Karate History

Karate is a japanese martial art of Okinawan origin. Okinawa - A japanese Island group. While in Chinese martial arts, shaolin is supposed to be the beginning, in karate everything started in Okinawa. In its early days, karate was a mixture of wushu-shaolin-quan and the own techniques of Okinawan martial artists. Karate Practicioners practice Kihon (Basics), Katas (Forms) and Kumites (Sparring).

History of Karate and japan - Sumary: Karate History

  • Hundreds of years ago, Soldiers from the Chinese army were sent to japan, to explore the islands. They never came back and later even brought their families and the Chinese culture to this beautiful island.
  • In the 18th century the official development of karate began in Okinawa. The first recorded reference to karate in a modern form was tought around 1722 by "Tode Sakugawa" in Shuri. The base for his techniques was shaolin-quan, but karate was also influenced by many other styles from asia. (Shaolin quan is still the most similar martial art style to karate) But the japanese changed a lot, so that there was finally is a totally new martial art, made in Okinawa - Japan.
  • However.., Okinawa was not always a part of Japan and Karate was developed before Okinawa and Japan came together. So some Okinawan Japanese still don't like it when foreigners talk about japanese Karate. What they want to hear is "Okinawan Karate"
  • In the early 20th century, karate became one of the most popular martial arts. At the same time, china didn't do much to make wushu (Chinese martial arts) popular.

The word Karate: Karate History

  • The word karate cosists of the characters empty (kara) and te (fist or hand) Before 1933 the character behind the pronounciation "kara" actually ment "Chinese" In times like this, japanese budo associations could not ever accept their martial art to be called "Chinese fist" That's why "Funakoshi" took the respnsablility to change the original character behind "kara - Chinese" into "kara - empty". Same sound, but different character and meaning.