Karate

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Karate (空手?) (Japanese pronunciation: [kaɽate]  ( listen), English: /kəˈrɑːtiː/) is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed from indigenous fighting methods called te (?, literally "hand"; Tii in Okinawan) and Chinese kenpō.[1][2] Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands (karate chop). Grappling, locks, restraints, throws, and vital point strikes are taught in some styles.[3] A karate practitioner is called a karateka (空手家?).

Karate was developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom prior to its 19th century annexation by Japan. 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.[4] In this era of escalating Japanese militarism,[5] the name was changed from 唐手 ("Chinese hand") to 空手 ("empty hand") – both of which are pronounced karate – to indicate that the Japanese wished to develop the combat form in Japanese style.[6] After the Second World War, Okinawa became an important United States military site and karate became popular among servicemen stationed there.[7]

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