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Karate from Okinawa

Karate is from Okinawa. It has spread throughout the world. However, it is important to remember where it came from.

Many elders in the Okinawan community in Hawaii have urged me to study the Okinawan culture if I am serious about Karate. To understand the pioneers of Karate in Okinawa, we must also understand their culture, values and history.

Some people assume that the Okinawan and Japanese cultures are identical. This is a bit like comparing Hawaiian and Amercian cultures. Okinawa is now a part of Japan just as Hawaii is a part of the United States. However, both were independent kingdoms prior to their involuntary annexations.

Especially before World War Two, Karate was concentrated in the Okinawan community in Hawaii. Very few non-Okinawans learned the art here until after the war, and most of these students learned on mainland Japan where the Okinawan culture was not highly regarded.

If you are serious about Karate, you should also study the Okinawan culture.


Charles C. Goodin