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The word Karate can be translated from Chinese as «a Chinese hand». This system was born on the island of Okinawa (Ryukyu archipelago) in 14–18 centuries AD. It’s based on the technique of Chinese boxing Chuan Fa («fist doctrine») – one of Chinese martial arts. The ban on carrying weapons was imposed on Okinawa Island twice during 14–17 centuries. Breaking of this law was severely punished. This ban made the population seek for ways of defencing themselves without weapons, and Chuan Fa let them develop their own fighting system which gave possibility to an unarmed man to resist an armed one on equal terms. As opposed to other Japanese martial arts (sumo, jujitsu, judo, aikido), which suppose a fight, different throws, holding clinches and suffocating hooks, karate supposes minimum of  direct contact between the participants of the fight and for smashing a rival one uses directly focused mighty blows of legs and arms, aimed at the vital parts of  a rival’s body.  
At the initial step karate was a system of hand-to-hand fight meant only for self-defence. Today karate is much more popular thanks to exhibition performances, which demonstrate the strength of karateka’s strikes. So, experienced masters of karate can break a block of ice with a fist, reduce a pine tree squared beam of 15 cm in thickness into splinters with a strike of a leg, break a roofing tile with a head or an elbow.  

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