Karate is a method of self defense using the hands, feet and other parts of the body as weapons. Karate's roots go back to the Shao Lin and other ancient fighting arts of China, where physical training methods were used to build the endurance and strength required to carry out the rigid discipline of the religion. Master Funakshi introduced these arts to Japan in 1922. Master Funakoshi named karate using two Japanese words characters: ‘Kara’ meaning ‘empty’ or ‘Chinese’ and the word ‘Te’ meaning ‘hand.’ They combined to for the word ‘Karate’, meaning ‘Empty Hand.’ He chose these characters for their meaning in the Zen philosophy:

To empty oneself of selfish and/or negative thought, for
only with a mind clear of all emotional fears and anxiousness
can a Karate-Ka student achieve his/her ultimate goals.