Karate is a martial art developed from indigenous fighting methods from the Ryukyu Islands, Chinese Kempo, and classical Japanese martial arts.

It is known primarily as a striking art, featuring punching, kicking, knee/elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques, but grappling, joint manipulations, locks, restraints/traps, throws, and vital point striking also appear.

A Karate practitioner is called a Karateka. Modern karate training is commonly divided into kihon (basics or fundamentals), Kata (forms), and Kumite (sparring).

Another popular division is between art, sport, and selfdefense training. Karateka are encouraged to issue a loud kiai or "spirit shout" when executing techniques.