Karate is a very popular form of martial arts along with judo and kendo, and Okinawa is said to be the place of its origin.
Okinawa had thriving trade relationships with Asian countries in the past, especially with China, due to its geographical advantage. Further to this historical background, Kenpo was introduced from China and was incorporated into the traditional martial arts of Okinawa, giving birth to karate, which spread all over Japan. Today, it is loved by 60 millions of people in around 180 countries, and it has even become one of the most popular martial arts in the world.
As karate spread across many places, a variety of styles and schools came into existence. However, in Okinawa, the original and traditional karate has been protected, and the principles still continue to be guarded as the legitimate karate.
Currently, there are many dojos in Okinawa. Among them are dojos that allow tourists tours and experience the martial arts. *Dojo is a training place for martial arts. Rare books about karate can be found in bookstores, and stone monuments related to karate have been gaining attention as new tourist attractions.
Karate-related events are also held on a regular basis, such as the world competition, Okinawa Traditional Kobudo World Tournament and Okinawa Traditional Karate & Kobudo Worldwide Seminar, where you can learn a lot about karate, and as a result, karate is continuing to grow.
Akihito Yagi, the master fo Meibu-Kan Gojyu Karate-do Association takes over the traditional martial arts and continues the activity not only in Japan but also all over the world.
His grandfather is Meitoku Yagi who has the keeper of Okinawa karate・ancient Japanese martial arts. These arts are intangible cultural treasure designated by Okinawa prefecture.
These days, he got many attentions from people from all over the world.
That is the reason form that the athletes from sport karate come back to the traditional karate when they seek for the root and realize the importance of the basic Okinawa’s karate style.
The Okinawa Traditional Karate Liaison Bureau is an organization actively engaged in information dissemination and acceptance support for karate enthusiasts and stakeholders both inside and outside the Okinawa prefecture, and has been active since July of 2011.
In Okinawa, the birthplace of karate, for those who want to practice karate/kobudo, those who want to see karate/kobudo demonstrations, and for those who want to participate in karate seminars, the Okinawa Traditional Karate Liaison Bureau has become the window of opportunity. They provide support as a bridge between karate groups, dojos, and companies throughout the prefecture.
Okinawa Traditional Karate Liaison Bureau（English）
* The image serves as an introduction for the Karate Bureau and is of a Canadian organization who practiced at the Kami Mori Art Museum in Shuri, Naha City in April of 2015.
Karate is gaining attention as a new sport in the Olympics, making its debut at the Tokyo games in 2020. Karate came from Okinawa during the Ryukyu Kingdom-era and is practiced in over 180 countries around the world with roughly 60 million competitors today. Karate was originally known as “te” (hand) in Okinawa, but after further development with influences from Japanese and Chinese martial arts, it was official labelled, “karate,” on October 25th, 1936. With its fundamental philosophy of “no first moves in karate,” meaning the use of force should not be exercised without careful consideration and should be intended instead to bring about peace to the world, and “nuchidu takara,” meaning life is a treasure, Karate Day was enacted with the hopes of traditional Okinawan karate contributing to world peace and happiness all.
On the 23rd of October, a group kata performance for the Karate Day Anniversary Demonstration Festival held on Kokusai Street in Naha set a new Guinness Book world record. The event was sponsored by the prefecture of Okinawa, the Okinawa Traditional Karatedo Promotion Association, and the prefectural assembly. In its successful attempt at beating the martial arts group performance record, the festival managed to achieve an attendance of 3,973 individuals, all of which performed the “Fukyu-gata ichi” simultaneously. The mind-blowing new record was confirmed with an approval of delight by the mass of participants.
The General Assembly of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) met in Rio de Janeiro to decide additional events to add to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and karate was officially selected!
With Okinawa being the birthplace of karate, the press conference was held, and this is the first time in history that karate has been selected for the Olympics games.
There will be a total of 8 events including the men’s and women’s “Kata” and men’s and women’s level 3 “Kumite” included in the events.