Sosai Masutatsu Oyama (10th Dan)
27th July 1923 ~ 26th April 1994
Creator of the International Karate Organization, Kyokushinkaikan, often referred to as “Power Karate” or “The Strongest Karate”, Sosai was a living legend right up to the early 1990’s.
Born on 27th June 1923, Sosai made his style of karate famous through various demonstrations and challenges across the USA and Japan. Sosai illustrated the power of his new karate by (amongst other feats of amazing speed and power) dehorning bulls with a single knife hand strike. Sosai is revered for his tameshiwari (breaking) techniques and many of his unqiue breaks such as cutting the top of a freestanding bottle, breaking large natural rocks, bricks and bending copper coins with his bare hands have rarely, if ever, been emulated.
Not only is Sosai famous for his unparalleled feats of tameshiwari, he was just as renowned for his fighting ability. One US journalist who saw him in one of his many challenge matches against all comers labeled the young Japanese/Korean karate-ka “Godhand”, a label which has stuck to this day.
In challenging other martial artists, Sosai fought with more than 270 men, most being defeated by a single ultimate punch. This is the very essence of Sosai karate: one strike, certain death.
Sosai lived life as an accomplished Budo-ka. He sadly passed away suddenly on the 26th April 1994. He left behind the legacy of Kyokushin karate, and after more than one decade of controversy and trial with regards to who should lead the International Karate Organization Kyokushinkaikan, Sosai’s family prevailed. Currently, Sosai’s daughter Ms Kuristina Kikuko Oyama 大山 久喜子 acts as custodian to Sosai’s Kyokushin Karate, which still operates at the Honbu (HQ) established by Sosai.