Guardian Dojo - Kyokushin Karate & Kickboxing

Kyokushin Karate, Origins

What is Kyokushin?

Kyokushin” is comprised of two Japanese words, Kyoku (ultimate) and shin (reality or truth from within). Kyokushin is a full-contact bare-knuckle style of karate.

At one level, Kyokushin Karate is a discipline through which practitioners may find clues to assist them in their own spiritual development and self-exploration. As a martial art it encompasses philosophical considerations of life and death, struggle and survival. It is a practical form of self-defense, emphasizing (at the initial stages) kicks, punches, blocks and body movement. It is an intense physical activity, which directly benefits mental conditioning. It is characterized by requiring strenuous training, conditioning and realistic contact while sparring. Kyokushin karate-ka believes this contact is necessary in order to fully appreciate the resiliency of the human body and spirit and to prepare for any serious confrontation.

Kyokushin Karate is not simply a form of self-defense or exercise that happens to involve kicking and punching. The distinguishing characteristic of martial arts, including Kyokushin Karate, is the central role accorded spiritual development.

A true karate-ka takes the physical skills, discipline and power of concentration developed at the dojo and applies them to work, family and social life. In this way, karate is integrated into the fabric of our lives, not kept separate. So, we can say that the way of karate is the way of everyday life.

The discipline of Kyokushin Karate, in particular, demands that the practitioner push the bounds of his or her physical and mental abilities to expand the individual’s self-knowledge and spiritual awareness. A multitude of challenges await the Kyokushin karate-ka: training is intensely physical, culminating (at a more advanced level) in realistic fighting and self-defense practice. Absolute concentration and mental focus must be developed to overcome fear, fatigue and distraction; only in this way can the karate-ka avoid the real danger of injury inherent in the training activities.

These challenges comprise the foil on which the Kyokushin karate-ka sharpens his or her resolve. In rising to meet them, the karate-ka initiates and perpetuates a process of self-discovery and personal growth. It is that process that constitutes the essence of Kyokushin Karate.

It should be clearly understood that the spirit of Kyokushin Karate is to fight to overcome oneself, and not others.

Some Aspects of Kyokushin Karate Training

Kyokushin Karate emphasizes the individual’s spiritual development rather than winning or losing in accordance with a set or arbitrary rules. The measurement of an individual’s performance in relation to others is immaterial; the concern is always with the practitioner’s progress in facing and overcoming his or her own individual limitations, fears, doubts, etc.

Cooperation, not competition, is the key word. Those who have more should share with others, giving advice and encouragement. The real competition is with oneself. The only requirement is that one gives the absolute best effort at all times.

When viewed exclusively in the context of combat, and training for combat, it will initially appear that limitations are primarily related to the individual’s size, strength, weight, age or speed. Only over time do the more fundamental, self-imposed limitations inherent in the individual’s self-definition become apparent and, consequently, resolvable. Confidence, determination, focus and intensity develop from the individual’s struggle with those experiences, both in and out of the dojo.

Although an individual will have to attain a certain level of physical fitness and social maturity before the practice is safe and beneficial, everyone has the ability to achieve these states and prepare themselves for instruction in Kyokushin Karate.

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