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Why Kyokushin Karate?

Sensei Steve Fogarasi wrote: I discovered Kyokushin Karate by chance after I practiced Judo and Shotokan Karate for about two years.

When I was 16, I moved to the city of Sibiu, Romania, for school, and I found Kyokushin Karate at the CFR club. I joined immediately, very eager to get a GI and learn. Every Friday, there was full-contact fighting being practiced. I have never sparred with contact, so I was a big surprise when it all started, and I was being kicked and punched with power by a blue belt in his 50s. This was all done without protective equipment at that time, so bare-knuckles and shins.

My first sparring round did not go well, after a knee kick to my ribs, I knew something is not right and I was done for the night. My ribs were broken, and I didn’t go back for 2 months to the dojo, but not because of my ribs. I did not go back because I was upset and frustrated, and I believed that Kyokushin Karate was not real karate. Fighting looked messy, disorganized, and brutal. In my mind, martial arts were supposed to be elegant and clean, just like in the movies.

The problem was, that I could not let it go, I couldn’t quit. I had to go back and see if I could do it. I could not accept being defeated by an… old man… My next training session was kihon and kata on Monday, and I liked it a lot. On Wednesday, we did fighting combinations and pad work. I was starting to get used to the teaching style and adapting to the differences, feeling more and more comfortable at the dojo, but I knew that Friday we would fight again, and I was starting to feel anxious and not quite sure if I really wanted to do it.

But I did go and fought hard for about ten rounds. I did much better and even scored some high kicks. My best technique was the mawashi geri jodan, which still is. After that, I knew instantly that I wanted to get better at fighting and getting stronger and faster, so I kept going to the dojo and training extra on my own on the off days.

  • Now back to the title question: Why Kyokushin Karate?
  • Because I realized that after 2 years of other karate training, I was weak and I could not fight!
  • Because repeating and yelling OSU! it felt like a newfound superpower!
  • Because I am competitive and I like to push myself!
  • Because every class was a challenge!
  • Because everyone was training very hard, sweat and blood were a normal thing, yet we were all happy and friends with each other.
  • Because I wanted to become a black belt!

In one word: I wanted to be BETTER!

Sensei Steve.

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