Karate is a Japanese martial art that has spread widely around the world, and today there are said to be karate aficionados in more than 150 countries. Karate is highly popular not only as a sport but also as a means of self-defense and mental discipline.
While there are various theories on the origins of Karate in Okinawa, it is thought to have developed from the fusion of the traditional Okinawan self-defense art of te, learned by the samurai families of the ancient Kingdom of the Ryukyus, with Chinese martial arts and other techniques. It can be described as a one-of-a-kind martial art born from the wisdom and culture of the islands of Okinawa, which long have been open to diverse cultural influences. Okinawa is home to about 400 karate dojo, and karate has deep roots as a highly familiar presence in the lives of the Okinawan people. The Okinawa Karate Kaikan opened in 2017, with the goals of conveying Okinawa Karate to the world while also preserving, passing along, and building on the martial art. In addition to karate dojo, the Kaikan also includes a museum on the history of Okinawa Karate as well as a restaurant and other facilities, making it an enjoyable destination for not only karate practitioners from Japan and around the world but even visitors with no karate experience.