Masutatsu (‘Mas’) Oyama was the founder of the KYOKUSHIN system of martial arts. After studying several martial arts styles in Korea, China and Japan, Mas Oyama found that none offered what he felt was the ‘true’ way. He began practicing alone, and developed his own training, fighting methods and philosophy.
Because Mas Oyama's technique was so powerful and realistic, he gained widespread recognition in Japan, and soon a huge following of would-be students around the world wanting to follow what they coined as "The Strongest Karate". Mas Oyama named his system, KYOKUSHIN™ which translates to “The True Way” or “The Ultimate Truth”, and his legacy began. The International Karate Organization Kyokushin Kaikan was established in 1964, and has evolved into a global network of karate practitioners numbering over 12million in 125 countries.
Sosai (founder) Mas Oyama is credited as originating the "full-contact" style of karate. Since it's inception, Kyokushin has directly spawned thousands of martial arts champions. Indeed full-contact knockdown fighters of today can trace their current methodology in some way to the success of Kyokushin.
Mas Oyama passed away in April 1994 in Tokyo, Japan. Before his untimely death, he named his favorite student and long-time protege, Shokei Matsui to succeed him as Director of the IKO Kyokushinkaikan. The IKO Kyokushinkaikan "Honbu", World Headquarters, are continuously operating in Tokyo, Japan.