Karate: the martial art of Okinawa

Okinawa is the birthplace of karate. The actual meaning of karate in Japanese is “empty hand.” However, the Okinawans first elaborated “te” (hand), their own unique art of self-defense devoid of weapons, which later developed into karate. Created in the former Ryukyu Kingdom and spread from Okinawa to Japan and then to the world, karate today is said to have more than 50 million fans in more than 140 countries. Karate is characterized by the use of fists, toes, elbows and knife-like hands.