Created using “elements belonging to Chinese martial art” is an East Asian combat form known as Karate. This “striking” form of martial art form is said to have originated from Japan on the Okinawa islands. Apparently, an individual who practices karate is known as “karateka”. Furthermore, this form of combat is said to have been developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom that ruled the Ryukyu Islands from about the 15th to the 19th century. In addition, Karate which was developed on the Okinawa Island was gradually brought into mainland Japan after the “Taisho Era” ended in 1926.
a. History/origin of Karate:
According to the cultural history of Japan, there existed a trade relationship between King Satto of Chuzan (a kingdom that controlled Okinawa Island during the 14th century) and the Ming dynasty in China in the year 1372. It was during this period that a few Chinese martial forms were introduced into the Ryukyu Islands by visitors from China mainly belonging to the Fujian Province. Furthermore, around the year 1392 many Chinese families began moving to the Okinawa Island as a part of a cultural exchange program. A community known as “Kumemura” was then created on the island by these families from China who openly shared their knowledge pertaining martial art forms. In addition, it was in 1477 that King Sho Shin of Okinawa banned the use of weapon. It was this prohibitory policy that led to creation of “Karate” using elements from Chinese martial art forms in Okinawa.
b. Weapon used in the Karate:
Since Karate is mainly a “striking” martial art form the “hands and legs” of the fighter is mainly used as a weapon.
c. Technique involved in the Karate and training availability:
In terms of technique, Karate basically involves “striking” technique. So moves such as punching, kicking, knee strikes, and elbow strikes are used by a fighter. In addition, moves such as grappling, throws, joint locks, and vital point strikes are also used. As for training centers/schools, there are number of them all around the world for those interested in learning this “striking” martial art form.