How did karate began?

Updated: 9/27/2023
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13y ago

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Karate was developed over hundreds of years on the island of Okinawa, also known as the Ryūkyū Kingdom. People learned what worked in a fight and passed it down to their children. As they learned more, they developed ways to help them remember. One way to help was through kata, sequences of moves to help teach, learn and remember.

There are some key people in the history of karate such as Matsumora, Funakoshi, and Chibana that are recognized by most karateka. Elements of White Crane Kung Fu were brought to Okinawa and merged with the native martial art of Te to become Kara Te, originally China Hand, but now translated as Empty Hand.

Since the 1930's, karate moved to Japan and then to Korea. In both places the style was modified and merged with already existing arts, but the kata are clearly identifiable.

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11y ago
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15y ago

{| |- | It was created on the island of Okinawa. The natives combined their local self defense art, te, with the White Crane Kung Fu that was brought to their island by the Chinese, kara. It became known as kara-te. |}

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13y ago

I actually have to write an essay on that so I'm just going to put part of the essay I made here. It should answer your question.Hundreds of years ago, on the island of Okinawa, a form of Martial Arts, known today as karate, was developing. Okinawa was one of the small islands that surrounded Japan and being at the crossroad of most trades, it was often a resting spot. Anyway, back to karate. As karate is made up of two Japanese characters 'kara'(空) and 'te'(手), which literally translates into English as 'empty hands.' However, it did not always have that name. Originally, karate was known as 'Kenpo,' which meant 'First Law' in Chinese. When karate came from China to Okinawa, the 'te' was added causing it to mean 'Hands of China.' Finally, in 1923, the Okinawans turned the Chinese characters into Japanese ones making the translation 'Empty Hands.' This brought an even deeper meaning to karate that the spiritual overcomes the physical. In 1916, two of the best from Okinawa, (Kenwa Mabuni and Gigen Funakoshi) introduced karate to Japan in order to promote karate as a sport.

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12y ago

It is a combination of two Kanji characters, Kara and Te. Te means hand. Kara can be interpreted in two ways. The first was 'China' and referred to the combining of the Chinese Kung Fu and Okinawan Wrestling, named Tegumi, or Te for short. The rise in Japanese nationalism changed the used interpretation to Empty, so it is now referred to as Empty Hand.

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