Philosophical Thoughts by Sosai Mas Oyama

“One becomes a beginner after one thousand days (2 years, 270 days) of training and an expert after ten thousand days (27 years, 145 days) of practice.”

“Although it is important to study and train for skill in techniques, for the man who wishes to truly accomplish the way of budo, it is important to make his whole life in training and therefore not aiming for skill and strength alone, but also for spiritual attainment.”

“A human life gains luster and strength only when it is polished and tempered.”

“Reading good books implants good ideas in the mind, develops good aspirations, and leads to the cultivation of good friends.”

“One living daily in the Way carries their head low and their eyes high; reserved in speech and possessing a kind heart, they steadfastly continue in their training efforts.”

“Aspirations must be pure and free of selfishness. Arising from the depths of the soul, aspirations are spiritual demands penetrating all of a human life and making it possible for a person to die for their sake. A person without aspirations is like a ship without a rudder or a horse without a bridle. Aspirations give consistent order to life.”

“As far as possible, I want nothing more than to don my training gi and teach Karate.”

“If someone asked me what a human being ought to devote the maximum of his life to, I would answer: training. Train more than you sleep.”

“Karate is the most ZEN-like of all the martial arts. It has abandoned the sword. This means that it trascends the idea of winning and losing to become a way of thinking and living for the sake of other people in accordance with the way of Heaven. Its meanings, therefore, reach the profound levels of human thought.”

“One must try everyday to expand one’s limits.”

“Behind each triumph are new peaks to be conquered.”

“Until the day I die, I never want to be separated from my dogi; I never want to cease my training efforts in the dojo.”

“The fastest way to attain courage is to follow the chosen Way and be willing to abandon life itself for the sake of justice.”

“If you have confidence in your own words, aspirations, thoughts, and actions and do your very best, you will have no need to regret the outcome of what you do. Fear and trembling are the lot of the person who, while stinting effort, hopes that everything will come out precisely as he wants.”

“Human beings are capable of virtually limitless degradation; they are also capable of virtually limitless improvement and achievement. Success depends on goals and on diligence in pursuing them.”

“Always remember that the true meaning of Budo is that soft overcomes hard, small overcomes large.”

“The most significant life is the one lived on the basis of a personal sense of justice and the desire to see justice realized everywhere.”

“It is possible for even the smallest of accolades of achievement to be truly worthwhile without tears and toil?”

“I realized that perseverence and step-by-step progress are the only ways to reach a goal along a chosen path.”

“Subjecting yourself to vigourous training is more for the sake of forging a resolute spirit that can vanquish the self than it is for developing a strong body.”

“Each of us has his cowardice. Each of us is afraid to lose, afraid to die. But hanging back is the way to remain a coward for life. The Way to find courage is to seek it on the field of conflict. And the sure way to victory is willingness to risk one’s own life.”

“We in Kyokushin maintain faith in the Way that knows no prejudices.”

“My Way is the Way of Karate, which is also the Way of humanity, and which is consequently related to the Way of Heaven.”

“A man who understands decorum and the courtesies is a great treasure; I hope to train and send into society as many such men as I can.”

“No matter how strong the rival, the just will always win.”

“True courage is born only when it is accompanied by justice.”

“Courtesy should be apparent in all our actions and words and in all aspects of daily life. But be courtesy, I do not mean rigid, cold formality. Courtesy in the truest sense is selfless concern for the welfare and physical and mental comfort of the other person.”

“Karate is Budo and if Budo is removed from Karate it is nothing more than sport karate, show karate, or even fashion karate-the idea of training merely to be fashionable.”

“I have not permitted myself to be ignorant of any martial art that exists. Why? Such ignorance is a disgrace to someone who follows the path of the martial arts.”

“If you do not overcome your tendancy to give up easily, your life lead to nothing.”

“Since Karate exists for cultivating the spirit and training the body, it must be a moral way surpassing mere techniques…”

“Power is no more than a part, no more than the tip of the iceberg of limitless profundity and sublimate of Karate.”

“In the martial arts, introspection begets wisdom. Always see contemplation on your actions as an opportunity to improve.”

“Studying the martial Way is like climbing a cliff: keep going forward without rest. Resting is not permissible because it causes recessions to old adages of achievement. Persevering day in, day out improves techniques, but resting one day causes lapses. This must be prevented.”

“Personal greed and egoism are things that cause human beings to forget respect for others and to violate rules that have been established for the sake of peace and friendship.”

“Come ye trials and challanges; come life’s big waves, for I am ready?”