Kyokushin Karate

Kyokushin Karate

Kyokushin training consists of three main elements: technique, forms, and sparring. These are sometimes referred to as the three "K's" after the Japanese words for them: kihon (basics), kata (Imaginary forms of Fight), and kumite (sparring).


Kata is a form of ritualized self-training in which patterned or memorized movements are done in order to practice a form of combat maneuverings. According to a highly regarded Kyokushin text, "The Budo Karate of Mas Oyama"[12] by Cameron Quinn, long time interpreter to Oyama, the kata of Kyokushin are classified into Northern and Southern Kata.

Sparring (kumite)

Sparring, also called kumite, is used to train the application of the various techniques within a fighting situation. Sparring is usually an important part of training in most Kyokushin organizations, especially at the upper levels with experienced students.

In most Kyokushin organizations, hand and elbow strikes to the head or neck are prohibited. However, kicks to the head, knee strikes, punches to the upper body, and kicks to the inner and outer leg are permitted. In some Kyokushin organizations, especially outside of a tournament environment, gloves and shin protectors are worn. Children often wear headgear to lessen the impact of any kicks to the head. Speed and control are instrumental in sparring and in a training environment it is not the intention of either practitioner to injure his opponent as much as it is to successfully execute the proper strike. Tournament fighting under knockdown karate rules is significantly different as the objective is to down an opponent. Full-contact sparring in Kyokushin is considered the ultimate test of strength, endurance, techniques and spirit. 


Also known as Goshin Jitsu, the specific self-defense techniques of the style draw much of their techniques and tactics from Mas Oyama's study of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu under Yoshida Kotaro. These techniques were never built into the formal grading system, and as kyokushin grew increasingly sport-oriented, the self-defense training started to fall into obscurity. Today it is only practiced in a limited number of dojos.


Colored belts have their origin in Judo, as does the training 'gi', or more correctly in Japanese, 'dōgi' or 'Keikogi'. The example below uses the rank structure used by Kyokushin Karate's West Los Angeles Branch although the order of belt colors does vary between Kyokushin groups

Kyu ranks


White beltMukyuWhite

Red Belt10th kyuRed

Red Belt9th kyuRed/Blue tag

Blue Belt8th kyuBlue

Advanced Blue Belt7th kyuBlue/Yellow tag

Yellow Belt6th kyuYellow

Advanced Yellow Belt5th kyuYellow/Green tag

Green Belt4th kyuGreen

Advanced Green belt3rd kyuGreen/Brown tag

Brown Belt2nd kyuBrown

Advanced Brown Belt1st kyuBrown/Black tag


Dan Ranks

DanRankGold stripe(s)

Shodan (初段 or しょだん)1stOne

Nidan (二段 or にだん)2ndTwo

Sandan (三段 or さんだん)3rdThree

Yondan (四段 or よんだん)4thFour

Godan (五段 or ごだん)5thFive

Rokudan (六段 or ろくだん)6thSix

Shichidan (七段 or しちだん)7thSeven

Hachidan (八段 or はちだん)8thEight

Kudan (九段 or きゅうだん)9thNine

Judan (十段 or ゅうだん)10thTen


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