Takeshi Oishi

Everything, in my opinion, is in the training, so there are no tips to give, only quantity of training, in order to automate the techniques, so as not to think, when it will be time for the fight.

Takeshi Oishi

One of the longest was serving instructors at the JKA, Takeshi Oishi was a formidable fighter. Known for his exceptional timing, he was unbeaten for over six years, both nationally and internationally. The former Chief Instructor of the JKA, Masatoshi Nakayama once side of him:

Seen from straight ahead, the initiation of Takeshi Oishi’s attack is something to behold.

Takeshi Oishi was born on 19 April 1941, in Nagasaki, Japan. At school, he was a keen kendoka. At the time he had no interest in learning Karate.

On graduating from high school, Oishi decided to enrol at Komazawa University. Komazawa was a Buddhist University located in Tokyo.

At an event at the University Oishi met Hiroshi Shirai. Shirai was several years older and was also from Nagasaki. He had tried to persuade Oishi to join the University’s Karate club. Initially, Oishi was not interested. However, he decided to pay a visit to the Karate club and was very impressed by what he saw. He soon joined the club.

By 1965, Oishi had graduated from Komazawa University. He had also graduated from the JKA Instructors Course, alongside Keigo Abe and Yukichi Tabata. He started training at JKA Hombu in 1965.

At the 10th JKA All Japan Karate Championships held in 1967, Oishi made his first kumite final. He lost to Hideo Ochi, who also became that year’s Grand Champion. Keigo Abe and Yukichi Tabata finished in joint third.

In 1968 the Mexican Karate Federation hosted an Olympic Commemorative Tournament. Oishi won the kumite title. During the tournament an international conference took place. This culminated in the formation of an international Karate organisation, that would hold the first World Championships in 1970, in Tokyo.

At the 12th JKA All Japan Karate Championships held in 1969, Oishi won his first JKA kumite title. In the final, he beat Norihiko Iida, with Akihito Isaka and Hideo Ochi in joint third.

Between 10-30 October 1970, the 1st WUKO World Championships took place in Tokyo, Japan. Oishi was selected to represent Japan in the Team Kumite event. Japan was allowed to enter several teams. Oishi was the leadoff fighter for the Japan E Team. He won all of his four bouts, helping the team to become World Champions. Oishi was one of six competitors to receive an individual award for his outstanding performance in the tournament.

At the 13th JKA All Japan Karate Championships held in 1970, Oishi defeated Yoshimasa Takahashi in the final of the Individual Kumite event. Yukichi Tabata and Toru Yamaguchi finished in joint third. The following year Oishi retained his title by defeating Masaaki Ueki in the final. Yukichi Tabata and Norihiko Iida finished in joint third. 1971 also saw him become the champion at the 2nd National All-Styles Tournament.

Between 21-22 April 1972, the 2nd WUKO World Karate Championships were held in Paris, France. Oishi was selected to the Japanese team. During the Team Kumite event, Japan became upset with some of the officiating during their bouts. Oishi along with team members, and Norihiko Iida, Yukichi Tabata, and Masahiko Tanaka walked out of their match. They were joined by the rest of the Japanese delegation, led by Masatoshi Nakayama. Oishi was unbeaten in the tournament before the walkout.

For their part in the walkout, Oishi, Iida, Tabata, and Tanaka were banned from entering any official WUKO or FAJKO events held in Japan or internationally. FAJKO also sanctioned Nakayama. He was prevented from refereeing at any tournaments or holding any official post nationally or internationally.

The October 1972 issue of Black Belt Magazine named Oishi in their list of ‘Top 10 Japanese Karatemen‘. He also appeared in the magazine’s list of top Japanese fighters in 1973 and 1974.

At the 16th JKA All Japan Karate Championships Oishi won another kumite title by defeating Isaka Akihiko in the final. Masahiko Tanaka finished in third place.

The following day an international tournament was held by the JKA to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the introduction of Karate into Japan, by Gichin Funakoshi. The JKA internationals were held at the Nippon Budokan Hall in front of a crowd of 15,000. There were 1000 competitors from 29 countries.

Japan dominated all the events. They won the Team Kata. The Individual Kata was won by Yoshimasa Takahashi. Oishi was the lead of fighter for the Japanese team in the Team Kumite event. The other members of the team were Norimasa Hayakawa, Masahiko Tanaka, Mikio Yahara, and Norihiko Iida. They beat Belgium in the quarterfinals. This was followed by a 5-0 victory over the United States. In the final, they defeated Italy 5-0.

In the Individual Kumite, Oishi defeated Masahiko Tanaka in the semi-final to face Akihito Isaka in the final. Tanaka was joint third with Ken Whittstock of South Africa.

In 1975 the 1st IAKF World Championships were held in Los Angeles, United States. This was the JKA’s version of the WUKO World Championships. In the Individual Kumite final, Oishi faced Tanaka. He lost by judges decision. This was a passing of the torch.

Masatoshi Nakayama’s 11 books series “Best Karate” was published in 1979. Oishi appeared in ‘Book 3: Kumite 1‘, where he is seen sparring against Shunsuke Takahashi. He also appeared in ‘Book 9: Bassai Sho, Kanku Sho, Chinte‘, where he can be seen performing the kata Chinte.

On 5 April 1987, Masatoshi Nakayama, the Chief Instructor of the JKA died. He was succeeded by Motokuni Sugiura. Tokyo businessman Nobuyuki Nakahara became Chairman of the JKA. Some instructors like Tetsuhiko Asai disagreed with this appointment. This led to a split in the JKA into two opposing factions.

The Nakahara faction consisted of Masaaki Ueki, Yoshiharu Osaka, Masahiko Tanaka, and Oishi. The Matsuno faction consisted of Asai, Keigo Abe, Akihito Isaka, Mikio Yahara, and Masao Kagawa. Both factions referred to themselves as the JKA. What followed was a 10-year legal battle for the right to use the JKA name.

In 1999 a Japanese High Court awarded the Nakahara faction the sole right to use to the JKA name. This led to the Matsuno faction leaving the JKA. The faction eventually split, with the main instructors forming their own associations.

For the next few years, Oishi focused on his role as an instructor at the JKA Hombu and Komazawa University.

On 6 February 2016 Oishi was officially inaugurated as the new Vice Chief Instructor of the JKA.

Takeshi Oishi has been an integral member of the JKA. A formidable fighter, he is one of the longest serving instructors at the JKA. He sits on several of the JKA’s boards, including the Shihankai Board of Directors, The JKA Technical Committee, and the JKA’s International Technical Committee for the World.

Author: Patrick Donkor

1 thought on “Takeshi Oishi

  1. In 1975 I was selected to be the official timer for the match, held at the LA sports arena.. It was an honor to see such high level of Karate !

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