“One becomes a beginner after one thousand days of training and an expert after ten thousand days of practice. ~Mas Oyama~”
Masutatsu Oyama was born July 27th, 1923.
Mas Oyama’s History
Mas Oyama was not actually his birth name. He was born as Choi Young-Eui in Gimje, South Korea.
Oyama started studying martial arts at the age of 9 from a Chinese farmer. (he was sent to live on his sister’s farm)
A few years later he decided to train as a pilot like his idol (one of the first japanese fighter pilots) and moved to Japan in 1938.
From what we can tell it was around this time that he changed his name.
When pilot training didn’t work out he began to focus again on his Karate training and made vast progress, in fact by the age of 17 he already reached 2nd dan level.
When he joined the Japanese Army a couple of years later he was a fourth dan.
When the Japanese army was defeated it was a tough time for the young man, however he decided he would dedicate his life to Karate.
He spent considerable time training in solitude in the mountains. The accounts of the type of training he took upon himself included
- Breaking rocks with his hands
- Jumping over growing flax plants
- Enduring freezing waterfalls
- Using trees as punching bags
When he finally came out from the mountains, he was a highly confident, extremely skilled Karate expert capable of almost anything.
Around 1950 was when he began giving demonstrations of his amazing skills by taking on bulls.
Some he would kill instantly, others he would break off their horns and wrestle them to the ground.
Mas Oyama vs Bull
Note: We don’t agree with injuring animals for any reason, however this is historical footage and relevant to the article
He did a series of demonstrations throughout the USA in 1952 and took on all comers, often ending fights with one destructive punch.
He opened his first “Dojo” in 1953, in Tokyo, Japan.
What Was His Superpower?
He was considered the living example of the Japanese warrior’s maxim “One strike, certain death.”
With just one punch he could win most fights, and actually killed outright three bulls.
At one point he fought 300 men over 3 days in what is called a kumite.
Legend has it he wanted to continue onto day 4, however none of his opponents were willing to be beaten up any further!
What Can We Learn From Him?
We can learn focus. Most of us can not comprehend what it must be like to spend years training in isolation on a barren mountain.
It is best summed up in his own words.
“If someone asked me what a human being ought to devote the maximum of his life to, I would answer: training. Train more than you sleep.”
What Is Mas Oyama Doing Now?
Even though he was never a smoker he passed away on April 26 1994, at the age of 70 from lung cancer.
His influence is still alive today. As a direct result of his accomplishments, if you want to achieve your fourth dan blackbelt in Kyokushinaki Karate, you need to fight 100 men in a row.
Genetic or Learned Superpower
His Superpower came from the intense discipline and training that he subjected himself to over his lifetime.
Links and Videos of Mas Oyama
Real Fights Of Mas Oyama
Note: Image used is via Wikipedia and is in the Public Domain