Meaning of OSU !

The purpose of Karate training is to train the body. To make it strong and powerful. This is not to be approached on its own. The Body is trained by training the mind. When the mind and body is strong this in turn produces a strong spirit, a strong spirit produces a harmonious individual. This is our goal. Achieving this goal requires a lot of patience. Each time we say Osu, we are reaffirming our determination to achieve this through our Karate training. Osu is an affirming word of devotion. Osu means to persevere.

Osu first appeared as an expression in the Officers Academy of the  Imperial Japanese Navy and has since been associated in military terms.

Osu, is mainly used in Kyokushin styles, other styles mainly use the traditional Hai following a command. Osu is rarely used outside of Kyokushin systems, interestingly it is even considered rude in Okinawa and never used in the presence of women. 

Osu became popular among the young in the mid 20th century and in the Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) and associates. Although controversial, there are some known associations within early development of Kyokushinkai and the Yakuza and this may have contributed to its widespread use.

Each time we say Osu we are reminding ourselves to be patient with ourselves and each other. Kyokushin teaches never to give in, no matter how big the task may seem, always do your best. This is the spirit of Kyokushin. This is what we call: The spirit of perseverance - or: Osu no Seishin.

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