17 December 2013

Baddest Motherfuckers Ever: Mas "Bare-Handed Slayer of Bulls" Oyama

You ever get so pissed off at a cow that you spend a couple of years in the woods beating inanimate objects to undeath, seething with rage that the fact that cows are just, you know, sitting there, chewing and pooping and mooing, living their lives without the slightest flicker of intelligence behind their big, wet, cow eyes, and then descend from the mountains and tear a swath trough the bovine community, knocking out ungulates like they raped your mom in a 7-11 while smiling at the security camera?


Me neither, but Mas Oyama did.

Well, at least, that's how the story goes.  In reality, Oyama just chopped the horn off a single pet ox one time after beating the confused animal for some time and the Japanophile press decided that Oyama was to become a fearless killer of horned, male ruminants.  Irrespective of how meaty-delicious animals Sosai Masutatsu Oyama killed barehanded in the name of his beloved karate, no one in their right mind will debate the fact that Mas Oyama was one bad motherfucker.

Born in Japanese-occupied Korea, which was an avowedly shitty place, Oyama was forced to move as a child to an even shittier place- what can only be described as hell on Earth, Japanese-occupied Manchuria.  Bear in mind that at this point Japanese soldiers raped anything that would hold still long enough to get their cocks into it in Manchuria during world war two, and the Japanese had a team of "doctors" in the same vein of medicine that the dude from Human Centipede was a "doctor" roaming the countryside in search of people on whom they could test theories that basically amounted to seeing how long it would take you to die if they sewed a dog's head into your groin in place of your cock.  After learning the rudiments of kempo from an itinerant worker who ostensibly hoped this would help a small boy retain the structural integrity of his anal sphincter, Oyama adopted the name "Oyama Masutatsu", which was a transliteration of an ancient Korean kingdom Oyama would knew would piss off the Japanese, and moved to Japan to piss off the Japanese even more.  From there, Oyama embarked upon what could only be described as a hate-fueled journey through Japan with only one goal- to shed as much Japanese blood as humanly possible with his bare hands.

So Nei Chu knew a thing or to about bringin' dat swole.

In Japan, Oyama started collecting black belts in every style of martial arts he could that no Knockout-obsessed gangbanger in the world would find himself with saggy pants if Oyama could help it.  After pulling down multiple-dan black belts in Okinawan and Shotokan karate, Oyama did the same in judo, studied boxing, and then happened upon another Korean ex-pat martial arts badass in the form of So Nei Chu.  A goju-ryu master, So Nei Chu was also a bit of a meathead, and began adding a great deal of strength training to the already stocky Oyama's training routine.  Under So Nei Chu, Oyama started focusing heavily on hojo undo, which are traditional Japanese kareteka strengthening exercises that include the use of barbells and more cinderblock lifting than you could possibly find in Marky Mark's Good Vibrations video.  Since I've already covered this and have not only never seen the implements but have never used them, check this shit out if you want a primer on hojo undo.

The really great man can only be produced through continuous heavy training.
-So Nei Chu

Yo!  It's about that time to bring forth the rhythm and the rhyme!

Discontented with his training and the fact that the people who fucked his people in the ear were now being fucked in the ear by gaijin, Oyama did what any sensible person would do and fled to the mountains.  There, he built a shack and proceded to train for 14 months in an effort to hone himself into the most brutal killing machine the world had ever seen, at least until the martial arts epic Gymkata was released.  After climbing the mountain on which the great unwashed asshole swordsman Mushashi penned The Book Of Five Rings,  Oyama proceded to build a shack in which he'd live for six months with one of his students and then another six months alone after his student peaced the fuck out (understandably) from stir-craziness.  Having spent a great deal of time building up his conditioning under So Nei Chu (who was also the financial backer for Oyama's homage to the Unibomber), Oyama spent twelve hours a day using trees as makiwara, riping the bark off trees with his fingers (a trick he learned from So Nei Chu, who learned it from the dude who invented their style), punching rocks, meditating under freezing waterfalls, channeling his inner Dean Karnazes for a shitload of trail running, and doing more stone and tree trunk lifting than a drunken Scot in the months before a Highland Games festival. Thus, when Oyama's funding ran out, he descended from the mountains a man with whom no part of nature wanted to fuck and handily destroyed the competition in an all-Japan karate competition.  Feeling like that simply wasn't enough awesome and filled with so much hatred for modern society that he even made Julius Evola wonder what the fuck had gotten up his ass, Oyama returned to the mountains for another 18 months of 12 hour a day training with no days off, because overtraining is fuck pussies and Oyama apparently gave less than zero fucks about Mark Rippetoe's eventual opinion on the matter.

