Karate (空手) is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed partially from the indigenous martial arts of Ryukyu Islands.
Image: masters of karate in Tokyo (c. 1930s), from left to right, Kanken Toyama, Hironori Otsuka, Takeshi Shimoda, Gichin Funakoshi, Motobu Chōki, Kenwa Mabuni, Genwa Nakasone, and Shinken Taira
“The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants”
Today karate is practiced for self-perfection, for cultural reasons, for self-defense and as a sport (source: Wikipedia ).