国際竜球館空手古武道連盟​
​Ryukyukan International Karate Kobudo Federation
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​​Karate History

Karatedō has its origins in Ryūkyū, more commonly known as Okinawa. Starting from the 7th century, Ryūkyū underwent a long period of history that was characterized by numerous gusuku or fortresses from which warlords called aji (or anji) competed for supremacy.  The fighting techniques that were used during that period are unique to Ryūkyū and are called Tiy. 

Karate is firmly rooted in Tiy.  Why did Tiy emerge and develop in Ryūkyū? The key to answering this question requires looking at the historical context that includes the aforementioned gusuku period as well as the formation of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, tributary relations with the Ming Dynasty, King Shō Shin’s sword confiscation, a golden era of Ryukyuan trade, and Satsuma’s invasion and subsequent prohibition of weapons. 

It would be difficult, if not impossible, to talk about Okinawan Tiy without examining it in the context of Ryukyuan history.  To understand Okinawan karate, we must look at Ryukyuan history as backdrop for the development of Tiy.