Karate was developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom. It was brought to the Japanese mainland in the early 20th century during a time of cultural exchanges between the Japanese and the Ryukyuans. It was systematically taught in Japan after the Taisho era.* 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.* In this era of escalating Japanese militarism,* the name was changed from ("Chinese hand" or "Tang hand")* to ("empty hand") – both of which are pronounced karate – to indicate that the Japanese wished to develop the combat form in Japanese style.* After the Second World War, Okinawa became an important United States military site and karate became popular among servicemen stationed there.*The martial arts movies of the 1960s and 1970s served to greatly increase the popularity of martial arts around the world, and in English the word karate began to be used in a generic way to refer to all striking-based Oriental martial arts.* Karate schools began appearing across the world, catering to those with casual interest as well as those seeking a deeper study of the art.
Shigeru Egami, Chief Instructor of Shotokan Dojo, opined "that the majority of followers of karate in overseas countries pursue karate only for its fighting techniques ... Movies and television ... depict karate as a mysterious way of fighting capable of causing death or injury with a single blow ... the mass media present a pseudo art far from the real thing."* Shoshin Nagamine said "Karate may be considered as the conflict within oneself or as a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline, hard training and one's own creative efforts."*For many practitioners, karate is a deeply philosophical practice. Karate-do teaches ethical principles and can have spiritual significance to its adherents. Gichin Funakoshi ("Father of Modern Karate") titled his autobiography Karate-Do: My Way of Life in recognition of the transforming nature of karate study. Today karate is practiced for self-perfection, for cultural reasons, for self-defense and as a sport.
In 2009, in the 121th IOC (International Olympic Committee) voting, karate did not receive the necessary two-thirds majority vote to become an Olympic sport.* Karate was being considered for the 2020 Games*—however, at a meeting of the IOC's executive board, held in Russia on May 29, 2013, it was decided that karate (along with wushu and several other non-martial arts) would not be considered for inclusion in 2020 at the IOC's 125th session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in September 2013.*Web Japan (sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs) claims there are 50 million karate practitioners worldwide* while the WKF claims there are 100 million practitioners around the world.*
OkinawaKarate began as a common fighting system known as Okinawan martial arts#Early martial arts|te (Okinawan: ti) among the Pechin class of the Ryukyuans. After trade relationships were established with the Ming dynasty of China by King Satto of Chuzan in 1372, some forms of Chinese martial arts were introduced to the Ryukyu Islands by the visitors from China, particularly Fujian Province. A large group of Chinese families moved to Okinawa around 1392 for the purpose of cultural exchange, where they established the community of Kumemura and shared their knowledge of a wide variety of Chinese arts and sciences, including the Chinese martial arts. The political centralization of Okinawa by King Sho Hashi in 1429 and the policy of banning weapons, enforced in Okinawa after the Invasion of Ryukyu|invasion of the Shimazu clan in 1609, are also factors that furthered the development of unarmed combat techniques in Okinawa.*
There were few formal styles of te, but rather many practitioners with their own methods. One surviving example is the Motobu-ryu school passed down from the Motobu family by Seikichi Uehara.* Early styles of karate are often generalized as Shuri-te, Naha-te, and Tomari-te, named after the three cities from which they emerged.* Each area and its teachers had particular kata, techniques, and principles that distinguished their local version of te from the others.
Members of the Okinawan upper classes were sent to China regularly to study various political and practical disciplines. The incorporation of empty-handed Chinese martial arts|Chinese Kung Fu into Okinawan martial arts occurred partly because of these exchanges and partly because of growing legal restrictions on the use of weaponry. Traditional karate kata bear a strong resemblance to the forms found in Fujian martial arts such as Fujian White Crane, Five Ancestors, and Gangrou-quan (Hard and soft (martial arts)|Hard Soft Fist; pronounced "Gojuken" in Japanese).* Many Okinawan weapons such as the sai (weapon)|sai, tonfa, and nunchaku may have originated in and around Southeast Asia.
