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Shuri-te, Tomari-te, Naha-te

martial arts which originated among the indigenous people of Okinawa Island, are most notably karatetegumi, and Okinawan kobudō.

Well into the 20th century, the martial arts of Okinawa were generally referred to as te, which is Japanese for "hand".Te often varied from one town to another, so to distinguish among the various types of te, the word was often prefaced with its area of origin; for example, Naha-te, Shuri-te, or Tomari-te.

In the first few decades of the 20th century, a number of formal organizations were founded to oversee Okinawan martial arts, and due to their influence, the word karate came to be widely accepted as a generic term for all sorts of Okinawan unarmed martial arts. With the popularity of the term karate, the practice of naming a type of martial art after its area of origin declined. The term Naha-te is no longer in general use.


Shuri-te is a pre-World War II term for a type of martial art indigenous to the area around Shuri, the old capital city of the Ryūkyū Kingdom.

Important Okinawan masters of Shuri-te:

Important katas:

The successor styles to Shuri-te include Shōtōkan-ryūShōtōkaiWadō-ryūShitō-ryūMotobu-ryūShōrin-ryūShudokanKeishinkan, and Shōrinji-ryū.


Tomari-te refers to a tradition of martial arts originating from the village of Tomari, Okinawa. Based on an underground empty-handed fighting style native to Okinawa, Tomari-te arose largely through the influence of Chinese diplomats and other personages skilled in Quan fa, such as Wang JiAnan, and Ason, in the late 17th century. Along with Naha-te and Shuri-te, Tomari-te belongs to a family of martial arts that were collectively defined as Tode-jutsu or To-de.

Important Okinawan masters of Tomari-te:

Important katas:

The successor styles to Tomari-te include Motobu-ryūMatsubayashi-ryuShōrinji-ryū and Gohaku-Kai.


Naha-te is a pre-World War II term for a type of martial art indigenous to the area around Naha, the old commercial city of the Ryūkyū Kingdom and now the capital city of the island of Okinawa.

Naha-te was primarily based on the Fujian White Crane systems of Southern China, which trickled into Okinawa in the early 19th century through Kumemura (Kuninda), the Chinese suburb of Naha, and continued developing and evolving until being finally formalized by Higaonna Kanryō in the 1880s.

Important Okinawan masters of Naha-te:

Important katas:

The successor styles to Naha-te include Gōjū-ryū and Tōon-ryū (developed by the students of Higaonna Kanryō).