Who Invented Karate?

Martial arts scholars and historians regularly dispute the subject, but the Indian Buddhist monk Bodhidharma is commonly referred to as the inventor of karate and all forms of martial arts. There are four main styles of karate: Goju-ryu, Shito-ryu, Shotokan and Wado-ryu.

Goju-ryu was founded by Chojun Miyagi in 1930. The style focuses on a circular blocking technique with quick counterattacks. Kenwa Mabuni founded Shito-ryu in 1928. Shito-ryu focuses on executing techniques with strength and power. Both Miyagi and Mabuni were students of Kanryo Higaonna.

Shotokan was founded in Tokyo by Gichin Funakoshi in 1938. Funakoshi introduced karate to Toyki in 1921, earning him the reputation of the founder of modern karate. Shotokan consists of linear techniques with an emphasis of power. Wado-ryu was developed in 1939 by one of Funakoshi's students, Hienori Otsuka. This style focuses on combining jiu-jitsu techniques with karate.