Karate is a martial art, and its name literally means "empty hands". It was born out of the prohibition to carry weapons in Okinawa, Japan, in the 15th century.

This sport is today a striking art that uses fists, kicks, knees, elbows and open hand techniques such as knife strikes, spear strikes and open palm strikes. In some modern styles, grabbing, throwing, joint blocking, restricting and vital strikes are also taught.

In the picture, there is a male karateka making a high kick.

History of this sport

Karate emerged in Okinawa, Japan, with the arrival of Chinese immigrants during the 15th century. It mixed local martial arts from the Ryukyu island and those coming from China, especially the Fujian White Crane.

It became very popular in Japan in the 1920s and spread out internationally after World War II.

Karate made its debut at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, after being added to the programme of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

Karate has been part of the Pan American Games since the Mar del Plata 1995 Games. The historic medal count is led by the USA with 13 gold medals. Venezuela has had an important participation too, with 12 golds.

In the picture, there is a male karateka making a high kick.

How do you compete?

There are 2 disciplines in this sport: kata and kumite. In kata, competitors execute a series of preapproved choreographic movements. The winner is decided by a group of judges who use an electronic voting system. The karateka is evaluated according to their technical and athletic performance.

In kumite, or combat, the winner of a three-minute round is who gets an eight-point advantage or the best score after time runs out. If there is a tie, the first athlete to have scored a point wins (Senshu). If neither athlete scores a point, the judges determine the winner based on form (Hantei). Karatekas score considering punch, hit and kick techniques, which must be executed correctly.


Which are the disciplines of karate?

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Information for the community

The Chilean Karate National Sports Federation is in charge of spreading this discipline nationwide through different activities. In their social networks you can see the events they carry out and also the athletes’ performance in Chile and the world.

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