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The art of karate (kara-te), which means empty hand, is commonly believed to have come to Japan from the island of Okinawa, where fighting with weapons was banned for many years. Ancient Okinawan traders visited China's Fukien Province and brought back the martial techniques of China's southern Shaolin temple. The Okinawans developed such an effective self-defense system that many Japanese masters wanted it as their own. It was brought to the Japanese mainland in 1922 and eventually became the best known Japanese martial art. The karate arts of  Go-ju Ryu, Wado Ryu,Shotokan Ryu,and Shito Ryu are among the best known karate systems. 

The basic techniques of karate include blocking, striking, kicking, and punching. Karate is also known for the practice of kata or pre-arranged forms which allow the student to practice their basic techniques without a partner.Karate students also spar with a partner to gain a better understanding of distance and timing. Many karate dojos also place an emphasis on self defense tactics and skills.