The Spirit of Osu


Osu is the one word that you'll hear the most in a Kyokushin, Seido Juku, and Kokoro dojo or tournament. 


When you enter, or leave the dojo, you bow and say "Osu"


When you greet a fellow Kokoro 心 Karateka 空手家, you say "Osu" instead of "hello"especially a Senpai{senior student], Yudansha (black belt}, Sensei (teacher), or Shihan (Master, Chief Instructor). 


When you respond to an instruction or question in class, you say "Osu" instead of "yes" or

"I understand". 


When practicing Jiyu Kumite 自由組手 (free fighting) in class and your opponent lands a good, hard technique, you say "Osu" to acknowledge your opponent's skill.  As a measure of respect, opponents at a tournament bow and say "Osu" to the front, to the referee and to each other, before and after the fight.  Osu is used in many situations and seems to mean a lot of things. 

But what does OSU really mean?

Osu 押忍 is a contraction of the words:

押 Oshi  meaning "Push"          

忍ぶ Shinobu  meaning "to Endure"

It means patience, determination, perseverance.  Every time we say "Osu", we remind ourselves of this. Kokoro karate is not learned overnight. 

It takes years to properly learn the fundamentals.  The basic techniques are performed thousands of times (Renma 錬磨 – "always polishing") until they are done by reflex or instinct, without conscious thought (Mushin 無心 – "no mind"). 


It's easy to get frustrated by doing the same thing repeatedly, especially when progress seems to be slow.  To overcome that frustration and continue training takes patience and determination.  That is Osu!

Osu 押忍,

Shihan A. I. Fredericks                                                                                       1/17/2017