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A brief history of Karate
The ultimate aim of Karate is, through continuous practice, the building of a well-balanced person of sound mind and body; this is the true spirit of Karate-do. The Martial Arts originates from the instinct of self-preservation for the peasant classes. It was developed by the Okinawano, a peace loving people as a weaponless method of self-defence. The word 'Karate' literally means 'empty hands'. During the 19th century the study of Karate was only allowed to be practiced by the Samurai class and only in strictest secrecy as it had been forbidden by the occupying armies of the Satsuma clan of Japan. With the end of the Satsuma occupation in 1875 and the official recognition of Okinawa as part of Japan, the need for secrecy ended although Karate did not become popularly known until its introduction as a physical education requirement in the public schools in 1904. The late Anko Itosu, one of the greatest contemporary Karatika brought about the introduction into local schools and thus made one of the most significant contributions to developing Karate into what it is today. Itosu trained a number of eminent Karatika but perhaps the most famous were Gichin Funa Koshi, founder of Shoto Kan and Kenwa Mabuni, founder of the Shito-ryu school.
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