In 1609 Japan invaded Okinawa, and further to the ban on weaponry, placed a ban upon anyone doing martial arts, and so martial arts training became shrouded in secrecy.
Over the next 300 years in Okinawa - during the long reigning ban on martial arts - three main branches of self defence became evident. These were Shuri-te, Naha-te and Tomari-te, named after the Okinawan towns within which they developed. They were known collectively as Okinawa-Te or Tode.
Eventually these developed into two mains styles, Shorin-ryu which developed from Shuri and Tomari and Shorei-ryu which came from Naha. It is believed that Shorin-ryu was best for smaller men, with a light and fast style. Shorei-ryu was suited to the bigger, more powerful man.
The Traditional style Okinawan Karate still exists to this day and is know as Koryu Uchinadi (or Unante)
This page is still under construction and more information will follow soon, thank you for looking.
To see a movie (approx. 3 min) of the History of Okinawan Karate, click here - Windows Media Player : broad band with (21.5mb)
Updated: Friday, 10 September 2010