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.
Karate being a generic term used for all striking arts I wanted to give you the low down, it is actually a Japanese term meaning ” Empty Hand ” , which could describe most striking arts, but originating in Japan with Chinese influence.
Karate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa , Japan .Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking,knee strikes, elbow strikes and open hand techniques such as knife hand, spear-hands, and palm-heel strikes. In some styles, grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints, and vital point strikes are also taught. Karate also incorporates some weapons as well even though the term means “empty hand” some of the weapons used would be Tonfa, Sai, Koma and the most well know the Nunchaku.
The arts taught in the Ryukyu kingdom were brought to the Japanese mainland in the early 20th century and systematically taught. During this time the spelling of Karate and a lot of it’s terminology was changed to Japanese spelling and terms, leaving behind the Chinese influence.
The World Karate Federation recognizes these styles of karate in its kata list
Many additional styles are descended from, or heavily influenced by, one or more of these styles.
You can find more details @ Wikipedia
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