Sensei Kristen O’connor

Dojo Operator Rumford Maine

Tsuyoshi Hiroshige, Kyokushin-kan Fuku-Kancho (Vice-Chairman)

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Sensei Eric Gilbert

Dojo Operator Edenton North Carolina

Hiroto Okazaki, Vice Honbu Chief, Kyokushin-kan

The Vice-Chairman (Fuku-Kancho) of Kyokushin-kan, Hiroshige Tsuyoshi was born in Japan on November 1st, 1947. From a young age, spiritual discontent led him on a search that finally ended when he began his study of budo karate at the age of 25. As a high school student Hiroshige had excelled as a handball player. In 1966 at the age of 19, he began working for Honda and ultimately worked for a total of three companies before ending his career as a “salary man” to become an Uchi Deshi (live-in disciple) of Mas Oyama.

Hiroshige began his training at Kyokushinkaikan So-Honbu Dojo in June of 1972. Three years later he entered Mas Oyama’s Waka Jishi Ryo (Young Lions Dormitory) where he became Dormitory Chief responsible for overseeing the activities of younger uchi deshi. At the unheard-of late age of 28 Hiroshige began tournament fighting with his debut in the 8th All-Japan Tournament. After this tournament he supplemented his karate training with Ikken, and took 7th place in the next year’s 9th All-Japan tournament. Hiroshige then went on to take 4th place in the 10th All-Japan tournament, and 5th place in the 11th All-Japan Tournament. In 1979 he represented Japan as a member of the 2nd World Open Karate Tournament team.

In June of 1978, Hiroshige founded the Jonan Branch of Mas Oyama’s Kyokushinkaikan in Tokyo, and there, due to his original teaching style, emphasis on hard training, and special attention paid to special characteristics of each potential fighter, he made three successive world champions, Midori Kenji in 1991, Yamaki Kenji in 1995 and Tsukamoto Norichika in 1999. Since the World Tournament was only held once every four years, this means that Hiroshige’s students remained world champions for 12 years. Additionally, Hiroshige made All-Japan champions, Kazumi Hajime and Takaku Masayoshi.

Hiroshige coached the Japanese Kyokushinkaikan World Cup team for the Paris competition in 1998, and the Japanese team for the 7th World Open Karate Tournament in 1999.

In December of 2002, Hiroshige left Kyokushinkaikan, and founded Kyokushin-kan together with Royama Hatsuo with the intention of reviving Kyokushin Karate to the status that it held during Mas Oyama’s lifetime.

Kyokushin-Kan International Leadership

Kyokushin-Kan National Organization

Akio Koyama was born in August of 1958 in Tottori Prefecture, Japan. At the age of 21 he begain training at Ikebukuro’s Kyokushinkaikan So-Honbu. Afterwards he transferred to Royama Dojo in Saitama and became Royama Kancho’s first uchi deshi dormitory chief. After learning the essense of budo karate at Royama Dojo, Koyama founded Kyokushinkaikan’s Sanin Branch. In December of 2002, he resigned from the Kyokushinkaikan along with Hatsuo Royama and Tsuyoshi Hiroshige and helped to create Kyokushin-kan, where he was made Honbu Chief.

Sensei Pascal Ntirampeba

Branch Chief Texas

Tsuyoshi Hiroshige, Kyokushin-kan Fuku-Kancho (Vice-Chairman)

Hiroto Okazaki was born in April of 1961 in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. From his first year in middle school he began his practice of Kyokushin Karate and upon graduating from high school he entered Royama Dojo and became an uchi deshi. He recieved Royama training since the time he was in Saitama Branch and after learning the essense of Royama’s karate, he founded Kyokushinkaikan’s Fukushima Branch. He also practiced Koryo Karate and Iaido for many years and he is known as an expert of kata. In December of 2002, he resigned from the Kyokushinkaikan along with Hatsuo Royama, Tsuyoshi Hiroshige and Akio Koyama, and helped to create Kyokushin-kan, where he was made Vice Honbu Chief.

Hatsuo Royama was born in Saitama, just north of Tokyo, in 1948. Inspired by a country-wide boom in popularity of celebrity fighters and wrestlers, he traveled to Ikebukuro at the age of 15 and entered Mas Oyama’s legendary “Oyama Dojo” where his Kyokushin Karate was being born. Having trained there at the birthplace of Mas Oyama’s Kyokushin, Kancho Royama was one of a very few of Mas Oyama’s students to still be closely affiliated with Mas Oyama’s organization from so close to the beginning all the way until Mas Oyama’s death in 1994.

Kancho Royama rose to some notoriety when, at the age of 25, he became champion of Kyokushin’s 5th All Japan Tournament, and later when he defeated the American, Charles Martin, a giant who stood nearly a foot taller (about 30 cm) than himself, in the 1st World Open Karate Tournament in 1975. This young prodigy of Mas Oyama then went on to a historic finish in that 1st World Open Tournament, when a split-decision was finally broken by the tournament judges in the final match and 1st place was given to Katsuaki Sato, leaving Kancho Royama with no choice but to accept 2nd place. The day following the tournament when more than a few fighters entered the hospital for injuries sustained during the competition, Kancho Royama attended his usual training.

No one who knows Kyokushin Karate today can hardly separate the style from its devastatingly powerful low shin kick. Not everyone knows, however, that it was Kancho Royama who made this technique famous. At the early World Tournaments the Japanese would hear the foreigners yell, “Low kick! Low kick!,” and since the pronunciation of “R” in Japanese is so similar to “L”, it was an honest mistake for them to hear “Ro kick! Ro kick!” instead, believing that even the foreigners had named this technique after the first Japanese fighter to make it famous. After all, it was with Kancho Royama that all of Japan had associated the introduction of this bone-breaking technique ever since they’d watched him break down Charles Martin in the 1st World Tournament with one destructive low shin kick after another.

PORT SAINT LUCIE

Hatsuo Royama, Kyokushin-kan Kancho (Chairman)

KYOKUSHIN

Sensei Dagmar Borges

Dojo Operator Orlando Florida