good traditional martial arts. I don't know how Oyama got dragged into this mess. I may have said before that the best performance of Jion I ever judged was by a KK guy. That was over fifteen years ago and I still remember it. To hell with PETA and all that stuff. Anyone who is afraid of the sight of blood, their own or anyone else's, does not need to be practicing martial arts. And you are correct in your assessment of the overall state of MA in the US. Gene

Bruce Mitchell
5th March 2003, 21:03
A couple of years ago there was an autobiographical article in the Asian Journal of Martial Arts which featured Don Blumming, of Kyokushin and Judo fame. In that article Mr. Blumming asserts that the bulls horns had been loosened with hammer blows (not hammerfist blows, but a real iron hammer) so that Oyama could "chop" them off. Mr. Blumming says that he tried to convince his teacher to discard these tapes and photos.

Is Mr. Blumming not telling the truth? That is not for me to decide, but for those who are interested, it's worth checking out.

For my part I think that Oyama Sensei was an incredible martila artist, who developed an amazing powerful and effective system (the first art I studied was Ashihara Karate, a Kyokushin offshoot), but the bullfighting and such are more like carnival fare for the masses. search the cable channels for a rodeo show and you can see guys bringing down bulls barehanded all the time. I'm still impressed with how Oyama did it, but it doesn't show us anything about him as a teacher or martial artist, just as a strongman.

5th March 2003, 21:24
I don't know. You can knock horns off using a 2x4 or hammer so maybe someone skilled in tamishiwara could do it, Like I said I don't know.

We cut them off with a dehorning tool. I grew up on a farm.

The 2x4 story comes from hearing a story about the killing floor at meat packing company that my dad worked at.

Gene Williams
5th March 2003, 23:39
I agree, there was a lot of showmanship, but many very accomplished martial artists have been guilty of that. Oyama's karate was top notch, though, and his Kyokushin style has maintained its integrity pretty well. I think some of them have gone a little overboard with breaking feats and full contact fighting. When I was coming along, the KK guys were known for their outstanding kata practice. Remember Dirk Mosig and Don Collier? There was a KK guy, a welder, who used to visit our dojo a couple of times a year when he was on a union job at a plant near us. His Tensho would stop a hockey match. Made me want to quit doing the kata. Anyway, I don't see as much KK as I used to. I miss those guys. Gene

6th March 2003, 12:10
Regarding th article about loosening the horns...

Anything is possible. Since these bulls were marked for slaughter, maybe they were loosened up. I agree that during the time period that this happened, Martial Artist were doing things to draw attention to them and their art.

Trying for a World Record doesn't mean that your art is any less legitamate.

Even if the horn loosening was true, it wouldn't matter to most people.