MAS OYAMAS MESSAGE – 1981
I HOPE THIS TRUE STORY WILL CONVEY MY FEELINGS TO MEN AND WOMEN, WHO SUFFER A PHYSICAL OR MENTAL ILLNESS I HOPE THEY WILL LEARN THAT LIFE I S MORE THAN A BOTTLE OF PILLS.
I wish to extend greetings to all Branch-Chiefs, students and fans of Kyokushin. May 1981 be a grand successful year for you all. I would like to take this opportunity to announce the 12th All Japan Tournament which will be an “Open” tournament. Many Kung-Fu, Tae-Kwon-Do, kick boxer’s people will be fighting. The result of these fights will be very interesting. Approximately two years ago now, I took in 15 new Uchi Deshi to study Kyokushin Karate everyday for three years. I remember one such Uchi Deshi who was a special person.
My Uchi Deshi whose name will be Mr. S (to save him any embarrassment) came to my dojo two years ago with my personal friend and his mother, to ask if he can study Kyokushin Karate in Honbu.
Every year, I have to choose 6 or 7 people to enter the Honbu Ryo as new Uchi Deshi. It is very difficult to choose a few people from 60 – 70 applicants ever year. All of them are very serious. I make the decision by giving them all, a written paper test and then a personal interview. Even if I choose 10 new Uchi Deshi, most of them will leave before their 1000 days of training is completed. I expect out of the original 10 Uchi Deshi approximately two or three will eventually stay in the Ryo. The duration of their stay is limited to three years.
Whatever the reason is, I will not allow any Uchi Deshi to leave even if one of their parents dies, or both of them. They must be totally dedicated to Kyokushin Karate when they enter the Ryo. They are not allowed home under any circumstances. Whatever the reason. It’s like a dog barking from a distance. (A Japanese proverb which means, there is noise in the distance, ignore it, it doesn’t matter.) “If you can not obtain your original purpose, then this is because of your own lack of spiritual will.”
Many Uchi Deshi have left the Ryo in the past for their own particular reasons. Their future is in their hands and I can no longer help them. So I must say now that the Uchi Deshi that do remain here, I think are truly wonderful people, because of the hard life they have chosen, and the amount of dedication they have shown in training in Kyokushin Budo Karate.
Two years ago I refused to have Mr. S as a new Uchi Deshi, because he was an epileptic. I felt that his epilepsy would hinder his training. An epileptic is a person who suffers fits or convulsions that can sometimes lead to unconsciousness; he cannot stop or control the fit. A fit can occur at any moment with no warning. My personal friend and also a friend of Mr. S came to see me along with his mother, for Mr. S has no father. And his mother brought him up along with two other children. The three of them sat down in my room. First of all my personal friend asked and pleaded with me to have Mr. S as an Uchi Deshi. He even offered to guarantee Mr. S, and promised to take full responsibility for him. This indeed impressed me. Then the boy’s’ mother made her son to make a pledge, to train constantly for the next three years and to never leave the Dojo Ryo.
In each home in Japan we have a little shrine often to pay respect to our dead mothers and fathers. And when a member of the family dies we place a wooden tablet in the shrine with an inscription on it The mother had taken it out of the shrine and brought it to my room, a thing never heard of in Japan, which is similar to holding the Bible in your right hand, and promising to tell the truth. With his dead father’s tablet in his hand he promised to train hard and never leave the Dojo Ryo. After he had made this vow to me, his mother then stood up and made a solemn vow that during his training, she would drink no tea, and eat no expensive food, and eating only simple food. Mrs. S then said to her son, “If you ever leave the Dojo Ryo, you will no longer be my son.” I have never experienced in my life anything like this before. I changed my mind about Mr. S or rather his mother made me change my mind. The sincerity of these people made me feel very very refreshed inside. I knew that if he to be an Uchi Deshi I took him into the Ryo.
Since that time Mr. S has had many epileptic fits most of them very recently while a senior grade. Having a very hard life, living in a small dormitory with men, training everyday, the list never ends. But he has never given up, and will continue to fight in tournaments and competitions, putting his epilepsy behind him. His mother should be very proud of him. I am. The experience has taught me many things. I think it illustrates beautifully the will power of two people.
But I would advise any epileptic person to seek the medical advice of his doctor before doing any Karate or sport. Mr. S is a gentleman with a very kind nature. So at first it was very difficult for him to hit somebody full-contact. And because of this at one time he did not train so hard. I was very worried about this so I contacted his mother. Soon she arrived at the dojo. Her son was then brought to her and she explained that “for the past 1 1/2 years you have been training I have not drunken any tea, or eaten any expensive food. I am doing this for you, my son, because I love you, now you must show me that you love me by completing the promise you made on your father’s tablet.” From this day, he has been training very hard. With a woman like this behind him, I am sure he will never give up.