28 Facts About Karate


Karate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom.

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Karate is predominantly a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open-hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands and palm-heel strikes.

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Karate came to mainland Japan in the early 20th century during a time of migration as Ryukyuans, especially from Okinawa, looked for work in the main islands of Japan.

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Karate schools began appearing around the world, catering to those with casual interest as well as those seeking a deeper study of the art.

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Karate began as a common fighting system known as te among the Pechin class of the Ryukyuans.

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Karate created the ping'an forms which are simplified kata for beginning students.

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Karate's students became some of the most well-known karate masters, including Gichin Funakoshi, Kenwa Mabuni, and Choki Motobu.

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Karate was a leading figure of Chinese Nanpa Shorin-ken style at that time.

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Karate later developed his own style of Uechi-ryu karate based on the Sanchin, Seisan, and Sanseiryu kata that he had studied in China.

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Karate always referred to what he taught as simply karate, but in 1936 he built a dojo in Tokyo and the style he left behind is usually called Shotokan after this dojo.

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Karate can be practiced as an art, self defense or as a combat sport.

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Karate training is commonly divided into kihon, kata, and kumite .

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Sport kumite in many international competition under the World Karate Federation is free or structured with light contact or semi contact and points are awarded by a referee.

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Sport Karate emphasizes aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise, power, agility, flexibility, and stress management.

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In 1924, Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan Karate, adopted the Dan system from the judo founder Jigoro Kano using a rank scheme with a limited set of belt colors.

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In Karate-Do Kyohan, Funakoshi quoted from the Heart Sutra, which is prominent in Shingon Buddhism: "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form itself" .

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Karate is divided into many styles, each with their different training methods, focuses, and cultures; though they mainly originate from the historical Okinawan parent styles of Naha-te, Tomari-te and Shuri-te.

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Karate has grown in popularity in Africa, particularly in South Africa and Ghana.

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Karate began in Canada in the 1930s and 1940s as Japanese people immigrated to the country.

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Karate was practised quietly without a large amount of organization.

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Karate founded the first university karate club in the United States at California Institute of Technology in 1957.

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Karate provided an important comparative model for the early founders of taekwondo in the formalization of their art including hyung and the belt ranking system.

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Karate appeared in the Soviet Union in the mid-1960s, during Nikita Khrushchev's policy of improved international relations.

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On 17 May 1984, the Soviet Karate Federation was disbanded and all karate became illegal again.

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Shotokai Karate was introduced to England in 1963 by another of Gichin Funakoshi's students, Mitsusuke Harada.

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Outside of the Shotokan stable of karate styles, Wado Ryu Karate was an early adopted style in the UK, introduced by Tatsuo Suzuki, a 6th Dan at the time in 1964.

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In 1966, members of the former British Karate Federation established the Karate Union of Great Britain under Hirokazu Kanazawa as chief instructor and affiliated to JKA.

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Karate Kommandos is an animated children's show, with Chuck Norris appearing to reveal the moral lessons contained in every episode.

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