Karate books – Kyokushin

The human mind is such that it cannot retain everything and sometimes tends to create its own patterns. For the learning of Kyokushin karate, as for any other martial art, it is therefore essential to regularly return to the basics in order not to lose the essence of the teaching.
Regular work on kihon (basics, fundamentals) and kata (pattern, type) is, in this respect, an essential element of karate.
Although karate can only be learned in a dojo, it is also essential, from a certain level, to take an interest in reference works.
For Kyokushin karate, the most valuable works come directly from Oyama Sosai. With the exception of some reprints, these works are unfortunately no longer available in bookshops.

Boy’s Karate
Boys' Karate - Masutatsu Oyama - Kyokushin
By Masutatsu Oyama, 1968, 88 pages – English.
This book is mainly intended for children and beginners. It is an adapted version of the Vital Karate book for their level.
It presents warm-up exercises, basic stances, thrusts, kicks and blocks. It also presents the Taikyoku 1 kata as well as practice fights and self-defense. It is amply illustrated with over 200 drawings and photographs.
French version : Boy’s Karate – Chiron Sports – 1974.
Italian version: Karate per ragazzi – Edizioni Mediterranee – 1982.
Vital Karate
Vital Karate - Masutatsu Oyama - Kyokushin
By Masutatsu Oyama, 1967, 128 pages – English.
This book is intended for the majority of practitioners. It presents karate weapons, warm-up exercises, stances, thrusts, kicks and blocks. It presents practice fighting and self-defence techniques. It does not include kata. It is widely illustrated with over 200 photographs.
French version: Vital Karaté – Sedirep – 1989 New copies still available in bookshops (09-2021).
Dutch version: Karate – Handleiding voor de karatesport – Elsevier – 1968.
Italian version: Karate VitaleEdizioni Mediterranee – 1982.
Read Vital Karate online
Mas Oyama’s Essential Karate
Essential Karate - Masutatsu Oyama - Kyokushin
By Masutatsu Oyama, 1978, 256 pages – English.
This book is intended for advanced practitioners. It presents karate weapons, warm-up exercises, stances and applications of fundamental techniques. It deals with circular techniques and rhythm in karate. It introduces kata Taikyoku 1 and 3, Pinan 4 and 5 and Saiha. It then goes on to discuss kumite and tameshiwari techniques and ends with special applications and physical training exercises. It is extensively illustrated with over 1300 photographs.
Read Essential Karate online
Mas Oyama’s Complete Karate Course
Complete Karate Course - Masutatsu Oyama - Kyokushin
Complete Karate Course - Masutatsu Oyama - Kyokushin
By Masutatsu Oyama, 1998, 256 pages – English.
Originally published as “Mas’ Oyama’s Essential Karate”.
Some new copies of Indian reprint still available in bookshops (08-2021). Have a look!
Karate School
Karate School - Masutatsu Oyama - Kyokushin
By Masutatsu Oyama, 2002, 256 pages – English.
Originally published as “Mas’ Oyama’s Essential Karate”.
Mas Oyama’s Classic Karate
Classic Karate - Masutatsu Oyama - Kyokushin
By Masutatsu Oyama, 2004, 256 pages.
Originally published as “Mas’ Oyama’s Essential Karate”.
Preview Classis Karate online
What is Karate
What is Karate - Masutatsu Oyama - Kyokushin
By Masutatsu Oyama, 1958, 176 pages – English.
This book is intended for intermediate level practitioners. It presents karate weapons, thrusts, kicks and blocks. Then it presents stances, breathing and daily training methods. It introduces kata Pinan 2, 3, 4 and 5, Yantsu and Saiha. It then goes on to discuss basic formal practice fighting and self-defense techniques. It is extensively illustrated with over 1000 photographs.
Read What is Karate online
Mastering Karate
Mastering Karate - Masutatsu Oyama - Kyokushin
By Masutatsu Oyama, 1966, 176 pages – English.
Originally published as “What is Karate”.
This is Karate
This is Karate - Masutatsu Oyama - Kyokushin
By Masutatsu Oyama, 1965, 368 pages – English.
This book is intended for advanced practitioners. Besides basics and techniques, it presents special drills including the stone-breaking techniques. It also presents hand-hold reversals, lying-down techniques and self-defense. It then goes on to discuss the origin and development of karate. The kata presented in this book are Taikyoku 1, 2 and 3 and Tensho.
Read This is Karate online
Advanced Karate
Advanced Karate - Masutatsu Oyama - Kyokushin
By Masutatsu Oyama, 1970, 256 pages – English.
This book is intended for very advanced practitioners. It presents the history of combat techniques, free-style practice fighting, fighting postures and self-defense techniques. It then goes on to discuss special training and artificial respiration and first aid. The kata presented in this book are Seienchin, Garyu, Kanku, Sushiho and stick techniques.
Read Advanced Karate online
The Kyokushin way : Mas. Oyama’s karate philosophy
The Kyokushin way : Mas. Oyama's karate philosophy - Masutatsu Oyama
By Masutatsu Oyama, 1979, 112 pages – English.
In this book, Masutatsu Oyama offers the philosophy he worked out on the basis of personal experiences in the hope that it will help the readers to avoid some of the unpleasantness he had known while helping them at the same time to understand the things that had given life significance for him.
The different aspects treated in this book are the following:
Aspiration – Diligence – Courage – Succes demands courtesy – Parents – Reasons for fighting – Karate and zen – Breath control and mind control – Love and marriage – Keeping money in its place – Liberation, the ultimate truth – Significance today
The book is illustrated with over 30 photographs.
French version: La Voie Kyokushin : La Philosphie du Karaté de Oyama – Guy Tredaniel – 1993
German version : Der Kyokushin-Karate-Weg – Kristkeitz – 1987
The unfinished Encyclopedia of Karate
Oyama Masutatsu - The unfinished Encyclopedia of Karate - 1997
By Masutatsu Oyama, 1997, 277 pages – Japanese.
At the time of his death Masutatsu Oyama had an unfinished book. It was a Karate encyclopedia/dictionary. He began penning this in 1980, until his death in 1994. Three years after his death this encyclopedia was compiled for publishing by his students.

