Karate Types


Karate is a popular martial art that was first developed in Okinawa in early 20th century. After its introduction to the world, the martial became very popular in various parts of the world, and its techniques continued developing. Variations in karate resulted from establishments of different ryu or ryuha, the school of thought employed in teaching the martial art.



Shotokan karate is a form of karate developed by Gichin Funakoshi and introduced to Japanese mainland in 1921. This type of karate is known for its linear style and hard techniques.


Kenwa Mabuni, a member of a samurai family, studied Shurite-an, an Okinawan martial art, before he established Shito-ryu. This type of karate is popular for its wide range of kata or training forms and stylistic elements.


Kanryo Higashionna first learned Okinawan Naha-te before he decided to develop Goju-ryu. With combination of words “go” (hard) and “ju” (soft), this type of martial arts become well-known for its powerful punches and circular joint locks. Goju-ryu is also popular for the kata Sanchin, which serves as technique drill, meditation, and body conditioning exercise for practitioners.


Wado-ryu is combination of striking of Shotokan and grappling of jujitsu. This type of karate was developed by Hironori Otsuka, a student of Gichin Funakoshi. Otsuku developed this style before World War II.


Shorin-ryu was developed in the 1930s by Chosin Chibana. Shorin is Japanese equivalent of the word Shaolin. Shorin-ryu is combination Shurite-an and Chinese martial arts.


Uechi-ryu is a form of karate that was named in honor of Kabun Uechi, an expert in Pangai-noon, a southern style of Chinese kung fu and one of the first instructors to teach karate to foreigners.


Shuri-ryu originated from the United States and was founded by Robert Trias. Trias became adept in martial arts during World War II. This karate type is highly varied, with forms based on Shuri-te, Naha-te, and the Chinese Hsing-I and kung fu.


Kyokushinkai was developed by Masutatsu Oyama in 1920s to 30s. Compared with more traditional styles of karate, this martial art is considered newer and features extremely difficult styles of karate. Competitions of kyokushinaki only result in knock down or knock, and participants can both take and deliver hard blows.


Budokan was founded by the Malaysian Chew Choo Soot, who first studied judo, jujitsu, wrestling, and Shotokan.


Chito-ryu was developed by Tsuyoshi Chitose in 1946 and is based on the Okinawan martial art, Tode. This style is very similar to Shorin-ryu and Shorei-ryu and known for techniques involving fast rotation, tension, and relaxation of the lower body.