What is the history of karate

Karate origin & tradition

Origin and tradition of karate - from the beginning

Karate has its roots in martial arts from China and India. Shaolin Monastery is one of the most famous places where the Chinese martial arts developed. Karate has some kata that were developed in Buddhist temples in China, which are associated with Shaolin (shorin-ji).

Okinawa is the birthplace of actual karate, which used to be called death or death jitsu. The arts of self-defense penetrated to Japan via Okinawa and were perfected there. The most famous masters of karate such as Funakoshi, Miyagi and Mabuni came from Okinawa. They spread their style of karate in Japan.
Karate-do spread from Japan all over the world. One of the first major karate associations in Japan was the Japan Karate Association (JKA), the first technical director of which was Funakoshi.

The JKA preserves the Funakoshi tradition of teaching karate to develop a sublime spirit and an attitude of humility. At the same time, however, the strength should be developed to be able to strike down a wild beast with just one blow, for example (Nakayama In: Best Karate).

Karate serves as self-defense and as a means of keeping the body healthy.
Karate is trained in three areas. Elementary school (kihon), kata (form exercises) and kumite (fighting).


Okinawa - the birthplace of karate

During the Keicho era (1596-1615) around 1600, the Shimazu clan occupied the Ryukyu kingdom. The Ryukyu Islands were independent from Japan at that time, and Okinawa was part of the empire. The Shimazu Clan banned Okinawans from carrying weapons. This decree strengthened the ranks of the Okinawa Bushi (warrior caste) in practicing and perfecting unarmed self-defense. The origin of these martial arts is believed to be in China, with which Okinawa had a lively exchange of goods.
The Okinawan people were defending themselves at that timeDeaths called.
After a ban on practicing death (karate), the martial art developed in secret and was further perfected. There are no records of karate from this period.


In the change of time
In modern times, theRecent history Karate experienced a new form.
During the Meji period, checks of the physical constitution of karate practitioners were carried out by school and military doctors in Okinawa. The government officials were surprised at the difference in physical development between the normal population and the karate adepts. Around 1901/1902, a school commission headed by Shintaro Ogawa reported the results of the health checks in Okinawa. Arms and legs, as well as the entire body of Karateka, were much more developed than in Okinawan residents of the same age and with roughly the same diet. The ability to react and the balance were particularly good. This report had an increased effect in military circles.
After evaluating the health survey, karate was integrated into the curriculum of the normal school for men and in the First Middle School.

After long and hard years underground, the value of karate was also recognized by official government agencies in Japan. The only character of karate as pure self-defense began to change. After hard work, karate masters take the decisive step towards spreading karate. Karate was accepted as a sporting exercise for the fitness of the youth. In the fortieth year of the Meji Era (1908), karate was incorporated into the sports curriculum at Okinawa Junior High School as a physical exercise. Karate is still part of sports training at many schools in Japan today.

After the Russo-Japanese War, Funakoshi began to present karate to the public with a select group in 1905. He was invited by the Medica Association to give seminars on “Karate as Physical Education” (cf. G. Funakoshi, Karate Do Kyohan, Neptune Publication 2005, California, p.10, latest translation of the original from 1935). This demonstration group included well-known masters such as Mabuni, Motobu, Kyan, Shiroma, Oshiro, Tokumura, Ishikawa, Yabiku and others.

In May 1922 (the tenth year of the Taisho era), a group of karate experts demonstrated karate exercises in front of the Tenno (Japanese emperor) while he was in Okinawa.

1922 Gichin Funakoshi demonstrated karate in front of the Japanese emperor in Tokyo. It introduced karate to the public at the Ministry of Education's first exhibition around 1922 at the Educational Museum (later renamed several times) in Ochanomizu, Tokyo. This was followed by appearances at the Toyama School, Hoso-kai and Kodokan in Tokyo.
As a result, karate became very popular in Japan, especially in Tokyo. Many universities included karate in their teaching program. Karate clubs that still exist today were formed at many educational institutions such as Keio University, Waseda Uni, Tokyo Daigaku, Hitotsubashi Dai, Takushoku Dai, Japan Medical University, Chuo Daigaku and First High School. Karate was known and respected as a sport for the youth by the masters of Okinawa. Karate underwent a transformation through Master Funakoshi with regard to the structuring of training methods (e.g. Kumite) and the adaptation of terminology (techniques and kata were given Japanese names). Master Funakoshi wrote various books that gave karate a wider accent among the general public. The first book was Ryukyu Kempo: Karate. This was followed by Renten Goshin Karate Jutsu, which was read by the Tenno himself.

With the success in Japan, the sublime spirit of Budo permeated karate. The unity of body and mind - the path - becomes the goal.
Finally, thanks to masters such as Funakoshi, Mabuni, Miyagi and others, karate-do became one of the most important and successful martial arts (Budo) in Japan.

From the universities and educational institutions of Tokyo, karate finally spreads across the world via Japan.

One of the most important pioneers of karate from Japan all over the world was and is the Japan Karate Association with its headquarters in Tokyo.

You can find out more about the Japan Karate Association and the history of karate here: https://www.jka.or.jp