Kanga Sakukawa|Sakukawa Kanga (1782–1838) had studied pugilism and Gun (staff)|staff (bo) fighting in China (according to one legend, under the guidance of Kosokun, originator of Kusanku (kata)|kusanku kata). In 1806 he started teaching a fighting art in the city of Shuri, Okinawa|Shuri that he called "Tudi Sakukawa," which meant "Sakukawa of China Hand." This was the first known recorded reference to the art of "Tudi," written as ?. Around the 1820s Sakukawa's most significant student Matsumura Sokon (1809–1899) taught a synthesis of te (Shuri-te and Tomari-te) and Shaolin kung fu|Shaolin (Chinese ?) styles. Matsumura's style would later become the Shorin-ryu style.
Matsumura taught his art to Anko Itosu|Itosu Anko (1831–1915) among others. Itosu adapted two forms he had learned from Matsumara. These are kusanku and chiangnan. He created the ping'an forms ("heian" or "pinan" in Japanese) which are simplified kata for beginning students. In 1901 Itosu helped to get karate introduced into Okinawa's public schools. These forms were taught to children at the elementary school level. Itosu's influence in karate is broad. The forms he created are common across nearly all styles of karate. His students became some of the most well known karate masters, including Gichin Funakoshi, Kenwa Mabuni, and Motobu Choki. Itosu is sometimes referred to as "the Grandfather of Modern Karate."*In 1881 Higaonna Kanryo returned from China after years of instruction with Ryu Ryu Ko and founded what would become Naha-te. One of his students was the founder of Goju-ryu, Chojun Miyagi. Chojun Miyagi taught such well-known karateka as Seko Higa (who also trained with Higaonna), Meitoku Yagi, Miyazato Ei'ichi, and Seikichi Toguchi, and for a very brief time near the end of his life, An'ichi Miyagi (a teacher claimed by Morio Higaonna).
In addition to the three early te styles of karate a fourth Okinawan influence is that of Kanbun Uechi (1877–1948). At the age of 20 he went to Fuzhou in Fujian Province, China, to escape Japanese military conscription. While there he studied under Shushiwa. He was a leading figure of Chinese Nam Pai Chuan|Nanpa Shorin-ken style at that time.* He later developed his own style of Uechi-ryu karate based on the Sanchin, Seisan, and Sanseirui|Sanseiryu kata that he had studied in China.*
JapanGichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan karate, is generally credited with having introduced and popularized karate on the main islands of Japan. In addition many Okinawans were actively teaching, and are thus also responsible for the development of karate on the main islands. Funakoshi was a student of both Anko Asato|Asato Anko and Anko Itosu|Itosu Anko (who had worked to introduce karate to the Okinawa Prefectural School System in 1902). During this time period, prominent teachers who also influenced the spread of karate in Japan included Kenwa Mabuni, Chojun Miyagi, Motobu Choki, Kanken Toyama, and Kanbun Uechi. This was a turbulent period in the history of the region. It includes Japan's annexation of the Okinawan island group in 1872, the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895), the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), the Korea under Japanese rule|annexation of Korea, and the rise of Japanese expansionism|Japanese militarism (1905–1945).
Japan was Second Sino-Japanese War#Invasion of China|invading China at the time, and Funakoshi knew that the art of Tang Dynasty|Tang/China hand would not be accepted; thus the change of the art's name to "way of the empty hand." The do suffix implies that karatedo is a path to self-knowledge, not just a study of the technical aspects of fighting. Like most martial arts practiced in Japan, karate made its transition from -jutsu to -do around the beginning of the 20th century. The "do" in "karate-do" sets it apart from karate-jutsu, as aikido is distinguished from aikijutsu, judo from jujutsu, kendo from kenjutsu and iaido from iaijutsu.
