Karate is an Okinawan fighting style used by Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat II, Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, and is also used by Mokap in Deadly Alliance. In Mortal Kombat: Deception, karate as a catch-all of the style was expanded to the Okinawan Shorin Ryu used by Kobra, and as the erroneously named Shinto Ryu (A typographical error meant to either be Shindo or Shito Ryu, both styles founded on the Japanese mainland) used by Darrius. In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon this style was returned to Johnny Cage but named as Shorin-Ryu. The fighting stance, commonly held by the "aggressor" in one-step sparring (Ippon Kumite) technique practice, is also similar to Sub-Zero's Shotokan, which is the most commonly practiced style of karate in the world, founded by Gichin Funakoshi.

The style is an amalgamation of Chinese boxing styles, such as White Crane, evident in Goju Ryu, and old Ryukyuan, specifically Okinawan, closed-fist boxing. The three original branches were Shuri-te, Naha-te, and Tomari-te, each referring to a town where that particular style originated. Each original branch would spawn several more styles, such as Goju Ryu from Naha-te, and Shorin Ryu from Shuri-te and Tomari-te. Shito Ryu and Kyokushin karate would attempt to bridge the gap between styles, Shito between Goju and Shorin, and Kyokushin between Shotokan, itself descended from Shorin, and Goju.

Karate is a different pronunciation of Toudi, meaning "T'ang Hang," referring to the T'ang dynasty of China, and this term itself evolved from Ti or Di, meaning "hand."  The kanji for "Tou" can also be pronounced as "Kara," and Gichin Funakoshi changed that kanji to a homonym meaning "empty" to express the peaceful, spiritual philosophy he wished to impart onto future practicitoners, or karateka.

The martial arts movies of the 1960s and 1970s served to greatly increase the popularity of martial arts around the world, and in the English language, the word karate began to be used in a generic way to refer to all striking-based Asian martial arts. Karate schools began appearing across the world, catering to those with casual interest as well as those seeking a deeper study of the art.



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