- Master Regina Gonzalez
An Inside Look: Karate
Known as a weaponless form of self defense, Karate is one of the most practiced martial arts forms in the world. Karate is a combination of two Chinese characters: “Kara”, meaning empty, and “te”, meaning hand; meaning empty hand put together. Even though Karate is a form of defensive and counterattacking body movements, its mental and moral characteristics target overall improvement of the individual who practices.
In the late 17th century, a ban on weapons was imposed by the samurai rulers of Japan which began the history of Okinawan Karate. All of the training by the early masters had to be done in secret and self defense revolved around empty handed techniques due to the strict rules of learning martial arts and the weapons ban. The evolution of karate history is not found because there was no information being recorded due to the strict rules implemented on martial arts. During the 20th century, Anko Itosu received permission to end the secrecy and began teaching Te in Okinawan schools. In result, Itosu’s student, Sensei Gichin Funakoshi, introduced the art to Japan in 1922. Funakoshi made changes to the art to help make it more accessible to the Japanese including the name which is now known as Karate.