Funakoshi changed the names of many kata and the name of the art itself (at least on mainland Japan), doing so to get karate accepted by the Japanese budo organization Dai Nippon Butoku Kai. Funakoshi also gave Japanese names to many of the kata. The five pinan forms became known as heian, the three naihanchi forms became known as tekki, seisan as hangetsu, Chinto as gankaku, wanshu as empi, and so on. These were mostly political changes, rather than changes to the content of the forms, although Funakoshi did introduce some such changes. Funakoshi had trained in two of the popular branches of Okinawan karate of the time, Shorin-ryu and Shorei-ryu. In Japan he was influenced by kendo, incorporating some ideas about distancing and timing into his style. He always referred to what he taught as simply karate, but in 1936 he built a dojo in Tokyo and the style he left behind is usually called Shotokan after this dojo.
The modernization and systemization of karate in Japan also included the adoption of the white uniform that consisted of the kimono and the dogi or keikogi—mostly called just karategi—and colored belt ranks. Both of these innovations were originated and popularized by Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo and one of the men Funakoshi consulted in his efforts to modernize karate.
A new form of karate called Kyokushin was formally founded in 1957 by Masutatsu Oyama (who was born a Korean, Choi Yeong-Eui ?). Kyokushin is largely a synthesis of Shotokan and Goju-ryu. It teaches a curriculum that emphasizes Aliveness (martial arts)|aliveness, physical toughness, and full contact sparring. Because of its emphasis on physical, full-force sparring, Kyokushin is now often called "full contact karate", or "Knockdown karate" (after the name for its competition rules). Many other karate organizations and styles are descended from the Kyokushin curriculum.
The World Karate Federation recognizes these styles of karate in its kata list*
The World Union of Karate-do Federations (WUKF) recognizes these styles of karate in its kata list.*
PracticeKarate can be practiced as an art (budo), as a sport, as a combat sport, or as self defense training. Traditional karate places emphasis on self-development (budo).* Modern Japanese style training emphasizes the psychological elements incorporated into a proper kokoro (attitude) such as perseverance, fearlessness, virtue, and leadership skills. Sport karate places emphasis on exercise and competition. Weapons is important training activity in some styles of karate.
Karate training is commonly divided into kihon (basics or fundamentals), Kata (martial arts)|kata (forms), and kumite (sparring).
KihonKarate styles place varying importance on kihon. Typically this is performance in unison of a technique or a combination of techniques by a group of karateka. Kihon may also be prearranged drills in smaller groups or in pairs.
KataKata (wikt:?|?:?) means literally "shape" or "model." Kata is a formalized sequence of movements which represent various offensive and defensive postures. These postures are based on idealized combat applications. The applications applied in a demonstration with real opponents is referred to as a Bunkai. The Bunkai shows how every stance and movement is used. Bunkai is a useful tool to understand a kata.
To attain a formal rank the karateka must demonstrate competent performance of specific required kata for that level. The Japanese terminology for grades or ranks is commonly used. Requirements for examinations vary among schools.
KumiteSparring in Karate is called kumite (?:?). It literally means "meeting of hands." Kumite is practiced both as a sport and as self-defense training.
Levels of physical contact during sparring vary considerably. Full contact karate has several variants. Knockdown karate (such as Kyokushin) uses full power techniques to bring an opponent to the ground. In Kickboxing variants ( for example K-1), the preferred win is by knockout. Sparring in armour (bogu kumite) allows full power techniques with some safety. Sport kumite in many international competition under the World Karate Federation is free or structured with light contact or semi contact and points are awarded by a referee.
In structured kumite (Yakusoku – prearranged), two participants perform a choreographed series of techniques with one striking while the other blocks. The form ends with one devastating technique (Hito Tsuki).
In free sparring (Jiyu Kumite), the two participants have a free choice of scoring techniques. The allowed techniques and contact level are primarily determined by sport or style organization policy, but might be modified according to the age, rank and sex of the participants. Depending upon style, takedown (grappling)|take-downs, Sweep (martial arts)|sweeps and in some rare cases even time-limited grappling on the ground are also allowed.
