History of Karate

Karate has history that dates back from China and even beyond, carried by fishermen to the island of Okinawa where old masters like Itosu and Azato trained at the shores of the island all of their lives. The founder of the Shotokan style was called Gichin Funakoshi he was born in 1868 , His best friend at school was father to the great Azato a master in his own right. Funakoshi started training under Azato and Azato’s friend Itosu late at night as karate was frond upon due to the political changes in the east causing it to be band. After many years the ban subsided and Gichin Funakoshi decided to share what he had learned. He left Okinawa to live in Japan and begin the spread of Karate worldwide. He started the campaign of the spread of Karate and by now his karate had changed and been adapted. Even the kanji of the written word had been changed from China hand to Empty hand which would help to spread its popularity. He began teaching in Japans university’s and Karate was turned into a “do- “(away of ) selling it as an art to improve character .From then on Funakoshi, his son and students continued to help with the world wide spread of the art. The only fault that was beginning to happen was that karate was now being tried and tested against other karate practitioners, that kind of caused the karate that is taught to forget its initial beginning as a self-defence against untrained attackers.  While Funakoshi was in Japan he met Judo founder Jigoro Kano at a big martial arts demonstration. I believe he decided with Jigoro Kano to leave a lot of throwing techniques out of karate and its study of kata. I think it was with judo being very popular at the time he didn’t want to rock the boat. Funakoshi did however borrow the belt and ranking system and the training uniform “gi” from judo. Karate has now made a full circle and has and will be changing world wide concentrating more on practical self-defence against untrained attackers and the studied” bunkai” (Kata application) is now tested in a much more realistic way that works.