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Karate (Japanese, “empty hand”), martial art of unarmed self-defence in which directed or focused blows of the hands and feet, accompanied by special breathing and shouts, are dealt from poised positions. More than a method of combat, karate emphasises self- discipline, positive attitude, and high moral purpose.     The art of karate is more than 1000 years old and originated in the ancient Orient, first as monastic training and later as a defence method used by Chinese peasants against armed bandits. During the 17th century it became highly developed as an art on the island of Okinawa, Japan. In 1922 karate was introduced to the Japanese public by an Okinawan,  Funakoshi Gichin  (1867-1955),  various methods of unarmed combat, originally used in warfare in the Far East and shaped by Oriental philosophical concepts, notably Zen Buddhism In the early 6th century ad, Bodhidharma, an Indian priest and knight, brought Zen Buddhism to China along with a system of 18 self- defence exercises. The exercises evolved into a form of boxing, which spread, with Zen, throughout China and in the 12th century reached Japan.
Karate is related to judo and jujitsu, but stresses techniques for striking, with lethal kicks and punches, rather than wrestling or throwing an opponent. The three elements of speed, strength, and technique are vital to karate expertise. Constant alertness and a keen sense of timing and surprise are also requisites.