Karate (空手) (/kəˈrɑːti/; Japanese pronunciation: [kaɾate] (listen); Okinawan pronunciation: [kaɽati]) is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom. It developed from the indigenous Ryukyuan martial arts (called te (手), "hand"; tii in Okinawan) under the influence of Chinese martial arts, particularly Fujian White Crane. Karate is now predominantly a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open-hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands and palm-heel strikes. Historically, and in some modern styles, grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints and vital-point strikes are also taught. A karate practitioner is called a karateka (空手家).
The Empire of Japan annexed the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1879. Karate came to the Japanese archipelago in the early 20th century during a time of migration as Ryukyuans, especially from Okinawa, looked for work in the main islands of Japan. It was systematically taught in Japan after the Taishō era of 1912–1926. In 1922 the Japanese Ministry of Education invited Gichin Funakoshi to Tokyo to give a karate demonstration. In 1924 Keio University established the first university karate club in mainland Japan, and by 1932 major Japanese universities had karate clubs. In this era of escalating Japanese militarism, the name was changed from 唐手 ("Chinese hand" or "Tang hand") to 空手 ("empty hand") – both of which are pronounced karate in Japanese – to indicate that the Japanese wished to develop the combat form in Japanese style. After World War II, Okinawa became (1945) an important United States military site and karate became popular among servicemen stationed there.
The martial arts movies of the 1960s and 1970s served to greatly increase the popularity of martial arts around the world, and English-speakers began to use the word karate in a generic way to refer to all striking-based Asian martial arts. Karate schools began appearing across the world, catering to those with casual interest as well as those seeking a deeper study of the art.
On 28 September 2015 karate featured on a shortlist (along with baseball, softball, skateboarding, surfing, and sport climbing) for consideration for inclusion in the 2020 Summer Olympics. On 1 June 2016 the International Olympic Committee's executive board announced they were supporting the inclusion of all five sports (counting baseball and softball as only one sport) for inclusion in the 2020 Games.
From the beggining
Where we are now
Okinawan Kenpo is a term that dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. It is often used as a generic term to describe all of the Okinawan Karate styles. During the early 1950’s this term came
into use to describe a particular style, the karate being taught by Master Shigeru Nakamura.
Master Nakamura was born on Jan. 20, 1894. His karate training started whilst in attendance of Icchu Middle School in Shuri. It was here that both Kanryo Higashionna (1845-1915) and Chomo Hanashiro (1830-1945) were the karate instructors. Yasutune Itosu (1830-1915)as well as Kentsu Yabu (1863-1937) also made visits to the school. Upon Graduation from middle school, Nakamura Sensei returned to Nago city where he continued his training under Shinkichi Kuniyoshi. In 1953, Nakamura Sensei opened his own dojo in Nago city where he called his form of karate “Okinawa Kenpo”, he became famous for his introduction of “bogu gear”, protective equipment permitting full contact sparring.
After Master Nakamura's death in 1969, the Okinawa Kenpo Renmei,
appointed SEIKICHI ODO as Master of Okinawa Kenpo Karate.
As Master of Okinawa Kenpo, Seikichi Odo was also installed as President of the
All Okinawa Kenpo Karate-do League. Shortly afterwards, Master Odo officially
added the weapons to the Okinawa Kenpo system, with the result being what we now
know as "Okinawa Kenpo Karate-Kobudo".
In the mid-1970's Master Odo created the "Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo Association",
to be renamed in 1983 to the "Okinawa Kenpo Karate-Kobudo Federation". Master Odo
was ranked as Judan (10th Dan) in both Karate & Kobudo, and was considered one of
the top weapons practitioners in the world. In 1998, Master Odo renamed the
Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo Federation to be the"Ryukyu Hon Kenpo Kobujutsu
Federation", and changed the name of the arts taught under his direct
auspices to "Ryukyu Hon Kenpo Kobujutsu". Master Odo served as a member of
the IKKF Executive Board from its inception in 1991 to March, 1999. Master Odo passed
away on March 24, 2002 in Okinawa, Japan.
Hanshi Larry Isaac, 10th Degree Blackbelt (Judan), has been training in Martial Arts
for well over half of his lifetime. Hanshi was a student of Master Odo and trained
in Okinawa Japan while he was stationed there in the Marine Corps. This is a brief history on
Hanshi Isaac's extensive Martial Arts career that has been time tested.
For almost five decades, Hanshi Isaac's expertise, experience, and
positive teaching and training methods have literally dominated the Martial Arts
tournament circuit, both regionally and nationally. Hanshi Isaac is the first and
only Martial Artist/Instructor from the Carolina's to be National Triple Crown winner.
In fact, he is six-time National Champion who has been rated in all the major Karate
Nationally, Hanshi Isaac has been ranked No.1 in Kata (forms), ranked No.1 in weapons,
and ranked No.2 in fighting in the Senior Divisions. In 1990 and 1991 he was inducted into
the Professional Karate League's (PKL) Hall of Fame. In 1989, after winning the
National Karate Championships in Edison, N.J., Hanshi Isaac was inducted into
the IAMA organization by Master Gary Alexander (10th degree black belt). He has Dojo's located in North Carolina.
Sensei Hobbs instructor Sensei Kevin Smith:
We also have strong ties to Isshinryu and value its beautiful and established history.