Free sparring is performed in a marked or closed area. The bout runs for a fixed time (2 to 3 minutes.) The time can run continuously (Iri Kume) or be stopped for referee judgment. In light contact or semi contact kumite, points are awarded based on the criteria: good form, sporting attitude, vigorous application, awareness/zanshin, good timing and correct distance. In full contact karate kumite, points are based on the results of the impact, rather than the formal appearance of the scoring technique.
Dojo KunIn the bushido tradition dojo kun is a set of guidelines for karateka to follow. These guidelines apply both in the dojo (training hall) and in everyday life.
ConditioningOkinawan karate uses supplementary training known as hojo undo. This utilizes simple equipment made of wood and stone. The makiwara is a striking post. The Hojo undo#Nigiri game|nigiri game is a large jar used for developing grip strength. These supplementary exercises are designed to increase Physical strength|strength, Endurance|stamina, speed, and Motor coordination|muscle coordination.* Sport Karate emphasises aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise, Power (physics)|power, Sport agility|agility, Flexibility (anatomy)|flexibility, and stress management.* All practices vary depending upon the school and the teacher.
SportGichin Funakoshi (? ?) said, "There are no contests in karate."* In pre–World War II Okinawa, kumite was not part of karate training.* Shigeru Egami relates that, in 1940, some karateka were ousted from their dojo because they adopted sparring after having learned it in Tokyo.*Karate is divided into style organizations. These organizations sometimes cooperate in non-style specific sport karate organizations or federations. Examples of sport organizations are AAKF/ITKF, AOK, TKL, AKA, WKF, NWUKO, WUKF and WKC.* Organizations hold competitions (tournaments) from local to international level. Tournaments are designed to match members of opposing schools or styles against one another in kata, sparring and weapons demonstration. They are often separated by age, rank and sex with potentially different rules or standards based on these factors. The tournament may be exclusively for members of a particular style (closed) or one in which any martial artist from any style may participate within the rules of the tournament (open).
The World Karate Federation (WKF) is the largest sport karate organization and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as being responsible for karate competition in the Olympic games.* The WKF has developed common rules governing all styles. The national WKF organizations coordinate with their respective National Olympic Committees.
Karate does not have 2012 Olympic Games|Olympic status. In the 117th IOC Session (July 2005), karate received more than half of the votes, but not the two-thirds majority needed to become an official Olympic sport.
WKF karate competition has two disciplines: sparring (kumite) and forms (Karate kata|kata). Competitors may enter either as individuals or as part of a team. Evaluation for kata and kobudo is performed by a panel of judges, whereas sparring is judged by a head referee, usually with assistant referees at the side of the sparring area. Sparring matches are typically divided by weight, age, gender, and experience.
WKF only allows membership through one national organization/federation per country to which clubs may join. The World Union of Karate-do Federations (WUKF)* offers different styles and federations a world body they may join, without having to compromise their style or size. The WUKF accepts more than one federation or association per country.
Sport organizations use different competition rule systems. Light contact rules are used by the WKF, WUKO, IASK and WKC. Full contact karate rules used by Kyokushinkai, Seidokaikan and other organizations. Bogu kumite (full contact with protective shielding of targets) rules are used in the World Koshiki Karate-Do Federation organization.* Shinkaratedo Federation use boxing gloves.* Within the United States, rules may be under the jurisdiction of state sports authorities, such as the boxing commission.
RankIn 1924 Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan Karate, adopted the Dan rank|Dan system from the judo founder Jigoro Kano* using a Judo#Rank and grading|rank scheme with a limited set of belt colors. Other Okinawan teachers also adopted this practice. In the Kyu/dan rank|Dan system the beginner grades start with a higher numbered kyu (e.g., 10th Kyu or Jukyu) and progress toward a lower numbered kyu. The Dan progression continues from 1st Dan (Shodan, or 'beginning dan') to the higher dan grades. Kyu-grade karateka arereferred to as "color belt" or mudansha ("ones without dan/rank"). Dan-grade karateka are referred to as yudansha (holders of dan/rank). Yudansha typically wear a Black belt (martial arts)|black belt. Normally, the first five to six dans are given by examination by superior dan holders, while the subsequent (7 and up) are honorary, given for special merits and/or age reached. Requirements of rank differ among styles, organizations, and schools. Kyu ranks stress Karate stances|stance, Equilibrioception|balance, and motor coordination|coordination. Speed and Force|power are added at higher grades.
