Miyuki Miura

Miyuki Miura was one of Mas Oyama’s top students. He was one of the first people to complete the gruelling 100-man Kumite Challenge. He was also a pioneer of Kyokushin Karate in the United States.

On 3 October 1949, Miyuki Miura was born in Kisarazu City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. He was the oldest of three children, having a younger brother and sister. His father was a ship’s engineer.

At the age of 13, Miura began practising Shotokan Karate in 1962. He also practised Judo, and by the age of 17, had been promoted to 1st Dan.

In 1967 Miura enrolled at Josai University in Saitama. He joined the University’s Karate club. By this time he had been promoted to 2nd Dan in Shotokan. At the club, he practised Kyokushin Karate under Yoshiji Soeno, a former student at Josai University. During his holidays Miura would travel to Tokyo to train at the Kyokushin Hombu.

Miura graduated from Josai University in 1970. He became one of Oyama’s uchi-deshi (live-in students). He lived and trained at the Hombu dojo. Miura primarily trained under Terutomo Yamazaki, who he credits for teaching him a lot.

On 22 October 1972 Miura competed in the 4th All Japan Open Karate Tournament. On his way to winning the title, he defeated Howard Collins, Toshikazu Sato, and Joko Ninomiya. This was an improvement from the previous year when he finished in fourth place.

1972 saw Miura become an instructor at the Kyokushin Hombu.

1973 was a big year for Miura. On 18 March he was promoted to 4th Dan by Mas Oyama. On 13 April he was asked by Oyama to attempt the 100-Man Kumite Challenge.

Miura’s 100-Man Challenge was a brutal affair. Oyama had told some of the younger students that they would be promoted instantly promoted if they beat Miura. This made Miura’s opponents very eager. He faced twenty opponents. He faced each opponent five times. While they had the opportunity to rest he had to continue fighting. He knocked out several of his opponents. After his 50th fight, his legs were bruised and he was breathing heavily. After his 70th fight, tiredness began to affect his timing and reflexes. However, he found the willpower to complete the challenge. After the challenge, his body was completely swollen. He needed assistance going to the toilet.

Miura completed the challenge in just over three hours. He became the first Japanese man to complete the challenge in its new format of a single day. He was the seventh person to complete the challenge. No one would successfully complete the challenge until 1986 when it was done by Shokei Matsui.

1973 also saw Oyama send Miura to the United States. Miura joined Shigeru Oyama and Tadashi Nakamura, who already taught in the United States. He arrived in New York where he trained under Shigeru Oyama for a short time before moving to America’s Midwest region

1973 culminated with Miura being named in Black Belt Magazine’s ‘Top Ten Japanese Karateman‘ list.

Miura was appointed head of the Chicago Branch dojo, teaching Kyokushin Karate in the wider Chicago area. His dojo was located in Elmhurst, just west of Chicago. For the next ten years, he helped establish Kyokushin in the State of Illinois and the Midwest. He did this through teaching and demonstrations at tournaments.

On 4 April 1977, Bobby Lowe, a long time student of Mas Oyama, sponsored the 1st Hawaii All-Stars vs Japan Kyokushin Tournament. The event was held in Honolulu, with an estimated crowd of 6000 in attendance. Shigeru and Yasuhiko Oyama gave a sword defence exhibition, with Miura demonstrating sai techniques.

After being a member of the International Karate Organisation (IKO), for over 20 years, Shigeru Oyama resigned from the organisation in 1984. Yasuhiko Oyama and Miyuki Miura followed him to the World Oyama Karate Organisation. Miura’s Chicago dojo served as the organisation’s Midwest headquarters.

On 26 April 1994, Kyokushin founder, Mas Oyama died in Tokyo.

After 17 years at the World Oyama Karate Organisation, Miura left the organisation in 2001. He established his own organisation, the World Karate-do Miura Dojo. He would eventually have several schools in Japan and the United States. He also became the head of the Global Budo Karate Alliance.

On 20 October 2010 ‘Miura Miyuki Proposals for Karate Basics‘ was released. The video focuses on the essential basic techniques and ideas required for Karate.

Miyuki Miura has quietly gone about establishing Kyokushin Karate in the United States. He embodies the characteristics Mas Oyama looked for in a karateka. Miura is a firm believer that Karate practice lasts a lifetime. He continues to run classes for all age groups.

Author: Patrick Donkor

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.