"Masutatsu Oyama (1923-1994) was
the acclaimed Kyokushinkai founder and martial arts Grandmaster who was born
in South Korean. He began studying Shoto-Kan with Giko Funakoshi, the
second son of Master Gichin Funakoshi, who introduced Karate to Japan and
Okinawa. He also studied Goju-ryu from Mr. Neichu So. Mas, as he
was called, was well known for his incredible feats of strength, and
endurance. His acclaim reached near mythic proportions when, in order to
demonstrate the true power and effectiveness of Karate, he fought and killed
bulls with his bare hands. Mas, who was referred to as "The Godhand",
worked tirelessly to spread the philosophy of Karate
throughout Asia, and the world.
In 1958 Mas Oyama published his first book, "What is
Karate", the same year the American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr., published his first book, "Stride Toward Freedom: The
Montgomery Story". Seeing these two events together, during this
era, any reference to Africa as the birthplace of the martial arts would not
have prompted research or study. Regardless of this, Mas Oyama did write
that, "The oldest records we have
concerns unarmed combat on hieroglyphics from the Egyptian pyramids...".
Mas Oyama mentions the location as "Bein" Hasan. From his
brief references it would appear that somewhere, at some time, these findings
were the subject of detailed study, even though some information related by
Oyama was inaccurate (the paintings exist in rock tombs instead of Egyptian
In addition to his writing about Africa
as the birthplace of the martial arts, which was a bold step at that time, Mas
Oyama is photographed in a stance that links his martial art to Africa.
These pictures are found in the introductory pages of both "What is
Karate?", and the reprinted follow-up book, "This is Karate".
Mas Oyama is standing in a salutary and spiritual stance that was well known
throughout ancient Egypt, or "Kemet" which is the correct term for
that place called Egypt. In Oyama's stance, the left foot is forward and
both hands are raised, with the palms facing out. Some people believe
that this stance means, "I have no weapons". However, in the
tradition of ancient Kemet, the left foot going forward was symbolic of
truthfullness and the intent of the heart (which is on the left side of the
body) to go forward with righteousness and stamp out evil. It is
interesting to note that western military cadence, emphasizes
"left-right-left" in their drills. The left foot also
symbolizes the left side of the brain which brings to the pineal gland, the
creative impulse. The hands are raised in the symbol of the Kemetic medu
neter "ka". In other African cultures, the hands are an extension of the heart. They
are influenced by the quality of the heart. In showing our hands, we
show our heart. These are the African traditions and meaning of this
Illustration Copyright 2001
Nijart International. All rights reserved.
The following is exerpt from the book
published by CFW Enterprises titled
"BKF Kenpo - History and Advanced Strategic Principles".
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