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The History of KARATE

The History of Karate 11 -Karate-

Photo with Karate master in mainland of JapanPhoto with Karate master in mainland of JapanAccording to a recording, the kanji character "Karate [with Empty Hand]" was used by Chomo Hamashiro in his work Karate Kumite which mentioned his research on "kumite" in 1905 for the first time.


The History of Karate 10 -Kata of Okinawa Karate-

KataKataTraining Okinawa Karate is practicing "Kata".
You begin with "Kata" and end up with "Kata". When you truly completed "Kata", it means you mastered Okinawa Karate. This "keep practicing kata over and over again" style doesn’t seem enough for people who want to fight. However, those kata from our great masters have drastic power and strong defense. Because our great masters know about how powerful those kata is, they cautioned, "You cannot start fighting with Karate", and they tried to avoid fighting..


The History of Karate 9 -Okinawa Karate-

Okinawa KarateOkinawa KarateThe name of “Okinawa Karate” is usually used in Okinawa to discriminate between Karate in Okinawa and Karate in main land of Japan or in overseas. This is because Japanese Karate became much more like sports than traditional martial arts. And many Karate masters in Okinawa are trying to save Karate becoming sports and keep then traditionally.


History of Karate 8 -History of Okinawa Karate -

jigoro kanoJigoro KanoKarate was based on two martial arts: Ti, the original Okinawan martial art and Chinese Kenpo. These two martial arts were mixed and Okinawa Karate was created. In 1905, Karate was taught at school by Anko Itosu. And then it gradually spread all over Okinawa. It was in 18th century when Okinawa Karate was introduced to main land of Japan.


History of Karate 7 -Ban of Ownership Weapons And Okinawa Karate -

SaiSaiBefore Ryukyu became Okinawa, Satsuma, one of Japanese prefecture then ruled Ryukyu. Satsuma made several ban to people of Ryukyu. One of the bans was about ownership weapons.


History of Karate 6 -Spread to outside of Okinawa-

Anko ItosuAnko ItosuKarate was secret of people of Ryukyu kingdom for a long time. One Karate master taught the technique to only one student. They tried to keep Karate secret. However, in 1879, Ryukyu became one of Japanese prefecture and then was the crisis of existence of Okinawa Karate.
Karate was taken over from only warrior class, but when Ryukyu became Okinawa, those warriors had to be civilian. Who would practice Karate no longer then don’t need to protect their kingdom? Then Anko Itosu who saved the Okinawa Karate came out.


History of Karate 5 -Inazo Nitobe-

It is said, Bushido by Inazo Nitobe is the best description of what Bushido is to foreigners.
Nitobe was born in after end of Edo period as Bushi and lived Meiji era with Bushi spirit.After Bushi period [or you can say Edo period,] he got religion in Christianity when he was University student.


History of Karate 4 -Bushido-

In Japan, we have a spirit called “Bushido” for hundreds of years. However, this “Bushido” changed its forms little by little.
You can divide Bushido into three types. First was Bushido in the Age of Civil Wars.Second was previous term of Edo period. And the third was latter term of Edo period. In the Age of Civil Wars, there were some rules in Bushido.


History of Karate 3 -Budo-

How we should understand what “Budo” is?
In Japan, we use Budo as generic name of Japanese martial arts such as Judo, Kendo and Aikido.


History of KARATE 2 -Okinawa Kobudo-

Kata of Okinawa KarateKata of Okinawa KarateKarate and Kobudo are Okinawan traditional martial arts. But we don’t know which came into being first.
However, Karate and Kobudo are related each other and we could have made neither Karate nor Kobudo without others.
So it is better to think both Karate and Kobudo were the same in the first place and developed in different ways.


History of KARATE 1 -appearance and its origin-

Okinawa KarateOkinawa KarateWe have several theories about Okinawan Karate. This is because we have few surviving documents about Okinawan culture and its history.
Many historians are still trying to find the truth of ancient Okinawa.
There are three convincing theories about Okinawan Karate.

1 Karate is a completely a Okinawan martial art. There was a martial art called “Te” and Te had changed its fighting forms through the years and today, we call it “Karate”.
2 Te was mixed with Chinese Kenpo and this hybred martial art became Karate.
3 Karate is a completely Chinese martial art.