Karate is a traditional martial art of the Ryūkyū islands belonging today to Japan, currently known as Okinawa prefecture. It has its origins during the 16th century in the native martial arts of the Ryukyu Islands, (now Okinawa). Called tuidi, tode or te (literally, ‘hand’, tii in Okinawan) and in the tegumi (native fighting) as well as in some styles of Chinese martial arts and is influenced to a lesser extent by other disciplines from Southeast Asia and today, by various concepts from Japanese Budo.
With 50 million practitioners worldwide, karate is the second most practiced martial art and combat sport in the world, after Taekwondo with 60 million, and far more than Judo which has 16 million. Karate will make its first appearance on the Tokyo 2020 Games program, with men and women competing in kata (forms) and kumite (sparring) tournaments at the Nippon Budokan.
Dominican Republic has its hopes in the hands of Maria Dimitrova, a well-known Dominican athlete who has won gold in the last four editions of the Central American and Caribbean Games (Cartagena, Colombia 2006; Mayagüez, Puerto Rico 2010; Veracruz, Mexico 2014 and Barranquilla, Colombia, 2018). At the Pan American Games in Lima 2019 she won the gold medal in team kata and the silver medal in individual kata.