Karate (the way of the empty hand) is both a martial art and a sport that has in recent decades proliferated worldwide.
Unlike other martial arts such as judo, Aikido or jujitsu, karate is not a grappling art.
Its practitionerís use a variety of kicks, punches, knee attacks and elbow strikes along with various blocking techniques to score points or defeat an attacker.
The root of sport karate is a product of fighting arts traced to ancient India, China, and Okinawa. Yoga and its diaphragmatic breathing methods would eventually influence Japanese karate, as would the fighting techniques of China. As travelers roamed between China, India and Okinawa, so did the art. Weaponless combat, called the (hand), had already existed on Okinawa; with the ban against carrying arms issued by the Japanese occupation in 1470, these empty-hand techniques thrived. Modern karate originated in Okinawa and was introduced to Japan in the early part of the 20th century by Gichin Funakoshi. Following World War 11, karate was introduced to the west and unlike judo, there were a large number of styles in karate. Basically divided into Okinawan or Japanese styles, the most widely practiced Japanese styles include Shotokan, Wado-ryu, Chito-ryu, Koei-kan, Renbukan, Sankukai, Shudokan, Shukokai, Goju-ryu, Koykushinkai, and Shito-ryu.