Back in civilization, Oyama went back to doing what he did best- beating the brakes off everyone he could.  Before he founded his own school, Oyama was the assistant instructor at the home of goju-ryu with none other than Masahiko Kimura, legendary judoka who's one of the godfathers of modern mma.  Kimura and Oyama trained together constantly, and Oyama's physique was that much the better for it.  Kimura had by this point developed a pants-shittingly awesome practice we could all stand to adopt called "San-bai no Do-ryoku (Triple Effort)."  This method consisted of him just tripling the effort of his competition to ensure that he would never lose.  Having heard his opponents were training three hours a day, Kimura started training nine.  This, he believed, would turn him into a real life Ultron- he'd me insanely confident and virtually indestructible, as his mind and body would exist to do nothing other than to propel him onto victory.  Thus, this brutal lunatic would awake in the middle of the night to train, and lacking a hair shirt and a knotted whip, decided that as penance for a lackluster performance (after winning his first championship) he had to do 500 pushups, one kilometer of bunny hops and 500 karate strikes before hitting the hay.  At 5'6", 185 lbs, Kimura was pretty much unstoppable- he honed his throwing strength by practicing it on trees (ripping them out of the ground) and dragged Oyama through workouts like this:

Dem pecs.

Pushups or Hindu Push-ups- 1,000 
Bunny Hop- 1 km
Headstand- 3 x 3 Minutes
Judo Practice- 100 Throws
One-Arm Barbell Clean and Press- 15 Reps each side OR Bench Press- 3 Sets: 3, 2, and 1 Reps
Situps off Partner's Back or Decline Situps- 200 
Squats with Partner/Log/Barbell/Sandbag (150-200lbs)- 200 
Judo Practice- 100 Submissions
Shuto (Knife-hand Strikes)- 500
Judo Practice- 100 Entries
Judo Randori- "X" x 3 Minute Rounds
Practice Throws (particularly Uchi-mata) Against a Tree- 1 Hour
Additional Judo Practice- 1 Hour

According to a couple of sources, another influence on Oyama at this time was Japanese strongman Takemaru Wakaki.  Though I could not find much in the way of information on Wakaki, you can see he was a middleweight strongman and bridged the gap between the truly old schoolers (Saxon, Strongfort, Hackenschmidt, etc) and the Grimek era.  As such, the name of the game was volume, and Oyama's routines definitely reflected that.  Though he was about as reluctant to give a definitive program as the team for Half Life 2: Episode 3, here's what Oyama himself said he did on a daily basis in his seminal work, My Karate:

Running- 4km per day
Rope-skipping- 20 minutes per day
Dumbell shoulder press- 200 reps
Dips- 100 reps
Pushups (on knuckles)- 300 reps
Inclined push ups- 100 reps
Jumping side kick over 4 foot vaulting horse
Incline dumbell bench press- 200 reps
Bench Press (175 pounds)- 500 reps

Exercises requiring a partner:
Hitting bag with upper elbow and side of elbow- 200 times each
Practicing jumping kick with bag
Exercises for neck (with partner)
Leg exercise (squat with partner on back)
Back and Abdomen exercises with partner

Think it couldn't work?  Think again.  Oyama used this conditioning routine to found one of the first truly hybrid styles of the Far East, Kyokushinkaikan, a style in which you have to fight 100 guys in a row, bare knuckles, to achieve the highest belt status.  Oyama was the first to do so, and since then only 13 other people have managed to pull it off (and all of them went directly to the hospital, from what I understand).  Oyama is also alleged to have defeated over 270 opponents, and his one punch slaughter technique earned Oyama the nickname "The Godhand."  

If he hit you, you broke. If you blocked a rib punch, your arm was broken or dislocated. If you didn't block, your rib was broken.

I honestly don't know who was more excited in this pic, but I can tell you I am fully erect.

Thus, when it's not giving its best fighters rhabdo, Oyama's baby has given the world Bloodsport (Oyama invented the kumite), Street Fighters Ken and Ryu, Tekken's Jim Kazama, knockdown karate, K-1, Marius Pudzianowski (he's a European kyokushin champ), Dolph Lundgren (who was also a European kyokushin champ), just about every useful karate style ever, mixed martial arts (Oyama taught Kimura striking, and Kimura went on to beat Helio Gracie's ass in one of the first mma fights), and threw some big brass balls on the universe as a whole.  Thus, the next time you think you've done enough in training- think a-fucking again and find some way to do more.

