Karate is an art that is difficult to master but offers enormous benefits to those who practice it diligently. To truly gain all the strength, conditioning and skill possible through the practice of karate, one must demonstrate discipline and dedication. Old masters from Okinawa \u0026amp; Japan who devoted their lives to the practice of karate were able to achieve amazing levels of physical, mental and spiritual development.\nKarate as we know it was originally developed by Okinawan peasant farmers forced to fight without weapons. They had already developed some basic fighting movements when they were introduced to the Chinese system of “Kudo Te” meaning, “Chinese hand.” The Okinawans renamed the art, however, to better describe what they were practicing. “Karate” comes from the words “kara te” which mean “empty hand.” This name was also picked up by the Japanese who would turn out to have a huge influence on Karate as we know it.\nThe Japanese changed Karate by incorporating Judo and Jujutsu moves into the basic system developed by Okinawans. The Japanese influence led to use of the traditional Judo uniform and the system of colored belts to denote rank. Jujutsu kicks and blocks combined with Okinawan Karate make for the system of Karate as we know it today. Karate is such that when blocking an opponent’s strike, your block can become a strike itself, as well as a lock or take-down.\nThough it is art, Karate is still all about fighting. The techniques taught today enable practitioners to handle most street-fighting situations after about three to five years of training. As karate spread throughout Asia, it also spread to the western world. Karate’s efficacy is evident to anyone who has trained or even really paid attention to those who have. The techniques used in Karate have been refined over many years so as to create the best system of weaponless defense possible.