What is Karate?
What is Karate, this where you find out.
What is Karate? Karate is a martial art that was developed in the Japanese Ryukyu Islands. It uses the whole of the body as a weapon, punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes and open-handed techniques are all utilized. Certain Karate styles also teach grappling techniques, such as arm locks, throws, and point strikes.
Karate was originally referred to as ‘ti. Various forms of Chinese martial arts were slowly introduced to the Ryukyu Islands by visitors from China who were part of the Ming dynasty by King Satto of Chūzan;in late 14th century.
Near the end of the 14th century, a group of Chinese families moved to Okinawa where they established the Kumemura community and shared their knowledge of a wide variety of Chinese arts and sciences, including the Chinese martial arts.
During the first half of the 15th century weapons were banned in Okinawa after the invasion of the Shimazu clan, which forced even more development of unarmed combat systems in Okinawa.
In every area of Okinawa every Karate Instructor taught their own Karate Kata as well as slightly different techniques and principles that distinguished their local version from that of others. Eventually these became the different Karate Styles that we practice today.
The adoption of empty-handed Chinese Wu Shu into Okinawan fighting arts most likely transpired because of cultural and political interchanges. Further influence came from Southeast Asia from the regions of Sumatra, Java, and Melaka. Many Okinawan weapons such as the sai, tonfa, and nunchaku which were originally normal working utensils likely originated in and around Southeast Asia.
Karate was slowly ‘exported’ over the years from Okinawa to Japan and was then developed by the founders of the different Karate Styles. It’s popularity has continued to grow and spread.
Today Karate is practiced all over the World by thousands if not millions of people. They do it for many reasons, from self defence, fitness, self development to just pure fun.
Karate can be practiced with a partner, but it also allows for solitary practice. Practitioners can practice all the moves with what is known as a Karate kata where all of the attacking and evasive moves are practiced in a series of set moves. Practitioners normally practice as a group in organised Karate lessons wearing a Karate uniform working towards the common goal of becoming a Black Belt expert