Other renowned masters have also published works on Kyokushin karate. A non-exhaustive list of these works is given below.

Mas Oyama’s Karate as practiced in Japan
Mas Oyama's Karate - Bobby Lowe - Kyokushin
By Bobby Lowe, 1964, 216 pages – English.
Read Mas Oyama’s Karate as practiced in Japan online
Kyokushinkai Karate 1
Kyokushinkai Karate 1 - Jon Bluming, Kenji Kurosaki, Ab Pruis
By Jon Bluming, Kenji Kurosaki and Ab Pruis, 1967, 196 pages – Dutch.
French version – Kyokushinkai Karate 1 – Sedirep – 1969

Read The History of Jon Bluming online
Kyokushinkai Karate 2
Kyokushinkai Karate 2 - Jon Bluming, Kenji Kurosaki, Ab Pruis
By Jon Bluming, Kenji Kurosaki and Ab Pruis, 1968, 196 pages- Dutch.
Modern Karate
Modern Karate - Steve Arneil - Bryan Dowler - Kyokushin
By Steve Arneil and Bryan Dowler, 1974, 182 pages – English.
Dutch version – Het Grote Karate-Boek – Orion – 1977
Karate Deel 1
Karate - Deel 1 - Loek Hollander - Kyokushin
By Loek Hollander, 1974, 56 pages – Dutch.
Read Karate Deel 1 1974 online
Revised in 1978 – 72 pages.
Read Karate Deel 1 1978 online
Karate
Antonio Pinero - Karate - 1974
By Antonio Pinero 1974, 190 pages – Spanish.
“Trying to summarize all the profound meaning of karate would be an arduous and utopian task; I have therefore preferred to focus my attention on the exposition of the basic techniques, describing the suitable procedures for mastering them, although space limitations have not allowed me to include other superior techniques.”
This book is largely inspired by the book This is Karate by Masutatsu Oyama.
Better Karate
Better Karate - Steve Arneil, Bryan Dowler
By Steve Arneil and Bryan Dowler, 1976, 96 pages – English.
This book is mainly intended for children and beginners.
German version – Karate leichter lernen – München – 1978
Karate Deel 2
Karate - Deel 2 - Loek Hollander - Kyokushin
By Loek Hollander, 1978, 56 pages – Dutch.
Renzoku waza / Kumite / Taikyoku kata / Pinan 1 kata.
Read Karate Deel 2 online
Kyokushin Karate
David C. Cook - Kyokushin Karate - 1980
By David C. Cook, 1980, 248 pages – English / Svenska.
248 pages with over 3000 pictures illustrating every technique from 10th kyu – 3rd dan.
Mas. Oyama’s Kyokushin Karate
David C. Cook - Mas. Oyama's Kyokushin Karate - 1982
By David C. Cook, 1982, 288 pages – English / Svenska.
288 pages with over 3500 photographs illustrating every kata and technique from 10th kyu – 3rd dan, plus their application in self defence.
It is the 2nd edition of the Kyokushin Karate book from 1980 (pages up to 247 are the same – pages from 248 to 288 were added).
The Fundamentals of Kyokushin Karate
The Fundamentals of Kyokushin Karate - Brian Fitkin
By Brian Fitkin, 1982, 179 pages – English / Svenska.
The complete range of Kyokushin techniques set out in stages from beginner to 3rd dan.
Kyokushin Karate Kata
Kyokushin Karate Kata - Steve Arneil - Kyokushin
By Steve Arneil, 1985, 200 pages – English.
Very interesting and well illustrated book that presents all the kyokushin kata.
