Today, Okinawan karate is loved by many around the world. It is said that its roots date back to the Ryukyu Kingdom ages. As part of the compulsory education of the dynasty staff, a self-defense martial arts called "Tee" existed during this time. Martial arts that came from trade with China and southeast Asian countries, which had close relationships with Ryukyu, were subsumed to Ryukyu's tee to give birth to the karate people know today. After that, this form of martial arts developed and deepened in mainly three regions inside the islands and produced many styles. Having differing characteristics, it has many techniques and "KATA" that mainly focus on the upper body which are preferred by those who have a nice, firm figure. It also has many techniques and "KATA" that focus on the lower body which are preferred by those who have a small figure and can move fast. There are also styles that incorporate both characteristics to do face-to-face "KUMITE". One of the characteristics of Okinawan karate is the tendency to attach great importance on the acquisition of "KATA", which has been passed down from past generations. "KATA" in Okinawan karate is perfectly structured so that there is no unnecessary techniques while fusing both offense and defense. Training by repeating the same "KATA" every day builds up strength, patience, and the mind.
As a peaceful martial arts, Okinawan karate has over 100 million fans in over 190 countries today. This is a result of the many karate experts proactively working to make karate well-known in and out of Japan after the Meiji era. The addition of karate in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games will add another leap forward to the history of Okinawan karate.
Karate is known all over the world, but its origin is deeply rooted in Okinawa. Explore historical monuments and related facilities of Okinawan karate.
Around Okinawa, there are traditional karate dojos (training halls) that attract foreign visitors. Accepting beginners to the experts, they offer programs that teach karate and provide healthy workouts.
A healthy lifestyle centered on daily diet and exercise exists in Okinawa. There are new exercises that are based on the "KATA", movements, and breathing techniques of karate. These provide health benefits for both the body and mind.
As the birthplace of Karate, Okinawa is home to three of its original forms — Naha-te, Shuri/Tomari-te and Uechi-ryu — which evolved into Okinawa's modern-day karate schools.Visit the mecca of Karate to discover Okinawa's treasured martial art.