Osu! Welcome to Central Florida Kyokushin’s website. Here you will find more information regarding Kyokushin and the Central Florida Kyokushin dojo. We look forward to training with you.

Current Class Schedule:

About Kyokushin

Kyokushin is a style of stand-up, full contact karate, founded in 1957 by Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama.  In 1953 he initially began teaching Karate under Oyama Dojo where he taught a form of Goju-Ryu.  Sosai Oyama was born in Korea but lived Japan and attained his knowledge of the arts through training in several styles of martial arts, including Kempo, judo, Gōjū-ryū and Shotokan karate.  He was a former student of Shotokan, under Gichin Funakoshi, in which he obtained the rank of 4th Dan.  Not to mention also having the ranks of 7th Dan in Gōjū-ryū Karate and 4th Dan in Judo. Sosai used his knowledge of the martial arts to create his own style, which he named Kyokushin in 1964.  Kyokushin means “the ultimate truth” in Japanese. Kyokushin was developed from the determination of the pursuit of ultimate truth of mind, technique, and body.  It is rooted in a philosophy of self-improvement, discipline and hard training.  Oyama believed karate practice should include intense, rigorous training methods and realistic fighting.  

In Kyokushin Karate the focus is on the full-contact aspect of fighting, without neglecting the other aspects, such kihon (basics), kata (form), and Goshin Jitsu (self defense).  Whatever your reasons and goals are, practicing Kyokushin Karate can help you become stronger, healthier and a better human being.

Sosai Mas Oyama, often said that the difference between sports and Budō, orThe Martial Way, is the path of self-discipline.  Budō is this challenge in life itself.  Kyokushin Karate was founded by a man who was dedicated to Budō.  Sosai Oyama died in 1994, but his Budō spirit lives on and we are dedicated to keeping his spirit alive.

Sekai So-Kyokushin

After the death of Masutatsu (Sosai) Oyama in 1994, the founder of Kyokushin Karate, the Kyokushinkaikan Karate Organization split into various groups.  As a result of this division into various factions, the number of Kyokushin Karate organizations and dojos increased rapidly throughout the world. Many of these organizations began to modify the teachings of Sosai as it benefited them. It became clear that with so many organizations changing basic techniques, katas and kumite rules (as it applies to the sport version), Kyokushin Karate was moving further and further away from what Sosai taught.

To preserve the legacy of Sosai and his teachings, under the leadership of Daigo Oishi Hanshi, the International Karatedo Federation Kyokushin Kaikan Sekai So-Kyokushin was established. The “So” in Sekai So-Kyokushin means “total” which reflects the commitment to teach and practice all aspects of Kyokushin Karate including grappling, self-defense, and a more realistic application of techniques.
So-Kyokushin is focused on ensuring that Kyokushin Karate remains true to the original teachings which Hanshi received directly from Sosai. Hanshi’s strong will is contagious and spreads throughout the So-Kyokushin world to ensure that future generations of Kyokushin practitioners carry on the value to Sosai’s teachings.

In July 2023, Central Florida Kyokushin requested and was admitted as a member of the International Karatedo Federation Kyokushin Kaikan Sekai So-Kyokushin with the recommendation of Tom Flynn Shihan of Green Mountain Kyokushin Karate.

Shihan Bobby Lowe

One of Mas Oyama’s closest students, Shihan Bobby Lowe, was a big proponent of Kyokushin Budo training.  He was the son of a Kung Fu master, held Black Belts in Judo, Kenpo and Aikido and was a powerful welterweight boxer.  He was incredibly impressed by a karate demonstration performed by Sosai Masutatsu Oyama in Hawaii.

Shihan Lowe joined Sosai Oyama in 1952 to work with him as his teacher.  They quickly became lifelong friends and Shihan Lowe ventured to Japan to join Sosai Oyama at his Tokyo dojo, becoming the first Kyokushin “Uchi Deshi” (apprentice student) and Sosai proclaimed that Shihan Lowe was his spiritual brother.  Shihan was first person to open a Kyokushin school outside of Japan in Honolulu.

Shihan Lowe served Sosai Oyama from the outset of the International Karate Organization, from promoting Kyokushin in the United States, Canada and around the world and travelled often throughout the world giving seminars.  He hosted the first international Kyokushin match outside of Japan. He served the IKO tournament circuit around the globe as Chief Referee, serving as contributor to the current IKO Technical Syllabus and IKO bylaws for the Kyokushinkaikan.  He wrote three renowned books on the Kyokushin system. Kyokushin practitioners travelled large distances to attend his seminars in Hawaii where he focused on Goshin-Jitsu (self defense). He never neglected teaching daily Kyokushin classes in his native Hawaii until his death in 2011.  The Hawaii Branch continues to operate under the supervision of Shihan Herb Ishida who began training with Shihan Lowe in 1962 and continues to carry on the dedication to the principles that makes the practice of Kyokushin Karate special.  The Hawaii Branch is currently the oldest continuously operating international Branch of the Kyokushinkaikan in the world. Shina Lowe’s Budō spirit will continue to live through the many Yudanshas (black belts) he trained in more than five decades of teaching.

Daigo Oishi

Daigo Oishi Hanshi began training in Kyokushin Karate in 1969 at the age of 19. In 1971, he participated in the 3rd All Japan Open Karatedo Championship and finished in 3rd place.  He continued his competitive career and in 1974 participated in the 6th All Japan Open Karatedo Championship where, despite having an injury, he set a record of ippon wins in 4 matches in a row, finishing in 6th place  In 1975, Mas Oyama held the 1st Open World Karatedo Championships where some of the world’s best competed. Hanshi was selected to represent the Japan team and was one of eight competitors selected for Japan. After 3 days of competition he finished 4th in a field of 128 competitors, representing 32 countries, many who were much larger opponents.