Or imagine she will fuck you if you hit a 3.5x bodyweight raw squat.

Keaveney, Liam.  Mas Oyama.  Original link dead, but taken from British Karate Kyokushinkai
Magazine.  Excerpt from http://www.kyokushin4life.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6971&highlight=wakaki+takemaru&page=2

Kimura, Masahiko.  My Judo.  JudoInfo.  Web.  16 Dec 2013.  http://judoinfo.com/kimura2.htm

Mas Oyama.  Web.  17 Dec 2013.  http://www.mutekikyokushin.com/content_bio_masoyama.html

The Mas Oyama Workout.  Pierced Visions.  7 Jan 2010.  Web.  16 Dec 2013.

Ross, Steven.  Masahiko Kimura's Training.  Real Anime Training. 2 Apr 2013.  Web.  16 Dec 2013.  http://real-anime-training.blogspot.com/2013/04/judo-in-anime-and-manga-masahiko.html

Tsui, Dom.  Masahiko Kimua Training.  26 May 2011.  Web.  16 Dec 2013.  http://www.livestrong.com/article/455237-masahiko-kimura-training/

Young, Robert.  How Kyokushin Karate Master Kenji Yamaki Endured the 100-Man Kumite.  Black Belt.  25 Nov2013.  Web.  17 Dec 2013.  http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/traditional-martial-arts-training/kyokushin/how-kyukoshin-karate-master-kenji-yamaki-endured-the-100-man-kumite/


  1. Another fun article, thanks.

    For info', Kimura beat Helio Gracie, Royce's father.

  2. i think kyokushinkai's greatest contribution to the world has been, albeit indirectly (offshoot of an offshoot, iirc), kudo daido juku (initially considering itself "daido juku karate", but then abandoning the label as it moved away from krotty and more onto a san da/mma-esque sport):
    why is it so great? one: campy space helmets. two: HEADBUTTS :D (check out the headbutt knockdown at 0:36).

    also here's a good doco on goju-ryu by morio higaonna that has a lot of hojo undo stuff somewhere in the middle (higaonna himself is one hard bloke, albeit a very peaceful guy, from what i've seen. he literally has a big-ass rock in his dojo that he regularly strikes in a variety of ways with a smile on his face):

    some of the hojo undo bits here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1qKW5e-PPw

    and just because youtube showed it to me while looking for the above videos, here's the full gymkata movie for shits and giggles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYaNj_VBSKE :D

  3. Awesome post!

    Worth the title of baddest mother fucker too.

    'oyama apparently gave less than zero fucks about Mark Rippetoe's eventual opinion on the matter'
    - made me laugh out loud.

    When you going to gave an affliation program for your books? I enjoy your books and wouldn't mind promoting the shit out of them!!

  4. What's interesting is how few strikes that is. Imagine how long it would take you to throw 500 punches. Prossibly less than the squats.

  5. Stuff like this is why it makes me laugh whenever someone says that this or that martial art doesn't require any strength. Have a look at that old fart that founded aikido. At first glance he looks like any other scrawny little shit. Pay close attention to his wrists and you'll notice that they were bigger than most people's ankles. All the legendary martial artists have been guys who cross trained in various styles and lifted weights.

  6. Fucking unreal. This man makes almost every other human who's ever lived look like a wet vagina. You've given me a lot of reading, thanks for another awesome post dude.
    "If he hit you, you broke" fucking excellent!!

  7. I used to read one of his books in the library all the time back in my late teens and early 20s. What I found cool (about that particular book anyway) was that he never bragged about how good he was. He was a different breed of person, that's for sure.

  8. dude props for the evola reference

  9. Check out Fighter in the wind. Its a movie about Oyama

  10. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YB28WMv7wUE&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DYB28WMv7wUE

  11. How clever of you, Jamie, to post in breaking muscle under a pseudonym :-)
    2 articles about Oyama 2 weeks apart, coincidence or?

    1. Mother fucker!!!! He didn't even credit jamie in the references. Can't people come up with their own original ideas any more. When I release my training/nutrition Ebook Jamie Lewis is getting a big mention.

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