Masutatsu Oyama, born in Korea in 1923, began studying Korean kempo at the age of nine. He graduated from middle school in Seoul and came to Japan to study at an aviation school, in 1938. He first undertook to master Kodokan judo, but later switched to karate, in which he made such amazing progress that at 17 he was second dan (grade) and at 22, fourth dan. While he was enrolled at the Takushoku University, he was drafted into the military.
In 1947, immediately after the War, Oyama won the All-Japan Karate Championship and then retired to the mountains where he lived alone practicing strict physical and psychological discipline. When he returned to civilization, for the want of sufficiently powerful opponents, he decided to do battle with wild animals.
In 1952, he travelled to America to represent the karate world of Japan. While there, he proved to thousands of people in over 200 exhibitions how astounding the power of karate is. He also set a new. record for undefeated contests with some of America's most noted boxers and wrestlers. When he returned to Japan, in 1953, he engaged in unarmed. battle with a bull sporting horns four inches in diameter. After a fierce struggle, Oyama snapped one of the, bull's horns off at the root. This feat of strength amazed the entire world, but it was only the beginning of a long series of such thrilling contests for -Oyama. In his lifetime, he has battled 52 bulls. He has dealt sudden death to 3 of them and has broken the horns off of 48. No other man has ever surpassed his record for smashing a stack of 30 roofing tiles or two bricks with a single blow.
Through writing books on the subject and through training young karate men all over the world Masutatsu Oyama has introduced this exciting martial art to over 350 thousand people in 180 training halls in 43 nations.
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