Karate Facts

Many people believe that Karate started in Japan. This is misleading. The Ryuku Islands, which are now politically tied to Japan without being part of the mainland, developed a fighting style in the 14th Century under the Influence of the Chinese. This was not introduced into Japan till the early 20th Century.


Of course there is a lot of pre-history to this. The Chinese martial arts that influenced the Ryuku Islands date back many centuries. They may have come from India centuries before that. The exact point where Japanese Karate separates from Chinese Kung Fu might be difficult to pinpoint stylistically; it helps to point to historical events (such as the first introduction to a country) in order to make find some dividing lines.


Karate is a striking art, using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, grappling, locks, restraints, throws, as well as open hand techniques. It growing popularity in early 20th Century Japan may have been political; the ruling powers at the time were pushing Japanese militarism, and personal combat systems were being promoted as noble pursuits.


Karate did gain some influence in the west over this time. But it was not till after returning American Soldiers from the Second World War and Korean War that the martial art really gained popularity. Karate received a far bigger wave of popularity in the late 60s and 1970s when films featuring other martial arts appeared in the United States. The popularity of these foreign films was so influential that Hollywood soon started incorporating martial arts in many action films.


In 2016 it was decided to introduce Karate to the 2020 Olympics. This is highly appropriate as these Olympics will take place in Tokyo, Japan.

Choosing a Marital Arts School



This is a factor in every aspect of life. Few of us have unlimited resources. Sometimes spending money is an investment, so we can justify spending more. Other times we spend because we should be enjoying life at least some of the time.


Cost is only loosely related to quality. It is quality that has to be prioritised, though admittedly this is a complex matter. There are many average priced martial arts, schools; some are quite good, some are mediocre. If you find a good school, don’t hesitate if it costs a little more. If you learn more rapidly, it is worth it. If the results are better, it is worth it. If your life is improved even slightly, you are probably getting your money’s worth.



All things being equal, closer Martial Arts training is preferable. But no two schools are really the same. Find the better school and train there. Really, you should think of convenience rather than location. 15 minutes travel is hardly different to 5 minutes. And if you can catch a train a moderate travel time hardly seems to matter.


What is being taught in the Martial Arts Training?

Sometime the schools are just turning out coloured belts, and giving you a little exercise. Others emphasis competition rules. The competition schools tend to be serious and high quality, but if you’re not looking to compete they are the wrong school for you. Do you want discipline, fitness or just some solid self-defence? Choose accordingly.


Read Fine Print.

Don’t lock into long term deals. Pay per 3 to 6 months is good; this may encourage you to get past the initial adjustment period, and when you see some benefits you can make an informed decision. Children often change their minds, so avoid locking them into long term deals. Avoid anything that might lock you into compulsory camps or competitions.