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100-man kumite

The 100-man kumite (hyakunin kumite in Japanese) is an extreme test of physical and mental endurance in Kyokushin karate. Kumite (sparring), one of the three main sections of karate training, involves simulated combat against an opponent. The 100-man kumite consists of 100 rounds of kumite, each between one-and-a-half and two minutes in length. Normally, the karate practitioner undergoing the test will have to face similarly or higher-ranked opponents, and may face an opponent a few times in the course of the test (depending on the number of opponents available to participate).

The challenge was devised by Masutatsu Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin and the first person to complete the test. He completed the 100-man kumite three times over three consecutive days. The second man to complete the test was Steve Arneil in 1965. In July 2004, Naomi Ali (née Woods) became the first woman to complete the 100-man kumite. Variations using 20-man and 50-man challenges have also been employed.

Andy Hug & Shokei Matsui image

Andy Hug & Shokei Matsui

Mas Oyama's 300-Man Kumite

It was with these examples in mind that Oyama decided to test his own abilities. And he would go one day better! He chose the strongest students in his dojo, who were to fight him one at a time until they'd all had a turn, and then they'd start from the beginning again, until the three hundred rounds were up. He defeated them all, never wavering in his resolve, despite the fact that he himself suffered severe physical injury in the process.

Each student had to face him about four times over the three days, though some never made it past the first day due to Oyama's powerful blows. Legend even has it that Oyama was willing to go for a FOURTH day, but no one else was willing or able! This took place not long after he had completed his mountain training.

Courtesy Wikipedia


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