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Karate is a Japanese martial art which teaches self-defense without the use of weapons by means of blocking, punching, kicking, and striking.  Karate’s origins stem from the Chinese martial art known as Kenpo.  It was introduced to the Ryukyu islands (now known as Okinawa, Japan) by Chinese families who moved there for cultural exchange.  Originally just referred to as Te (hand), the art eventually came to be known as Kara-te (meaning Chinese Hand).  When Gichin Funakoshi (The Father of Modern Karate) moved from Okinawa to Japan to introduce the art to the main islands of Japan in 1922, he changed the first symbol of Karate, Kara, to a homophone meaning “empty”.  Thus the martial art known today as Karate-do, translates to “The Way of the Empty Hand”.