Sosai Masutatsu Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin Karate, was a martial arts legend. His constant desire was to learn how to make his body and mind the strongest they could possibly be. A masterful teacher, Sosai Oyama helped thousands of students to build a strong, durable body, a flexible, agile mind, and a strength of spirit that was, and remains, a pinnacle of martial arts.

11 Mottos | Sosai Oyama

  • The Martial Way begins and ends with courtesy. Therefore be properly and genuinely courteous at all times.​
  • ​Following the Martial Way is like scaling a cliff. Continue upwards without rest. It demands absolute and unflattering devotion to the task at hand.
  • ​Strive to seize the initiative in all things, all the time guarding against actions stemming from selfish animosity or thoughtlessness.
  • Even for Martial Artists, the place of money cannot be ignored. Yet one should be careful never to become attached to it.
  • The Martial Way is centered on posture. Strive to maintain correct posture at all times.
  • In Martial Arts, introspection begets wisdom. Always see contemplation on your actions as an opportunity to improve.​
  • The nature and purpose of the Martial Way is universal. All selfish desires should be roasted in the tempering fires of hard training.
  • Martial Arts begin with a point and end in a circle. Straight lines stem from this principal.
  • The true essence of the Martial Way can only be realized through experience. Knowing this, learn never to fear its demand.​
  • Always remember; in the Martial Arts, the rewards of a confident and grateful heart are truly abundant.
sosai oyama in seiza

Dojo Oath | Values to Live By

The Kyokushin dojo kun was written by Mas Oyama with the help of Eiji Yoshikawa, the author of Musashi, a book about the life and times of Japan’s greatest warrior, Miyamoto Musashi. The book provided much of Mas Oyama’s inspiration during his mountain training days.

At the end of each training session, all students and instructors kneel in seiza in rank order. The chief instructor then designates someone, usually the most senior student, to recite the dojo oath in the local language or in Japanese. Each line is recited by the designated person, with pauses at the ends, and the entire class repeats the lines together.

  • We will train our hearts and bodies, for a firm unshaken spirit.
  • We will pursue the true meaning of the Martial Way, so that in time our senses may be alert.
  • With true vigor, we will seek to cultivate a spirit of self-denial.
  • We will observe the rules of courtesy, respect our superiors, and refrain from violence.
  • We will follow our spiritual paths, and never forget the true virtue of humility.
  • We will look upwards to wisdom and strength, not seeking other desires.
  • All our lives, through the discipline of Karate, we will seek to fulfill the true meaning of the Kyokushin Way.

​The oath is then concluded by the senior student, who says the following lines, with everyone responding with a bow and resounding OSU!

  • Shinza (shrine) ni REI
  • Sosai Oyama ni REI
  • Kancho/Hanshi/Shihan/Sensei/Sempai ni REI (once for each level of yudansha rank present)
  • Otagai ni REI
  • Keiko yame (training has finished)
  • Tatte kudasai (stand up).

Student responds with “Domo arigato gozai masita” (formal “thank you”) after Sosai, Shihan, Sensei, Otagai ni, etc.

Each student is expected to learn the meaning of budo and fighting spirit, as described in the dojo kun (oath). Each student is expected to learn to dojo kun in English and Japanese.