Per Kamperin has been highly interested and involved in the practice and theory of Kyokushin karate for years. Kyokushin is a form of full contact karate. Translated from Japanese, Kyokushin means “the ultimate truth”. Kyokushin was founded by Masutatsu Oyama in 1964. It is based on a philosophy of self-improvement, hard training, and discipline and holds a large international appeal. Over twelve million people from all over the world practice the art of Kyokushin today.
Kyokushin training consists of three main elements: technique, form, and sparring. These elements are also known as the three “K’s”, with the Japanese terms for them being kihon, kata, and kumite.
Kihon (basic techniques)
Kihon in Japanese means “basics” or “fundamentals”. The Kihon is a set of basic techniques and moves created by Mas Oyama. These moves are meant to be carried out in a specific sequence using a specific stance. In order to completely grasp and master these techniques, it is said one must practice them 100 times a day.
The word kata in Japanese means “shape” or “form”. Kata involves teaching oneself a sequence of memorized movements that one might use during combat. The movements involve a series of blocks, punches and kicks in forward, backward and sideways directions. Kata is a very important part of Kyokushin training as it provides the individual with a knowledge of offensive and defensive techniques and teaches him the proper flow of movement and stances with the use of balance, concentration and coordination.
Kumite, which means fighting or sparring, is where individuals test the skills they learned in kata by going up against other karate students in fighting situations. The objective of kumite is not to cause injury to your opponent, but to work on successfully executing proper motions and strikes. Because of this, speed and control are crucial elements. The rules in tournament fighting are completely different as the objective is to efficiently take down an opponent. Hand and elbow strikes to the head or neck area are usually prohibited, while knee strikes, kicks to the head, and punches to the upper body are permitted. Full-contact kumite is the ultimate test of strength, technique, endurance, and spirit in Kyokushin karate.