The origin of karate is very uncertain, legend states that some 1500 years ago a Buddhist monk, Daruma Taishi, of Southern India travelled to China to teach the secrets of Zen. There he secluded himself in the temples Shorinji at Chung Shan, Henan Provice Daruma's Secret of Zen was very difficult to learn and the intense practice of austerity during the training period weakened his disciples mentally and physically. Therefore he devised a system of physical training that involved a combination of Indian Yoga breathing System and a Chinese unarmed combat known as Kempo.

In Okinawa combat techniques know as te (hand) were practiced in secret for many centuries, but they were traditionally of a hard nature, whereas teachings of Daruma Taishi were of a softer and more flowing firm. These contrasting elements were to combine and assume a new name, Kara-te that meant Tang hand (Chinese hand) Karate was brought to light for the First time in 1901 as a part of regular curriculum in the First Middle School of Okinawa.

Master Gichin Funakoshi from Okinawa was the pioneer of karate in Japan. He emmigrated to Japan in 1920 and spent the rest of his life popularising karate there, in 1936 Master Funakoshi changed the method of writing Karate and chose another character of "Kara" which is drawn from Zen Tradition. In Zen sense, Kara means "Empty" or "rendering oneself empty". In new form of writing, Kara-te was read empty hand.

Later, karate become widespread and many karate organisations were formed all over the world. Rules for tournaments were subsequently formulated to make karate a competitive sport. Therefore it could be safely said that karate has its beginning in China, was developed in Okinawa and systematized in Japan.

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