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Mas Oyama on the martial arts

Intro

Sosai Masutatsu Oyama, the founder of kyokushin karate, summed up his entire martial arts philosophy in these eleven mottoes, also known as the Zayu no Mei Juichi Kajo, which are central in his teaching.

Zayu No Mei Juichi Kajo

  • The martial way begins and ends with courtesy. Therefore, be properly and genuinely courteous always. 
  • Following the martial way is like scaling a cliff—continue upwards without rest. It demands absolute and unfaltering devotion to the task at hand. 
  • Strive to seize the initiative in all things, all the time guarding against actions stemming from selfish animosity or thoughtlessness. Always strive to be the best while maintaining your humanity. 
  • Even for the martial artist, the place of money cannot be ignored. Yet one should be careful never to become attached to it. The love of money is the root of all evil. 
  • The martial way is centered in posture. Strive to maintain correct posture always. 
  • The martial way begins with one thousand days and is mastered after ten thousand days of training. Attaining the martial way is a lifelong struggle. 
  • In the martial arts, introspection begets wisdom. View contemplation of your actions as an opportunity to improve. 
  • The nature and purpose of the martial way is universal. All selfish desires should be roasted in the tempering fires of hard training. 
  • The martial arts begin with a point and end in a circle. You don’t work toward a goal, you grow outward until you reach the goal. 
  • The true essence of the martial way can only be realized through experience. Knowing this, learn never to fear its demands. 
  • Always remember: in the martial arts, the rewards of a confident and grateful heart are truly abundant.

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