For Warren County’s Christian Buffaloe, Kyokushin Karate is more than a form of the martial arts. It is a way of life with a focus on hard work, discipline and dedication.
People around the world will soon gain a glimpse into the life of the local fighter and instructor through the September 2020 edition of World Karate Magazine, a martial arts publication in Japan. In addition, Buffaloe recently appeared on Fuji TV in Japan as well.
Buffaloe’s interest in Kyokushin Karate developed early. He has been trained by his father, Kyokushin instructor Kenny Buffaloe, since he was only three years old. Christian began competing in international Kyokushin Karate tournaments at the age of eight, and is a seven-time youth and teen champion.
In 2019, at the age of 20, he achieved a dream by competing in the 12th Kyokiushin Karate World Open Championships in Tokyo, Japan, which featured 200 elite fighters.
He lost the competition, but was determined to come back stronger at 16th Kyokushin Karate USWC Championships in Los Angeles, Calif., in January. Christian overcame injury to win the Lightweight division title, his first championship victory as an adult competitor. He also brought home the Best Technique of the tournament award.
Both Fuji TV and World Karate Magazine covered the event and were eager for interviews. Christian considers being featured in World Karate Magazine as an especially great honor. His father, Kenny, explained that the exclusive martial arts publication rarely features non-Japanese fighters.
Kenny also noted that Christian is one of only a few Americans who are competing at the world level in Kyokushin Karate. He described Kyokushin as bareknuckle, full contact, knockdown fighting which ends only by knockout, two complete knockdowns or incapacitation.
Christian said that most international competitions last only one day, meaning that fighters have little time to recover between matches. During the January tournament, he had to win preliminary and semifinal rounds before advancing to the championship match.
“After the first round, I watched the other fighters. Within 10 minutes, I had to be ready (for the next round),” Christian said.
It is only through disciplined training that fighters are able to keep up their stamina during these intense matches, he added.
There have been no tournaments since January due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean that Christian has been taking a break from Kyokushin Karate. He and his father train five hours every day at their dojo at home. They also teach Kyokushin Karate virtually.
Christian can’t wait until he can compete once again. Until then, he will keep training mornings and afternoons to continue to build stamina, discipline and strength of character.
“(Kyokushin Karate) shapes your character,” he said. “To know hardship and never give up, it shapes character. You must find it within yourself to keep going even through hardship. It forces you out of your comfort zone.”
To see Christian in action, visit https://fujisankei.com/video_library/event/kyokushin-la-2020.html.