If Shinkyokushinkai is inheriting the true Kyokushin Karate and carrying on with its traditions, why do you change the name to Shin (新xin, new) Kyokushin-Kai (極真会jizhen hui), and why does your dogi spot a different kanji?


Sosai Masutatsu Oyama, founder of Kyokushin Karate (the martial art form, full-contact karate), also founded Kyokushinkai-Kan (the association) and International Karate Organization (IKO, the international administration and governing body Kyokushin Karate). Kyokushinkai-Kan and IKO can be thought as synonymous.

Soon after the death of Sosai Oyama in 1994, there were doubts surrounding the supposedly-appointed second-generation leadership of Kyokushinkai-Kan; these lead to rights and patent issues surrounding the use of the names Kyokushinkai-Kan and IKO. As a result, splinter groups formed and began to depart from the one body that Sosai Oyama founded; splinter groups even claimed the names Kyokushinkai-Kan and IKO, insisting that they are the real followers of Sosai Oyama and teaching true Kyokushin Karate. Besides splinter groups, there were even more senseis that formed their independent schools and spotting the same Kyokushinkai kanji on their uniforms.

As we all soon found out, rights and patents are commercial assets and all the politicking was for franchising Kyokushin Karate! Whatever happened to the training and development of Kyokushin Karate, and the virtues of dojo oaths we’ve been reciting? Kyokushin Karate was degenerating with all the breakups and quests for commercializing the Budo.

Looking at the state of affairs, Shinkyokushinkai decided that Kyokushin Karate should not be back-pedaling. We move on resolutely to form a new democratic organization, concerned with the advancement of Kyokushin Karate, and very importantly, being a Kyokushin Karate body that will not be commercialized. We boldly put the non-profit tenet in front of our organization name and operate by this legal requirement. We also established our Activity Policy distinctly so that this organization has a non-profit focus, remains democratic, socially-responsible and sustainable.

Resolved to move Kyokushin Karate forward in a new way, we reformed ourselves as Shinkyokushinkai. We changed the names and any assets that may embroil ourselves into lawsuits and squabbles. Rather than wasting time on unproductive debates, we would rather spend effort on training, keeping Kyokushin Karate affordable and developing further.

We can say assuredly that Shinkyokushinkai operates with the most sustainable organizational model; its objective of advancing Kyokushin Karate will not be disrupted by events, such as those that plagued the original IKO.

Looking at all the good works done by Shinkyokushinkai (see also question 3), and the forward-planning made by us, we take pride in the stuff that we are doing and naysayers will be convinced by our sincerity and actions, that we are probably most aligned to the vision that Sosai Oyama had!

Author: WKOSS