Minimum age and time in rank are factors affecting promotion. Testing consists of demonstration of techniques before a panel of examiners. This will vary by school, but testing may include everything learned at that point, or just new information. The demonstration is an application for new rank (shinsa) and may include kata, bunkai, self-defense, routines, tameshiwari (breaking), and/or kumite (sparring).
Dishonest practiceDue to the popularity of martial arts, both in mass media and reality, a large number of disreputable, fraudulent, or misguided teachers and schools have arisen, approximately over the last 40 years. Commonly referred to as a "McDojo"* or a "Black Belt (martial arts)|Black Belt Mill," these schools are commonly headed by martial artists of either dubious skill or business ethics.
PhilosophyIn Karate-Do Kyohan Funakoshi quoted from the Heart Sutra, which is prominent in Shingon Buddhism: "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form itself" (shiki zokuze ku ku zokuze shiki).* He interpreted the "kara" of Karate-do to mean "to purge oneself of selfish and evil thoughts ... for only with a clear mind and conscience can the practitioner understand the knowledge which he receives." Funakoshi believed that one should be "inwardly humble and outwardly gentle." Only by behaving humbly can one be open to Karate's many lessons. This is done by listening and being receptive to criticism. He considered courtesy of prime importance. He said that "Karate is properly applied only in those rare situations in which one really must either down another or be downed by him." Funakoshi did not consider it unusual for a devotee to use Karate in a real physical confrontation no more than perhaps once in a lifetime. He stated that Karate practitioners must "never be easily drawn into a fight." It is understood that one blow from a real expert could mean death. It is clear that those who misuse what they have learned bring dishonor upon themselves. He promoted the character trait of personal conviction. In "time of grave public crisis, one must have the courage ... to face a million and one opponents." He taught that indecisiveness is a weakness.*
EtymologyKarate was originally written as "Chinese hand" (? literally "Tang dynasty hand") in kanji. It was later changed to a homophone meaning empty hand (?). The original use of the word "karate" in print is attributed to Anko Itosu; he wrote it as "?". The Tang Dynasty of China ended in AD 907, but the kanji representing it remains in use in Japanese language referring to China generally, in such words as "?" meaning Chinatown. Thus the word "karate" was originally a way of expressing "martial art from China."
The first documented use of a homophone of the logogram pronounced kara by replacing the Chinese character meaning "Tang Dynasty" with the character meaning "empty" took place in Karate Kumite written in August 1905 by Chomo Hanashiro (1869–1945). Sino-Japanese relations have never been very good, and especially at the time of the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, referring to the Chinese origins of karate was considered politically incorrect.*
Another nominal development is the addition of do (?:?) to the end of the word karate. Do is a suffix having numerous meanings including road, path, route, and way. It is used in many martial arts that survived Japan's Meiji period|transition from Edo period|feudal culture to Economy of Japan|modern times. It implies that these arts are not just fighting systems but contain spiritual elements when promoted as disciplines. In this context do is usually translated as "the way of ___". Examples include aikido, judo, kyudo, and kendo. Thus karatedo is more than just empty hand techniques. It is "The Way of the Empty Hand".
