Karate

Karate

Karate (空手?) (English: /kəˈrɑːtiː/) is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed from indigenous fighting methods called te (手?, literally “hand”; Tii in Okinawan) and Chinese kenpō. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands. Grappling, locks, restraints, throws, and vital point strikes are taught in some styles. A karate practitioner is called a karateka (空手家?).

Karate was developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom prior to its 19th century annexation by Japan. It was brought to the Japanese mainland in the early 20th century during a time of cultural exchanges between the Japanese and the Ryukyuans. In 1922 the Japanese Ministry of Education invited Gichin Funakoshi to Tokyo to give a karate demonstration. In 1924 Keio University established the first university karate club in Japan and by 1932, major Japanese universities had karate clubs. In this era of escalating Japanese militarism,[5] the name was changed from 唐手 (“Chinese hand”) to 空手 (“empty hand”) – both of which are pronounced karate – to indicate that the Japanese wished to develop the combat form in Japanese style. After the Second World War, Okinawa became an important United States military site and karate became popular among servicemen stationed there.

The World Karate Federation recognizes these styles of karate in its kata list

  • Shōtōkan-ryū,
  • Shitō-ryū,
  • Gōjū-ryū,
  • Wadō-ryū.

The World Union of Karate-do Federations (WUKF) recognizes these styles of karate in its kata list.[20]

  • Shōtōkan-ryū,
  • Shitō-ryū,
  • Gōjū-ryū,
  • Wadō-ryū,
  • Shōrin-ryū,
  • Uechi-ryū,
  • Kyokushinkai,
  • Budōkan.

Many schools would be affiliated with, or heavily influenced by, one or more of these styles.