Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clash of Titans: Kyokushin vs. Muay Thai – The Epic 1964 Event

In 1964, Mas Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin Karate, traveled to Lumpinee Stadium in Thailand with three of his fighters. There they faced off against three Muay Thai warriors in a test of martial arts skill and technique. It was an iconic moment that marked a significant milestone for both disciplines.

Over five decades ago, before we enjoyed the bouts of SENSHI and classic K-1 events, the art of kickboxing was still in its infancy. Striking arts such as Muay Thai and Karate were the precursors and were still testing themselves against each other before they finally started to meld into what you see today as kickboxing.

On February 17, 1964, Mas Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin Karate, sent three fighters to Lumpinee Stadium in Thailand for a unique challenge. They were pitted against three Muay Thai fighters and fought under modified rules that allowed takedowns and head butts. Remarkably, two out of the three Karate practitioners – Tadashi Nakamura and Akio Fujihira – emerged victorious by knockout punches. This historical event marked an important milestone in martial arts history as it showed the potential of combining different styles together into one formidable art form.

The third fighter, Kenji Kurosaki, had a very different outcome in his bout with Rawee Dechachai. In the back-and-forth battle between them, techniques from both Muay Thai and Judo were used as Kyokushin had added Judo to their curriculum. During the fight, Kurosaki attempted trips when catching legs and even landed shoulder throws against his opponent while clinching. It was an interesting matchup that showcased some of these unique fighting styles rarely seen today. 

The most obvious lesson from this Karate vs. Muay Thai series is that the winner is takedowns. Add some basic ground fighting, and the Thai fighters would have been skid marks. However, both arts had preconceived philosophies that striking was their central focus. It would, unfortunately, take another generation for martial arts to see the light.

The 1964 match event between Kyokushin and Muay Thai left an indelible mark on the martial arts landscape. It highlighted the strengths and unique characteristics of each discipline, fostering mutual respect and appreciation among practitioners. The event inspired further exploration and cross-training between Kyokushin and Muay Thai, leading to the development of hybrid styles that combined elements from both arts.

 The clash between Kyokushin and Muay Thai in 1964 remains a legendary event in martial arts history. It showcased the beauty, intensity, and adaptability of both styles. The matches served as a catalyst for growth and evolution within the martial arts community, leading to a deeper understanding and integration of different disciplines. The legacy of this event continues to inspire practitioners to explore the boundaries of their respective arts and seek the harmony that arises from embracing diversity in martial arts.


KWU World Cup 2022 YouTube playlist│5.07.2022

SENSHI 15 YouTube playlist │ 18.02.2023

You May Also Like


One of the most unusual and hard things for both students and parents to adjust to when beginning martial arts training is the etiquette...


 Which is right?! In written English you might have noticed with “せんぱい” the Japanese hiragana character “ん” sometimes  gets written as “n,”  like in “senpai,”...


“Fudō-dachi” Sensei calls. We all move into stance and yell “OSU”! “Seiza”! We step back and down into a formal kneeling position. First at our hips....


Martial arts training is a learning experience, to say the least. Each day you spend in the dojo, you are bombarded with new movements, new...