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Friday, 16 October 2015


Karate was birthed early in the seventeenth century in Okinawa, the main island of the Ryukyu group, which lies approximately half way between China and Japan. It was developed as a result of the invasion of Okinawa by the Shimazu clan in 1609, when the possession of arms was made a capital offense. Determined to liberate their country and cast out the invader, the islanders took up karate as an unarmed combat technique using their hands, elbows, knees, and feet as a weapon.

Karate literally means "empty hand" in Japanese.

By the early 20th century many Okinawans were actively teaching karate, and were responsible for the development of the martial art on the main Japanese islands.

Keio University established the first university karate club in mainland Japan in 1924 and within eight years all the major Japanese universities had karate clubs.

Elvis Presley was a black belt in Karate. He was taught by Ed Parker, a kenpo master, on and off between 1960 until the king of rock 'n' roll's death in 1977.

Iconic karate artist Bruce Lee was so fast parts of one his movies had to be slowed down in order to see his moves.

In 1979, Japan offered new British Prime Minister  Margaret Thatcher 20 "karate ladies" for protection at an economic summit. She declined.

The actor, Taylor Lautner, was a junior world karate champion for several years running. At the age of eight, he represented the US in the World Karate Association where he won three gold medals and was named the Junior World Forms and Weapons champion

Source Europress Encyclopedia

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