Kyokushin Karate

Kyokushin karate is the name of the full-contact knockdown karate system as given by the founder Masutatsu Oyama.

Kyoku 極? means ultimate and shin 真 means truth, reality. Therefore Kyokushin means υltimate truth. The meaning of truth herein refers to the discovery of oneself's character as defines bushido, rather than the meaning of truth in the western world. The deep understanding of Kyokushin requires deep involvement within the art.

One of the main goals of Kyokushin is the physical enhancement and character improvement through continuous challenging during vigorous training.

Kara 空 means empty and te 手 means hand. The basic definition of karate is empty hand. Historically, martial arts in Okinawa of Japanhave been known simply as te. Due to high influence from chinese kempo, the Okinawan martial arts eventually have become known as the hand of China (Tote/Tode). The kanji character Tō 唐 means China and Te 手 meaning hand. However, the character Tō 唐 (China) can be read homophonically as kara. But kara with character 空 means empty. Homophonic replacement of characters with others of different meaning is quite common in the Japanese language. The first documented homophonic replacement of characters that form the word karate is in the essay Karate Kumite of Chomo Hanashiro, 1905, an interpretation with which consented famous teacher Gichin Funakoshi.

Therefore, central concept to Karate is that it is about a self-defence art in which no weapon is used but only empty hands or legs. Additionally, it symbolizes that apart from perfecting their martial art, practitioners should empty the heart and mind of any thoughts in vain. Karate is the martial art that left the sword behind. This is beyond the concept of victory or defeat, but peaceful coexistence of people.