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Thursday, 04 January 2007 06:59

Karate - History

Black and white photo of karate fighters  Karate - History
Karate developed into a sport from Japanese jujitsu schools in the early 20th century

Karate is generally described as originating in Okinawa, Japan, influenced by the various practitioners who migrated to Japan from China during the early 20th century.

As a martial art, karate evolved from a mixture of indigenous Okinawan Japanese fighting arts and Chinese martial arts. Originally there were no particular styles, only a network of practitioners, each with their own individual fighting methods and eclectic traditions.

Like most martial arts practiced in Japan, modern karate made its transition as a sport from the jujitsu schools around the beginning of the 20th century. Karate was introduced into high schools before World War II; many universities initiated their own karate club programmes.

Karate was introduced to other countries around 1950 by Japanese masters of the art, many of whom came from the JKA (Japan Karate Association). However, no national and international organisations were formed.

The first world championships were held in 1970. Like taekwondo and judo, karate has been adapted for practice as a competitive sport; presently there are a multitude of styles and schools.

Karate became an Asian Games sport during the 11th Asian Games in 1990 in Beijing, China.


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