Okinawan martial arts refers to the martial arts which originated among the indigenous people of Okinawa Island in Japan, most notably ka...

Okinawan martial arts refers to the martial arts which originated among the indigenous people of Okinawa Island in Japan, most notably karate, tegumi, and Okinawan kobudō.Due to its central location, Okinawa is full of Japanese people and was greatly influenced by these other cultures, with a long history of trade and cultural exchange with China that greatly influenced the development of martial arts on Okinawa.

The precursor of present-day Okinawan martial arts is believed to have come by way of visitors from China. In the 7th century, Chinese martial arts were introduced to Okinawa through Taoist and Buddhist monks. These styles were practiced in Okinawa and developed into Te (Hand) over several centuries. In the 14th century, when the three kingdoms on Okinawa -- (Chūzan, Hokuzan, and Nanzan) -- entered into a tributary relationship with the Ming Dynasty of China, Chinese Imperial envoys and many other Chinese arrived, some of who taught Chinese Chuan Fa (Kung Fu) to the Okinawans.

The Okinawans combined Chinese Chuan Fa with the existing martial art of Te to form Tōde (Tuudii T'ang hand, China hand), sometimes called Okinawa-te . In 1429, the three kingdoms on Okinawa unified to form the Kingdom of Ryūkyū. When King Shō Shin came into power in 1477, he banned the practice of martial arts. Tō-te and kobudō continued to be taught in secret. The ban was continued in 1609 after Okinawa was invaded by the Satsuma Domain of Japan. The bans contributed to the development of kobudō, which uses common household and farming implements as weaponry. By the 18th century, different types of Te had developed in three different villages - Shuri, Naha, and Tomari.

The styles were named , Shuri-te, Naha-te and Tomari-te, respectively. Practitioners from these three villages went on to develop modern karate Shuri-te (首里手Okinawan: Suidii) is a pre- World War ll term for a type of martial art indigenous to the area around Shuri, the old capital city of the Ryukyu Kingdom.Shuri-Te is the name of the particular type of Okinawan martial art that developed in the Shuri, the ancient capital of Okinawa.

One of the early Okinawan masters, To-De Sakugawa (1733-1815) is credited as being one of the initial importers of Chinese martial arts to Okinawa, in particular to Shuri, where he started the development of the Shuri-Te style of Okinawan martial arts. Sakugawa had a student named Sokon Matsumura, who in turn taught Anko Itosu who was destined to become a great martial artist and teacher in the 19th century, who introduced the practice of To-De, as the Okinawan martial arts were called, to the Okinawan school system. Ankoh Itosu’s contribution to To-De was the emphasis of Kata and its practical application, called Bunkai.

Many students of Ankoh Itosu became significant figures in the early development of karate.Amongst Itosu’s students are Gichin Funakoshi (1867-1957), who later moved to Japan and founded Shotokan Karate, and Kenwa Mabuni (1890-1954), combined aspects of Naha-Te and Shuri-Te, also moved to Japan, and founded Shito-Ryu Karate Important Okinawan masters of Shuri-te: Sakukawa Kanga, Matsumura Sōkon , Itosu Ankō, Asato Ankō, Chōyū Motobu, Motobu Chōki, Yabu Kentsū, Chōmo Hanashiro, Funakoshi Gichin, Kyan Chōtoku, Chibana Chōshin, Mabuni Kenwa, Tōyama Kanken, Tatsuo Shimabuku The successor styles to Shuri-te include Shōtōkan-ryū, Shōtōkai, Wadō-ryū, Shitō-ryū, Motobu-ryū, Shuri-ryū, Shōrin-ryū, Shudokan, Keishinkan, and Shōrinji-ryū. Important Katas: Naihanchi (más tarde Tekki), Pinan (más tarde Heian), Kusanku (más tarde Kanku), Passai (más tarde Bassai), Jion, Jitte, Sochin, Chinto



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