Karate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed partially from the indigenous martial arts of Ryukyu Islands called Te ( literally hand; Tii in Okinawan) and from Chinese kenpo. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands,and palm-heel strikes. In some styles, grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints, and vital point strikes are also taught. A karate practitioner is called a karateka . Karate was developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom and was systematically taught in Japan after the Taisho era. It was brought to the Japanese mainland in the early 20th century during a time of cultural exchanges between the Japanese and the Ryukyuans. In 1922 the Japanese Ministry of Education invited Gichin Funakoshi to Tokyo to give a karate demonstration. In 1924 Keio University established the first university karate club in Japan and by 1932, major Japanese universities had karate clubs. In this era of escalating Japanese militarism, the name was changed from (Chinese han\ or Tang hand verbatim, as the name of the Tang dynasty was a synonym to China in Okinawa) to (empty hand) 2013 both of which are pronounced karate 2013 to indicate that the Japanese wished to develop the combat form in Japanese style. After the Second World War, Okinawa became an important United States military site and karate became popular among servicemen stationed there. The martial arts movies of the 1960s and 1970s served to greatly increase the popularity of martial arts around the world, and in English the word karate began to be used in a generic way to refer to all striking-based Oriental martial arts. Karate schools began appearing across the world, catering to those with casual interest as well as those seeking a deeper study of the art. Shigeru Egami, Chief Instructor of Shotokan Dojo, opined \that the majority of followers of karate in overseas countries pursue karate only for its fighting techniques.. Movies and television... depict karate as a mysterious way of fighting capable of causing death or injury with a single blow... the mass media present a pseudo art far from the real thing. Shoshin Nagamine said \Karate may be considered as the conflict within oneself or as a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline hard training and one's own creative efforts. For many practitioners, karate is a deeply philosophical practice. Karate-do teaches ethical principles and can have spiritual significance to its adherents. Gichin Funakoshi (Father of Modern Karate) titled his autobiography Karate-Do: My Way of Life in recognition of the transforming nature of karate study. Today karate is practiced for self-perfection, for cultural reasons, for self-defense and as a sport. In 2009, in the 121th IOC voting, karate did not receive the necessary two-thirds majority vote to become an Olympic sport. Web Japan (sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs) claims there are 50 million karate practitioners worldwide while the WKF claims there are 100 million practitioners around the world.
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