There is no doubt that the Baki manga and anime series are extremely popular. But what may come as a surprise to some is that many of the characters in the series are actually based on real life people, mostly legendary martial artists.
There has been a lot of speculation on whether or not the Baki anime features a character inspired by Mas Oyama, the legendary founder of Kyokushin Karate. While there is no confirmation from the creators of the show, many fans believe that two characters are actually based on Oyama: Masutatsu Oyama and Doppo Orochi.
Let’s take a look at some of the similarities between these martial arts icons!
Who Was Mas Oyama?
Let’s first find out who Mas Oyama was! Mas Oyama is considered one of the most influential Karate masters of the 20th century. He was born in Choi Yeong-eui, South Korea in 1923 and began learning karate at a young age. He eventually moved to Japan to continue his training, and it was there that he founded Kyokushin Karate.
Kyokushin karate is a Japanese style of karate that is characterized by its full contact approach to sparring and its focus on practical self-defense. Kyokushin karate is often referred to as “the strong fist” style, due to the emphasis on strikes with fists and elbows.
The goal of Kyokushin karate is to develop the mind, body, and spirit through the practice of discipline and self-control. Practitioners of this style strive for personal growth and transformation through hard training and self-improvement.
He quickly gained a reputation for his rigorous training methods, which included breaking bricks and steel pipes with his bare hands. Oyama also became known for his fighting skills, defeating some of the biggest names in Karate, Judo, and boxing.
While some criticized his aggressive style of teaching, there is no doubt that Mas Oyama played a major role in popularizing Karate worldwide.
Masutatsu Oyama in Baki
Baki the Grappler is a popular anime and manga series that follows the titular character as he trains and competes in underground martial arts matches. The story is set in modern day Japan, where Baki’s father, Yujiro Hanma, is the strongest fighter in the world.
Baki trains hard to try and surpass his father’s strength and eventually finds himself pitted against some of the most dangerous fighters around.
Although the story is fairly straightforward, it is told with a great deal of style and flair, and the characters are all incredibly likable (or hateable, in some cases). One of those characters is Masutatsu Oyama.
Masutatsu Oyama is a martial arts master who appears in the Baki Dou manga series. Although he only briefly appears in the story, he is clearly based on the real-life karate fighter Mas Oyama.
In the manga, Ooyama is only seen in flashbacks, but his legend looms large over the entire series as he is the founder of Kyokushin karate which many other characters use. Masutatsu Ooyama hasn’t appeared in the anime yet.
Doppo Orochi is one of the most respected martial arts masters in the Baki series. A 10th dan karate grandmaster, he heads the Shinshinkai Karate School and has been practicing martial arts for over 50 years. He is also the sensei of many other important characters in the series, including Kiyosumi Katou.
A former champion of the underground tournament hosted by Mitsunari Tokugawa, Orochi is one of the strongest characters in the series. His immense strength and experience make him a formidable opponent, and he is respected by both friends and foes alike.
There is strong evidence to suggest that he is based on the real-life figure Mas Oyama. Both men were karate grandmasters and founders of their own schools and styles. They also shared some physical resemblances, such as their bald heads later in life.
In addition, both men were known for their ferociousness in battle. Doppo’s Orochi Karate style bears a striking resemblance to Oyama’s Kyokushin Karate style. It is clear that Doppo Orochi is heavily inspired by Mas Oyama, and he remains one of the most popular and iconic characters in the Baki franchise.
Shinshinkai Karate School/Kyokushin Karate
Doppo Orochi is the founder and head of the Shinshinkai Karate School. He is a highly skilled martial artist with a deep understanding of fighting techniques. His school specializes in various powerful fighting styles, most of which are inspired by Mas Oyama and his Kyokushin Karate School.
All of these techniques require a great deal of precision and focus, but when used correctly, they can give Doppo a significant advantage in battle.
The Bodhisattva Fist is a powerful move that can stop an opponent’s strike in its tracks. It requires the user to utilize all of their body and soul to deliver a powerful blow to the opponent’s chest.
The Seiken is a straight punch that is shot from the waist. It is a highly effective technique that can knock an opponent off balance.
Kotsukake is a defensive technique that involves retracting one’s testicles in order to minimize the effect of groin hits. This may not seem like a particularly effective method of self-defense, but it can actually be quite debilitating for an opponent if executed correctly.
Another of Doppo’s signature moves is Sokutou, a kick delivered with the side of the foot that can target an opponent’s throat, abdomen, or ears. This technique is particularly effective thanks to the fact that it is difficult to block and can cause serious damage if it connects.
Sangan is a karate fighting defensive technique in which the user must squint his eyes in every direction, allowing him to see at every angle.
Nukite is a technique in which the user thrusts his hands into the opponent’s body like a spear.
Doppo Orochi’s Sanchin technique is really all about breathing and stability. The user has to concentrate on taking deep, regular breaths while maintaining a strong, stable stance. This allows the user to build up a lot of internal energy, which can then be released in a single explosive attack.
The Kokouken is another one of Doppo’s trademark moves. The user forms their hand into the shape of a beak, with the index finger and thumb separated as much as possible. They then strike their opponent between the eyes with this hand. This causes the enemy to lose vision and to be stunned for a short period of time.
Doppo Orochi is a skilled practitioner of Shinken Shirahadori, a technique that allows him to parry an opponent’s blade and then counter with his own.
He is also proficient in the use of Roppa Gaeshi, a move that can potentially deal fatal damage to an opponent if executed correctly. This technique can be used to break an opponent’s skull if the user hits the center of the skull with enough force.
What is the difference between karate and Kyokushin?
Kyokushin is often distinguished from other types of karate by its more realistic approach to fighting. Whereas other styles may place an emphasis on flashy techniques or choreographed movements, Kyokushin is focused on practical self-defense.
As a result, Kyokushin practitioners often have an advantage in real-world situations. While karate can be a fun and rewarding activity regardless of which style you choose, those who are interested in self-defense may want to consider Kyokushin.
Is Doppo Orochi inspired by any other characters?
Doppo Orochi is clearly inspired by Mas Oyama, however, he may also be based on another karateka: Hideo Nakamura. Like Doppo, Nakamura was a founder of a karate style (Karatedo Kendo Kai) and was known for his strength and endurance.
In addition, both men were born in rural areas and had to overcome poverty and prejudice to achieve success. While there is no definitive proof that Doppo was inspired by Nakamura, the similarities between the two men are hard to ignore.
In what chapter does Mas Oyama appear?
In chapter 73 of Baki-Dou (2018), Mas Oyama finally makes his appearance. Oyama is a legendary figure in the world of Karate, and his arrival has been highly anticipated by the other characters.
Given Oyama’s status as a real-life martial arts legend, it is fitting that he would play a role in the story of “Baki-Dou”, which is itself a tribute to the history and traditions of karate.
Mas Oyama is considered one of the most influential Karate masters of the 20th century. He was the founder of Kyokushin Karate, and his teachings have had a lasting impact on martial arts. It should come as no surprise, then, that several characters in Baki are based on Oyama himself.
Masutatsu Oyama is a direct homage to the Karate master and even shares his name. However, while Oyama only appears briefly in the manga, Doppo Orochi is one of the most important characters and is also inspired by real-life Mas Oyama.
Like Oyama, Orochi is a fierce fighter with a deep understanding of Karate. In many ways, Orochi is the perfect embodiment of what Mas Oyama strived to achieve with his life’s work.