Kyokushin kaikan, also known as "Knockdown Karate," is a stand-up, full-contact style of fighting that was founded in 1964 by a Japanese-Korean karate master. Unlike many traditional martial arts, Kyokushin training emphasises realism, physical toughness and practicality for use in real-world combat situations. Philosophically, Kyokushin encourages self-improvement and self-discipline. An influential style, Kyokushin has inspired other styles of full-contact fighting. Some famous practitioners of Kyokushin kaikan include the actor Dolph Lundgren and Dutch MMA fighter, Bas Rutten. Training in Kyokushin consists of three basic elements; forms, technique and sparring.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Training materials such as books or DVDs
- 10 foot by 10 foot area to train in
- Loose fitting clothes
- Protective gear
- Sparring partner
Learn the basic techniques of Kyokushin, either from an instructor or on your own from books or training DVDs. Concentrate on stances and footwork first. Once you are comfortable with that incorporate kicks, punches and other hand strikes. Kyokushin fighting is based on hard direct kicks and hand strikes. Striking surfaces include the heel of the hand, the first two knuckles, the ball of the foot and the blade of the shin. Practice your strikes regularly on a heavy bag or a wooden dummy in order to toughen up these parts of your body.
Study and learn the basic katas of Kyokushin. Among these are the Ura katas as well as the Southern and Northern katas. Katas will give you a better overall grasp of basic techniques of Kyokushin. This will serve you well as you continue your journey in Kyokushin karate training.
Practice sparring with a partner. Kyokushin training is meant to be realistic and full-contact. For this reason it's best to wear protective gear at first and then gradually to strip it away piece by piece until you are comfortable sparring with bare knuckles and feet. In some cases it is acceptable to spar with gloves and chin protection. Avoid hand and elbow strikes to the head and neck as these are prohibited and dangerous. Develop speed in your sparring but practice control.
Tips and warnings
- Kyokushin draws elements from such other martial arts as Muay Thai, Goju Ryu and Shotokan. Studying these forms will compliment and enhance your skills as a Kyokushin fighter.
- Avoid hand strikes to the face and head, these can be dangerous and are technically not permitted in Kyokushin training. Also be wary of kicks to the face and head as when landed successfully they can be extremely dangerous.
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