Terutomo Yamazaki, nicknamed â€śThe Genius Karate Fighterâ€ť and â€śThe Dragon of Kyokushinâ€ť, was the most popular fighter of his time.
Born in 1947, he began the study of Kyokushin Karate as a student in high school at the headquarters (Honbu) of the Kyokushin Kaikan at Ikebukuro, Tokyo, under the founder, Masutatsu Oyama. Yamazaki practiced alongside fellow students Shigeru Oyama, Yasuhiko Oyama, Tadashi Nakamura, and Hideyuki Ashihara.
Yamazaki was the first champion of the All-Japan Full Contact Karate Open Championships, held in 1969. Because he fought and defeated Muay Thai boxers, he created a reputation for Kyokushin before the First All-Japan Open Full Contact Karate Championships was even held.
Yamazaki began to teach Muay Thai, to improve and add to his karate, concentrating on the front kick, roundhouse kick, elbow, and knee strikes. Yamazaki continued competing in Kickboxing for one year. He fought ten kickboxing matches in all, with a record of eight knocks out wins and two losses (on the decision). He then returned to full-contact karate.