In 1976, he was appointed by Mas Oyama as the Branch Chief of the Kyokushinkaikan Yamanashi Branch, and later 1977 he established the Shizuoka Branch.  Since then, he continues to spread and develop Kyokushin Karate pure to its origins, and practices leadership by example.  In 1998, he completed 70-man Kumite. Many Kyokushin practitioners from around the world travel to Japan to receive training from Daigo Oishi Hanshi. In November 2012, he withdrew from the All Japan Kyokushin Federation and established the International Karatedo Federation Kyokushin Kaikan Sekai Sokyokushin.

Hawaii and CFL Kyokushin

The Hawaii Branch of the IKO Kyokushinkai

The Hawaii Branch was the first Kyokushin dojo to open outside of Japan.  The dojo was opened by Shihan Bobby Lowe in 1957 and the branch continues to operate, as a non-profit organization, under the supervision of Shihan Herb Ishida.  We at Central Florida Kyokushin continued our association with the Hawaii Branch for more than 35 years until our resignation from the IKO on March 1, 2023. However, the lessons, the experiences, and the friendships will live eternally in all of us that were fortunate to train there.

Hawaii Branch Black Belts 1989
( Senpai Alan Kitaguchi; Shihan Herb Ishida (current Branch Chief); Shihan Bobby Lowe (d. 2011); Sensei Toshio Ikehara; Shihan Glen Oyama (d. 2015); Senpai Carlos Vega )

Central Florida Kyokushin Karate

The goal of the Central Florida Kyokushin Dojo is to provide members, through education and cultural exchanges, the true understanding of the philosophy of Budo, the path of life whereby what is learned is transcended into wisdom.  We will focus on building character, self-confidence, self-discipline and training the mind and body to contribute to society based on Sosai Mas Oyama’s Kyokushin spirit “Keep your head low (modesty), eyes high (ambition), mouth shut (serenity); base yourself on filial piety and benefit others.”  Working closely with and as members of the Hawaii Branch Headquarters of the International Karate Organization Kyokushinkaikan we will provide our members with an opportunity to come together in a harmonious and intercultural manner via the form of competitive training, seminars, national and international travel, and tournament participation.

In Kyokushin Karate the focus is on the full-contact aspect of fighting, without neglecting the other aspects, such kihon (basics), kata (form), and Goshin Jitsu (self-defense).  Whatever your reasons and goals are, practicing Kyokushin Karate can help you become stronger, healthier and a better human being. While competitive fighting may not be for you, you will improve your self awareness and ability to protect yourself even if you never compete.  For those interested in competitive fighting (kumite), you will find that Kyokushin is nothing like what you have experience before or what you have come to believe competitive Karate is all about.

We are a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) corporation and our membership dues tend to be less than the rates that typical Martial Arts schools charge in the area.  However, in order to make ends meet we do have to remain strict with our membership dues. The membership dues collected are utilized for upkeep of the dojo (training hall), purchasing equipment, paying for travel to national and international seminars and tournaments for interested and selected members.  We select member every year that may need either subsidizing or paid for entirely, by grant money awarded to our nonprofit for that purpose. We also, however, endeavor to remain as self-sufficient as possible which means offering our same high-quality instruction to the general public at competitive rates.  There are no contracts or hidden costs. Come to our dojo and find out more.

Senpai Carlos Vega

Our instructor, Senpai Carlos Vega began training in Kyokushin Karate at the age of 15 under Carlos (Suso) Velez in Puerto Rico until he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in early 1977.  Senpai Vega continued his training throughout his early years in the Marine Corps and ultimately was promoted to Shodan (1st dan black belt).  He was fortunate that his travels during his over twenty-one years in the Marine Corps gave him the opportunity to train with many Kyokushin practitioners.

Shihan Bobby Lowe (d. 2011) with Senpai Carlos Vega

The pinnacle of his training came when he was stationed in Hawaii in and met Shihan Bobby Lowe.  During his years in Hawaii, Senpai Vega trained under Shihan Bobby Lowe and the Yudanshas of the Hawaii Branch and was an assistant instructor.  He was promoted to Nidan (2d dan black belt) in 1988 and was also certified as an international Kyokushin Karate Referee.

Aside from his training and competitive career in Kyokushin, he also competed in professional kickboxing and was a top-rated welterweight fighter in Hawaii.  Senpai Vega is proud of his Kyokushin Karate lineage which has served to challenge him not only to learn at a high level, but also to maintain the highest tradition of Kyokushin Karate.  Under Shihan Lowe’s training, he was part of the Hawaii team and aside from being an instructor, he participated in many tournaments both in Hawaii and other countries. He was named the most valuable fighter at the first “team tournament” held in Hawaii in 1988, where he was instrumental in securing a first place for the Hawaii Kyokushin Team.  He also was a trainer and member of the Hawaii contingency to the 4th Word Open Karate Tournament in Tokyo, Japan in 1987. Over the years Senpai Vega trained with many of Kyokushin’s finest and senior instructors from the United States, Tokyo, Okinawa, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Senpai Vega has taught Kyokushin Karate over the last three decades and looks forward to sharing his knowledge with the new members of the Central Florida Kyokushin Karate.