It is a reference on the subject.
Power Karate
David C. Cook - Power Karate - Vol. I - 1985
David C. Cook - Power Karate - Vol. II - 1985
By David C. Cook, 1985, Volume I 144 pages, Volume II 176 pages – English / Svenska.
It is the 3rd edition of the Kyokushin Karate book from 1980 (The book was divided into 2 volumes. The order in which the techniques are presented was changed).
Kyokushin Karate
Kyokushin Karate - Loek Hollander
By Loek Hollander, 84 pages – Dutch.
Kyokushin Karate – Training and Fighting
Michel Wedel - Kyokushin Karate - Training and Fighting - 1990
By Michel Wedel, 1990, 156 pages – English.
This is a book about training and fighting in Kyokushin karate.
It explains about tactics in knock out fighting, preparation of champions like Andi Hug, Akiyoshi Matsui and Michael Thompson, training, nutrition, motivation, injuries, knockouts, coaching and the organisation of tournaments.
Karate – Teach Yourslef Books
Karate - Teach yourself books - Steve Arneil - Liam Keaveney - Kyokushin
By Steve Arneil and Liam Keaveney, 1991, 184 pages – English.
This book is mainly intended for beginners.
Mas Oyama’s Karate Kyokushin
Mas Oyamas Karate Kyokushin - Loek Hollander - Peter Voogt - Ton van Rijn
By Loek Hollander, Peter Voogt and Ton van Rijn, 1993, 100 pages – Dutch.
The Absolute Karate – Applications of Kyokushin
Howard Collins - The Absolute Karate - 1995
By Howard Collins, 1995, 175 pages – English.
Very interesting and well illustrated book
“This book is not about how to become a black belt or what techniques you need to know for the next grade, it’s about Kyokushin Karate the style I practice and the way I see it”
Kyokushin Kata
Kyokushin Kata - Brian Fitkin - Kyokushin
By Brian Fitkin, 2003, 225 pages – English.
Very interesting and well illustrated book that presents all the kyokushin kata.
It is a reference on the subject.
Kyokushin Kata
Kyokushin Kata - Brian Fitkin - 2019
By Brian Fitkin, 2019, 258 pages – English.
The book contains a complete collection of Kyokushin kata, including the Sokugi and those performed in ura. Applications are also shown for many of the techniques used in the kata.
It is a revised edition of the 2003 original edition.
The book is available at Stockholms Kyokushin Karate
Karate Lexicon
Karate lexicon - Delmotte - Lexique du karaté
By Christophe Delmotte, 2023, 256 pages – English / French.
Trilingual Karate Lexicon (Japanese – English – French)
With its 700 terms, its detailed Japanese characters (kanji and hiragana) and the attention paid to the links between the terms, this book is an indispensable tool for all karate practitioners, whatever the style, whether beginners or advanced practitioners.
Kyokushin / Gōjū ryū / Shōtōkan / Shitō ryū / Wadō ryū
More information about the karate lexicon
List to be completed…If some books do not appear here, it may be because we do not yet have them. If you have Kyokushin karate books that you no longer use, you can send them to us and we will add them to the list (contact us).