Karate and its influence outside Japan
CanadaKarate began in Canada in the 1930s and 1940s as Japanese people immigrated to the country. Karate was practised quietly without a large amount of organization. During the Second World War, many Japanese-Canadian families were moved to the interior of British Columbia. Masaru Shintani, at the age of 13, began to study Shorin-Ryu karate in the Japanese camp under Kitigawa. In 1956 after 9 years of training with Kitigawa, Shintani travelled to Japan and met Hironori Otsuka (Wado Ryu). In 1958 Otsuka invited Shintani to join his organization Wado Kai, and in 1969 he asked Shintani to officially call his style Wado.*In Canada during this same time, karate was also introduced by Masami Tsuruoka who had studied in Japan in the 1940s under Tsuyoshi Chitose.* In 1954 Tsuruoka initiated the first karate competition in Canada and laid the foundation for the Karate Canada|National Karate Association.*
In the late 1950s Shintani moved to Ontario and began teaching karate and judo at the Japanese Cultural Centre in Hamilton. In 1966 he began (with Otsuka's endorsement) the Shintani Wado Kai Karate Federation. During the 1970s Otsuka appointed Shintani the Supreme Instructor of Wado Kai in North America. In 1979, Otsuka publicly promoted Shintani to hachidan (8th dan) and privately gave him a kudan certificate (9th dan), which was revealed by Shintani in 1995. Shintani and Otsuka visited each other in Japan and Canada several times, the last time in 1980 two years prior to Otsuka's death. Shintani died May 7, 2000.*
KoreaDue to past conflict between Korea and Japan, most notably during the Japanese occupation in the early 20th century, the influence of karate in Korea is a contentious issue. From 1910 until 1945, Korea was annexed to the Japanese Empire. It was during this time that many of the Korean martial arts masters of the 20th century were exposed to Japanese karate. After regaining independence from Japan, many Korean martial arts schools that opened up in the 1940s and 50's were founded by masters whohad trained in karate in Japan as part of their martial arts training.
Won Kuk Lee, a Korean student of Funakoshi founded the first martial arts school after Japanese Occupation of Korea in 1944-5 called Chung Do Kwan. Having studied under Gichin Funakoshi at Chuo University, Lee had incorporated taekkyon, kungfu and karate in the martial art that he taught which he called "Tang Soo Do", the Korean transliteration of the Chinese characters for "Way of Chinese Hand" (?).* Chung Do Kwan was first of the various martial arts schools that opened in Korea following the period of Japanese Occupation. In the mid-1950s the martial arts school were unified under President Rhee Syngman's order and became taekwondo under the leadership of Choi Hong Hi and a committee of Korean masters. Choi, a significant figure in taekwondo history, had also studied karate under Funakoshi Gichin. Karate also provided an important comparative model for the early founders of taekwondo in the formalization of their art including hyung#Unofficial ITF Syllabus|kata and the taekwondo#Ranks, belts, and promotion|belt rank system. Original taekwondo hyung were identical to karate kata. Eventually original Korean forms (poomse, hyung) were developed by individual schools and associations. Although WTF (Olympic) and ITF are the most prevalent among Korean martial arts, karate, tang soo do, schools where traditional Japanese karate are regularly practiced still exist as they were originally conveyed to Won Kuk Lee and his contemporaries from Funakoshi.
Soviet UnionKarate appeared in the Soviet Union in the mid-1960s, during Nikita Khrushchev's policy of improved international relations. The first Shotokan clubs were opened in Moscow's universities.* In 1973, however, the government banned karate—together with all other foreign martial arts—endorsing only the Soviet martial art of Sambo (martial art)|sambo. Failing to suppress these uncontrolled groups, the USSR's Sport Committee formed the Karate Federation of USSR in December 1978.* On 17 May 1984, the Soviet Karate Federation was disbanded and all karate became illegal again. In 1989, karate practice became legal again, but under strict government regulations, only after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 did independent karate schools resume functioning, and so federations were formed and national tournaments in authentic styles began.*
United StatesAfter World War II, members of the US military learned karate in Okinawa or Japan and then opened schools in the USA. In 1945 Robert Trias opened the first dojo in the United States in Phoenix, Arizona, a Shuri-ryu karate dojo. In the 1950s, William J. Dometrich, Ed Parker, Cecil T. Patterson, Gordon Doversola, Donald Hugh Nagle, George Mattson, and Peter Urban (karate)|Peter Urban all began instructing in the US.
