as told by Richard Romero
In 1966, a 30-year old karate instructor who had just completed 100-kumite traveled from Tokyo to New York at the request of the owner of the White Plains School of Self-defense.
He came with the intention of doing his teacher’s bidding: to build the reputation of Kyokushinkai Karate in the United States. However, it was not his intention to remain in the U.S. Rather, he hoped to return to Japan to become an architect.
That young man was Sensei Shigeru Oyama. In 1966, neither his instructor, Mas Oyama, nor his U.S. sponsor, imagined that Sensei Oyama would inspire tens of thousands of students across the Americas, Europe and Asia to be strong for themselves and their loved ones, to seek out and accomplish ambitious goals, and to make the world a better place. Even Sensei Oyama could not have imagined that his efforts would be requited with admiration, impassioned loyalty and love from thousands of students and families whose lives he would touch.
After recognizing the charisma and unsurpassed teaching ability of young Shigeru Oyama, Mas Oyama changed his mission: “You will die in the U.S.,” ordered the Kyokushinkai-kan Founder. Dutifully, instead of returning to Japan, over 50 years Shigeru Oyama built a powerful legacy of unsurpassed karate excellence that touched every corner of the globe. During his journey, “Sensei Oyama” became “Shihan Oyama” and “Shihan Oyama” became the “Soshu Oyama” whom we know today.
Sadly, on February 14, 2016, Soshu Oyama fulfilled Mas Oyama’s command when he passed away at home with his beloved wife, Patricia, by his side. However, six months before his death, Soshu Oyama proclaimed that his work was not yet completed. So, he resolved to record his thoughts on his 70-year career in Japanese karatedo and from August to the following February Soshu worked diligently with his student, Shihan Richard Romero, to record his philosophy on karatedo in a book.