What sport helps participants stay strong, win battles, and teaches valuable self- defense? Karate, of course!
A long time ago in Japan, karate was brought to the Okinawan Islands by a Chinese family. In Japanese, karate literally means “empty hands.” Karate originated here because weapons were banned in Japan at the time, so hands became the weapons of choice for many warriors.
Originally, there were three styles of karate: Shuri-te, Naha-te, and Tomari-te. Now there are four other styles in addition: Gōju-ryu, Shitō-ryu, Shotokan, and Wadō-ryū.
There are many important figures in the history of karate. For example, Dr. Jano Kano was the founder of the Japanese Judo style of self-defense while Gichin Funakoshi was the founder of a style called Shokotan, which is a modern style of karate. There are also many other people important to the start and spread of the sport like Chojun Miyani, who was the founder of a style called Gōju-ryu; Hironori Otsuka, who was the founder of a style called Wadō-ryū; and Kenwa Mabuni, who was the founder of a style called Shitō-ryu.
Today, karate practice centers, or dojos, are found all over the United States and the world. People across the globe practice karate because it’s fun, it’s good exercise, and it’s a great way to learn self-defense skills.