Monday, February 16, 2009

The Kyokushinkai Days.


When one thinks of Peter Urban, they usually equate him with Gogen Yamaguchi.
It is common knowledge that he also trained with Richard Kim and Masutatsu Oyama, however one rarely sees pictures from the days when he trained with them.

Here are Mas Oyama and Richard Kim.

I remember seeing Oyama's book What Is Karate?, at the NYC martial arts store Honda when I was a kid. Most GoJuKa of this generation don't realize that there are many pictures of Urban in this book. This is basically because the book has been out of print for many years. Long before the majority of you were even in the arts, or in many cases alive. However it is somtimes available at for hundreds of dollars.

This was back in the original days of the Kyokushinkai. Before it became so focused on competition. When it was a more "traditional," style, which is to say that there was more of an emphasis on kata, self defense and even weapons. Not to say that the brutal kumite was not being practiced, but you had a tendency to see more of the style publicly than just competition fighting. ( No slur meant on the Kyokushinkai style. It is still a fine system, just very competition oriented.)

Here is a pic of Sensei Urban utilizing the SuburiTo which is a heavy over sized version of the BoKken = wooden sword. This implement is used to develop strength in technique.

Here we have The Sensei utilizing the hand weights that were popular in martial arts training at the time.

Here The Sensei develops that gorilla like build that we all remember.

The Sensei served as uke in the segment of the book that dealt with female self defense.

The ladies of the Kyokushinkai were nothing to mess with, as The Sensei attests to in this pic.

Also in this pic.

And especially this pic...........OUCH!

Here The Sensei serves as uke for Masutatsu Oyama.

Besides studying with Nei Chu So, Gogen Yamaguchi, and Gichin Funakoshi, Oyama also trained in Daito Ryu AiKi Jutsu with Yoshida Kotaro.

Here, the AiKi Jutsu influence on KyokuShinKai is seen with The Sensei once again serving as Oyama's uke.

Also here, with the ever popular uke Urban.

Here The Sensei gets to show some of his own KyokuShiKai expertise. Urban's Uke is none other than GMstr. Shigeru Oyama, who later founded USA Oyama KaraTe.

And here, some more of KyokuShinKai's AiKi influence, executed by Urban. It is always interesting to dissect our style, and attempt to figure out which facets came from which of The Sensei's various teachers. I personally had the opportunity to cheat at this, as I was able to frequently ask him where things came from.

Special thanks to Renshi, Elias Boneros, for the use of his copy of this book, and to his Kohai Steve Trost, NiDan, for letting me spend all that time at his home scanning the pics. Also to the Trost family for putting up with me doing this until 2am.