Tsutomu Ohshima began studying karate under Shotokan's founder, Gichin Funakoshi, while a student at Waseda University, beginning in 1948. In 1957 Ohshima received his godan (fifth degree black belt), the highest rank awarded by Funakoshi. He founded the first university karate club in the United States at Caltech in 1957. In 1959 he founded the Southern California Karate Association (SCKA) which was renamed Shotokan Karate of America in 1969.
In the 1960s, Anthony Mirakian, Richard Kim (karate)|Richard Kim, Teruyuki Okazaki,John Pachivas, Allen Steen, Gosei Yamaguchi (son of Gogen Yamaguchi), Michael G. Foster and Pat Burleson began teaching martial arts around the country.*In 1961 Hidetaka Nishiyama, a co-founder of the JKA and student of Gichin Funakoshi, began teaching in the United States. He founded the International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF). Takayuki Mikami were sent to New Orleans by the JKA in 1963.
In 1964, Takayuki Kubota relocated the International Karate Association from Tokyo to California.
EuropeIn the 1950s and 1960s, several Japanese karate masters began to teach the art in Europe, but it wasn't until 1965 that the J.K.A. (Japan Karate Association) sent in Europe four well-trained young Karate instructors: Taiji Kase, Keinosuke Enoeda, Hirokazu Kanazawa and Hiroshi Shirai. Kase went to France, Enoeada to England and Shirai in Italy. These Masters maintained always a strong link between them, the JKA and the others JKA masters in the world, especially Hidetaka Nishiyama in USA.
United KingdomIn 1965, Tatsuo Suzuki began teaching Wado-ryu in London. In 1966, members of the former British Karate Federation established the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) under Hirokazu Kanazawa as chief instructor* and affiliated to JKA. Keinosuke Enoeda came to England at the same time as Kanazawa, teaching at a dojo in Liverpool. Kanazawa left the UK after 3 years and Enoeda took over. After Enoeda's death in 2003, the KUGB elected Andy Sherry as Chief Instructor. Shortly after this, a new association split off from KUGB, JKA England. An earlier significant split from the KUGB took place in 1991 when a group led by KUGB senior instructor Steve Cattle formed the English Shotokan Academy (ESA). The aim of this group was to follow the teachings of Taiji Kase, formerly the JKA chief instructor in Europe, who along with Hiroshi Shirai created the World Shotokan Karate-do Academy (WKSA), in 1989 in order to pursue the teaching of “Budo” karate as opposed to what he viewed as “sport karate”. Kase sought to return the practice of Shotokan Karate to its martial roots, reintroducing amongst other things open hand and throwing techniques that had been side lined as the result of competition rules introduced by the JKA. Both the ESA and the WKSA (renamed the Kase-Ha Shotokan-Ryu Karate-do Academy (KSKA) after Kase's death in 2004) continue following this path today. In 1975 Great Britain became the first team ever to take the World male team title from Japan after being defeated the previous year in the final.
ItalyHiroshi Shirai, one of the original instructors sent by the J.K.A. to Europe along with Kase, Enoeda and Kanazawa, moved to Italy in 1965 and quickly established a Shotokan enclave that spawned several instructors who in their turn soon spread the style all over the country. By 1970 Shotokan karate was the most spread martial art in Italy apart from Judo. Other styles such as Wado Ryu, Goju Ryu and Shito Ryu, although present and well established in Italy, were never able to break the monopoly of Shotokan.
FranceFrance Shotokan Karate was created in 1964 by Tsutomu Ohshima. It is affiliated with another of his organizations, Shotokan Karate of America (SKA). However, in 1965 Taiji Kase came from Japan along with Enoeda and Shirai, who went to England and Italy respectively, and karate came under the influence of the JKA.
Film and popular culture in the WestKarate spread rapidly in the West through popular culture. In 1950s popular fiction, karate was at times described to readers in near-mythical terms, and it was credible to show Western experts of unarmed combat as unaware of Eastern martial arts of this kind.* By the 1970s, martial arts films had formed a mainstream genre that propelled karate and other Asian martial arts into mass popularity.*
Many other film stars such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, and Phillip Rhee come from a range of other martial arts.