On May 19, 1991, “The Last Samurai” Shihan Akira Masuda became the last person to complete the 100-man kumite while Sosai Mas Oyama was still alive.
The challenge was held at the Tokyo Honbu where Judd Reid was living and training as a young “uchi deshi” or live-in student. Judd fought Shihan 2 times during his 100-man kumite – fight number 9 where he was powerful and then again at number 67 by which time he was very fatigued.
Shihan Masuda’s 100-man kumite was famous for how difficult it was. And how in the face of incredible adversity he never gave up! He faced the toughest fighters in Japan at the time and he smashed them again and again, eventually losing awareness of where he was, forgetting to punch and kick, screaming at his opponents as though his voice were a weapon, and even biting people.
In Judd’s words: “He showed a tremendous amount of spirit. He never gave up and never lay down but he was actually a punching bag for the last 40 rounds…But he never stopped! He just kept on fighting and fighting…You could see in his eyes that he was absolutely exhausted but he never stopped. He kept on going and going and going.”
“The Last Samurai” Shihan Akira Masuda (ラスト サムライ) – All Japan Champion 1990, completed 100 man kumite in 1991, 2nd place at the 5th World Championships 1991, 3rd place on the 4th World Open Championship 1987. He participated in 4 World Championships always finishing on the podium, author of the books “Freestyle Karate”, “I live as a Martial Artist”, and “Walking steps to the winning”.
You can watch Shihan Akira Masuda’s 100 man kumite here: