A Brief History of Karate Styles

Karate is a Japanese martial art developed in Ryukyu Islands and influenced by Chinese martial arts, especially Fujian White Crane. It predominantly uses striking techniques such as kicking, punching, kicking, elbow strikes, and knee strikes. It also uses open hand techniques including knife-hands, palm heel strike, and spear hands. In some modern styles, grappling, joint locks, vital point strikes, and restraints are also taught.
There are over 75 style of Karate, the four prominent among them being Shotokan, Shito-ryu, Wado-ryu, and Goju-ryu. Of these, the first three styles originated in Okinawa’s Shuri region while Goju-ryu originated in the Naha province.


Shotokan is a defense mechanism style that teaches some basics, forms, and sparring. It is an authorized style of Karate that stresses powerful strikes, sparring techniques, and long stances designed to end a fight quickly. In short, it teaches you to give devastating blows before your opponent realizes that you are even considering such a move.
The credit for Shotokan karate’s birth and popularity belongs undoubtedly to Gichin Funakoshi. As an elementary school student, he learned both Okinawan karate and Shorin-ryu karate. He compiled techniques from these two styles to form an independent style, which came to be known as Shotokan. The name is a combination of his pen name ‘shoto’ meaning pine waves and ‘kan’ meaning house.


Shito-ryu style was founded in by Kenwa Mabuni in 1931. Mabuni learnt Naha-te and Shuri-te from two legendary martial arts experts, Kanryo Higonna and Itosu Anko. The emphasis of both the styles were distinct even though both followed hard-soft format. Mabuni combined the two techniques to formulate Shito-ryu style.
The style was founded by Otsuka Hidenori in 1920, a student of Gichin Funakoshi. He combined Okinawan karate’s striking techniques with movements of jujitsu, besides focusing strongly on evasion through body shifting. The style has shorter punches and higher stances than Shotokan.


Goju-ryu is an Okinawan karate style founded in 1930s by Miyagi Chojun. The term Goju-rye means ‘hard-soft style,’ which refers to the technique it uses. It uses a combination of closed hand linear motion (hard) and circular motions (soft), which resembles Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang.
The history of the style is somewhat vague due to lack of availability of proper documentation. However it is believed that a Japanese martial arts master called Kanryo Higashionna formulated
the Goju-ryu style. In 1873, he went to China and practiced martial arts from various teachers. Later on he returned to Japan and combined what he learned in China with what he already knew about Okinavan karate to make a new style of his own. After his death, his best student, Chojun Miyagi, continued to develop and refine the style. It was in 1930 that Miyagi decided to christen the style


Karate styles keep emerging over time and geography, hence mapping the exact number of styles is impossible. Styles also vary according to the philosophy and guidance of masters teaching them.

Karate for Kids Makes Leaders for Life


Karate for Kids classes at Evans ATA Black Belt Academy, in Cedar Rapids / Marion are a great way to instill integrity, courtesy and respect with children in the Cedar Rapids / Marion community. Evans ATA Black Belt Academy Karate programs teach children of all ages the valuable life lessons of respect, self-discipline, self-control, and the ability to safely defend themselves when needed. The life skills and attributes create an enduring, impactful “Personal Victory” in Martial Arts for kids. The life skills taught by our professional instructors are instrumental in shaping confident, capable, and successful people in today’s society. Interaction with the community, starting at an early age, can be an enriching and pivotal experience for any person.

The Evans ATA Black Belt Academy academy serves the community with some of the best Karate classes in Cedar Rapids / Marion. Karate for Kids is an with age appropriate curriculum featuring classes specifically aimed at the physical development and mental capabilities of children and adolescents in the family. By measuring the results of the individual student, and by establishing specific goals in the context of the curriculum at Evans ATA Black Belt Academy, Karate For Kids carries over to many other activities, studies, and pursuits in life, particularly for young students. Teaching the skill of dedication to completing an activity, setting and reaching goals, is an important part of the program designed by our instructors.

Together with others their own age, every Karate kid can grow with the self-confidence that a only a high quality Martial Arts program can deliver consistently. The course of self-improvement and leadership offered at Evans ATA Black Belt Academy can ultimately be a key turning point for kids in the family. It’s not hard to see the impact our Karate lessons have on young people – more confidence from within – derived from earning and winning a “Personal Victory” in the Martial Arts.

Pre-School Kids Empowered Through Martial Arts Designed Just For Them


Martial Arts programs are great tools for getting your child started on a lifelong course of physical, mental, and emotional fitness. Here at Evans ATA Black Belt Academy, pre-school kids develop self-confidence and self-esteem learning Martial Arts in an environment designed especially for children. Evans ATA Black Belt Academy pre-school students learn valuable lessons that positively impact the rest of their lives. Children develop important life skills and use them at home and at school. Even your child’s teacher will notice the difference when he or she begins training in our top quality Pre-School Karate Kids program.

Attributes like respect and self-discipline become character-building habits at Evans ATA Black Belt Academy. Students training at the Evans ATA Black Belt Academy facility in Cedar Rapids / Marion learn to respect one another as well as teachers, parents, and instructors. Friendship, trust, and teamwork between instructors and students invariably lead to stronger minds and bodies for pre-school age Karate kids.

With the focus on developing mindfulness (traits like concentration and awareness), our experienced instructors prepare pre-schoolers for successful performance in athletics and academics as well. Teachers and parents soon notice the benefits of training in and out of the classroom. Classes taught by our world class staff, lead by expert Martial Arts instructor Lance Evans, give students the tools needed to memorize forms (patterns and sequences of movements), basic and advanced techniques, and the quality aspects of our Martial Art. Continual practice of core concepts helps pre-school age children develop memorization and other skills essential for successful pursuits in all aspects of their lives.

How Kids’ Karate Teaches Discipline


This article is about how children’s Martial Arts programs teach kids self-control and self-discipline.

Kids’ Karate at Evans ATA Black Belt Academy

Parents bring their children to our unique Karate program for a variety of reasons. Our Martial
Arts programs motivate and lead youngsters to slim down, improve their body image, and increase self-esteem. Martial Arts bolsters their self-worth and helps them learn to become opinion leaders,to resist bullying, and to have confidence in themselves. Most importantly to some parents, our Evans ATA Black Belt Academy children’s program is a fun and effective means of teaching better self-discipline.

Studying Martial Arts in Cedar Rapids / Marion is hard work for anyone. Steady improvement requires pushing one’s self to surpass previous boundaries, whether physical, mental, or otherwise. Our Karate program for kids is an excellent means of instilling appreciation for the results that focus, sincere effort, and perseverance can achieve. Many kids come into our school lacking focus or direction. Some have had minor disciplinary issues at home or school. Kids’ Karate teaches even the most rambunctious to use good manners, follow reasonable rules, give and receive respect, and get along well with others.

Martial Arts are physical disciplines as well as mental. To progress to the next rank or level, one must genuinely apply himself or herself on a regular basis, thereby creating a “good” habit. For students to do well in our kids’ Karate program, they must act with focus and determination which many have never before experienced. Many parents happily observe that, after some time in our Martial Arts program for children, their once misbehaved or discourteous kids begin to carry their new-found focus and determination into other areas of life such as their school work.

Evans ATA Black Belt Academy offers a curriculum imbued not only with Martial Arts techniques, but also containing a series of valuable life skills. This system was developed in order to help children develop wholesome, productive values such as respect, courtesy, self-discipline, self-esteem, self-confidence, and listening skills. Results commonly observed by parents whose children participate in the kids’ Karate program include improved grades at school and better social skills when interacting with their peers (such as bullying prevention and peer pressure resistance), siblings, and grown-ups.

Our Martial Arts for children program assists students in three fundamental areas off the martial arts mat: at home, at school, and in social settings. We also invite parents to create their own “wish list” to better allow our instructors to target specific problem behaviors and help minimize or eliminate them. And while our kids program is ideal for teaching kids discipline, most kids stay in the program because it is fun.

If you would like to find out more about how our kids’ Karate program can help empower your child with exemplary self-discipline, call today or complete the contact form and we’ll call you!