ORIGIN'S OF KARATE

               It is believed that the earliest form of disciplined, unarmed struggle originated in India and China.

               Clarity comes in the history of the Karate only with its appearance on the island Okinawa. Karate developed from the Chinese Kung Fu to Okinawa, the main island of the Ryūkyū Island chain, which stretches from Japan to Taiwan. The inhabitants of this island, now part of Japan, were already in the 14th century with the Chinese mainland in a lively trade exchange. 

               Traders and fishermen who stayed in China for a long time were trained there in Kung Fu and then brought the Chinese camp techniques to their home country. There they mingled with the local fighting system of the Te and developed thus to the Okinawa-Te further. Later, Okinawa-Te was then renamed Kara-Te - which means "empty hand".

 

MASTER GICHIN FUNAKOSHI

            The Modern Karate - Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957) was one of the greatest karate masters. He is regarded as father and founder of the modern Karate-do. At the beginning of the twentieth century he succeeded in spreading the unarmed martial art on Okinawa. He saw in Karate not only an effective defense method, but rather a way to develop body and character, he coined the sentence:

"The highest goal in Karate-do is not the victory or the defeat, but the perfection of the human character."

               

In 1922 Funakoshi was invited by the Japanese Ministry of Education to show Karate martial arts in Tokyo. He stayed in Tokyo and founded his first Dojo two years later.

            Gichin Funakoshi founded the shotokan style, one of the three oldest Karate style. The other two styles were Goju Ryu, founded by Chojun Miyagi and Shito-Ryu, founded by Kenwa Mabuni. Both founders were students of Master Funakoshi. Most recent styles go back to a combination of these three karate styles.

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