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Mas Oyama The Legend The Legacy [Paperback]

Michael Lorden
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 2000
The kyokushinkai karate of Mas Oyama is widely practiced and well respected. Mas Oyama's exploits in the art of karate are the stuff of legend. He killed a bull with his bare hands. He fought 100 men in a single day. Over the course of a year, he accepted 270 challenges. He fought boxers, wrestlers, bouncers and anyone who was willing. His dynamic feats of board and brick breaking were so amazing that he was nicknamed "Godhand." His Kyokushinkai Karate Organization has enjoyed a membership of millions. This book presents the life and exploits of Mas Oyama, including his formative years, his training, his accomplishments and the private aspects of the man himself.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not without some flaws Aug. 11 2003
Interesting story about Mas Oyama. I enjoyed reading about my sosai, but first of all the book is quite short. I read it in one evening. It will take at most two if you have other things to attend to. Second, add to the brevity of the book, it is very repetitious. And as most of the repetition is about the "legendary exploits of the godlike Oyama", you'll soon start feeling like you're going to throw up your lunch. When you just think you've seen the last of it, another chapter starts by reciting how many challenge fights and how many bulls Oyama has beaten and how many months he trained inhumanly in the mountains and so on. Just too much of repetition for such a short book overall. I've also heard rumours that there are some factual errors in the book, but don't have any further info about them. Some obvious typoes are repeated throughout the book (like goju-ryu is spelled gojo-ryu). Also, quite an amount of the book focuses on other aspects than Oyama, things like the different kinds of sparring practice and the different master instructors and tournament champions of kyokushinkai. Perhaps the book should've been named "Oyama and His Karatekai". It definitely should've been longer and less repetitious.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Standard Biographical Story July 28 2000
By K.H.
I ordered this book with much excitement and was a little disappionted when I finished it. The book does have some strengths. I finished it in a little over an hour (174 pages) because it reads very easily. The sentences are constructed for quick reading. The book, although a nice read, is better suited for teenagers than adults. The author repeats the same information in chapter after cahpter. He mentions the same extraordinary feats accomplished by Oyama over and over again. After awhile it grows a little tiresome. There are good points , however, that make this a must book for the library of any serious karateka.
Reading about the perseverance of Oyama in his karate training, establishing his dojo headquarters called Honbu, and philospohy on thruth brings a better understanding about this legend. The chapter on the martial arts saying "osu" is also very good and it is in this chapter that the author Michael Lorden does his best work. This chapter alone makes the book a must purchase.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Basic facts on the greatest fighter of all time June 1 2000
I would guess that Mas Oyama was the toughest fighter in history. I strongly doubt that Bruce Lee could have stood up to him. Oyama was just so much bigger and stronger, and had even more fighting experience than Bruce Lee had. Further, Bruce Lee didn't have the judo background that Oyama had, being a high level black belt in the art. Oyama won a major tournament in karate, then toured America taking on and defeating all comers including top legitimate wrestlers. The only people I think would have had a chance against him might have been members of the legendary Gracie family of Brazil. Oyama fought bulls in hand to hand combat, and apparently had a record of 46-1 against them, judging by this book. Since we revere our sports heroes, it is definitely worthwhile to have a thorough biography of the greatest fighter who ever lived. This isn't it. Right subject, wrong author. What we have here is a lightweight biography and a pretty good overview of Oyama on a superficial level. I learned that the rumor that Oyama mashed his two big knuckles together to form one super knuckle is probably incorrect, since he seems to have regular knuckles and this rumor isn't mentioned in the book. I learned that the main thing that distinguishes his kyokushinkai from other karate styles is the toughness of it, notably the practice of allowing (demanding) full contact sparring with no protective equipment, though apparently no punches were allowed to the face, judging from printed tournament rules. I learned of the 100-fight challenge, having a karate master take on 100 consecutive opponents. Obviously the goal isn't to decisively beat them all, but rather to survive the ordeal, though in Oyama's case he did it on three consecutive days and most certainly went 300-0. This book gives you some basic facts about the greatest fighter who ever lived, but it isn't a great biography or anything close. It just fills you in a bit, and was written by someone who knows.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Simplifying a complex master Oct. 30 2000
By A Customer
Lorden's book was a real disappointment for someone who has followed Oyama's career since the early 1960s, corresponded with him for several years during that period, and was inspired to begin life-long martial arts training largely because of his example. Lorden uncritically praises this great karate master, and no doubt Oyama deserves much praise for his accomplishments and inspiration of others. But Lorden provides little new biographic or anecdotal information about Oyama. The reader looks in vain for details of Oyama's training with Funakoshi or Yamaguchi, for example. Sadly, Lorden also overlooks some of Oyama's faults and failings, including his conversion to Sun-myung Moon's movement late in life, a step that cost Oyama many of his best followers and the respect of many observers. Lorden's description of the 100-man fighting ordeal was new and interesting, however.
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First of all, I must say that I enjoyed "Oyama: The Legend, The Legacy" by Lorden. It tells a fascinating story about a very interesting and special man, that lived his life in an exceptional way, and if you as a reader just are interested in a good story, I can recommend this book. On the other side, I must say that author describe and discuss Oyama without any form of criticism - and its seems like Lorden tries to analyze the life of Oyama in a way that wont hurt the memory of the Sosai Mas Oyama. Its like if he is giving a speech at a funeral, he tells a story in a way that wont hurt the memory of the dead. Even so, I liked the book and Lorden presents the life of Sosai Oyama in an easy way and therefore I will give the book three stars out of five.
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