The Importance of OSU in Kyokushin Karate

Sensei Post in Training notes

OSU! You will hear Kyokushin students say this phrase. You will see Kyokushin students write this phrase as a salutation. So what does it mean? In the Kyokushin School of Karate, “OSU” means many things, it is used as a greeting and to replace words and phrases such as “yes“, “good“, “I will“, and “excuse me“. But the meaning of OSU is much deeper. OSU comes from the Chinese Kanji characters “OSHI SHINOBU” which means “to persevere while being pushed”, put simply, to endure. The word OSU is one of the most important philosophies in Kyokushin Karate. Symbolizing the need to persevere at all times, to push to the limits of ones endurance whether physical, mental or spiritual, to endure and prevail. This does not mean winning at any cost. This does not to feed the ego by dominating others. OSU is internal, concerned with self.
The Spirit of OSU embodies the determination to continue training even upon experiencing discomfort and pain. Only then can you manifest the spirit of OSU. Through this perseverance, will come great physical, mental and spiritual gains. One who lives in the spirit of OSU, achieves a character capable of standing for justice by facing adversity with grace and focus. The spirit of OSU is the spirit of committed action and relentless pursuit. The spirit of OSU is quiet in demeanor, peaceful in spirit, with veracity in heart, never submitting to weaker ways.
Mas Oyama said it best “One living daily in the way carries his head low and his eyes high. Reserved in speech, and possessing a kind heart. He steadfastly continues in his training efforts.

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