The history of the development of Ancient Okinawa Karate can be broken down into five main periods:
Before 1372 Okinawa Te and Kobudo had already developed into a classical fighting system on Okinawa.
| By 1372 trading relations between Okinawa and China had already existed for several hundred years. That year something which would have an enormous impact on not only the development of Okinawa Te but also on the history of Okinawa itself happened. The Emperor of Okinawa Satto voluntarily agreed to become a vassal of China. Under Chinese laws of that time goods produced in countries belonging to China's protectorate were not liable to customs taxes. China was obliged to, in case of war, defend countries under its protectorate. A delegation of Okinawans signed the agreement in Peking with the Emperor Hang Wu Thai (Ming Dynasty).|
| In 1393 an event called "Sanye Roku Sei" - "Thirty-six families" took place. A large group of Chinese settlers founded on Okinawa the village Kume Mupai not far from the city of Naha. The expression "Thirty-six" doesn't signify the number of settlers, but rather in the 15th century this Chinese character meant a large group of people. They had not come to wage war. Some of them were artists, craftsmen, and seafarers. They taught the Okinawans Chinese writing, education, and arts. Among them was also large group Tsuan Fa masters (Chinese Martial Art). Young people were more than happy to start learning a new type of martial art. It was right at this time that Tsuan Fa (Chinese Martial Art) and To De (Okinawan Martial Art) began to unite to create Ancient Okinawa Karate - a new martial art which had no equal.|
Okinawa was under Chinese protectorate for more than 200 years. Chinese Imperial Dynasties did not interfere in the internal affairs of Okinawa. This collaboration brought Okinawa a much higher level of education, economic improvement and increased trade. Okinawa sent its diplomats and high-ranking officials to study in China.
| By 1600 the Ming Dynasty was in decline. China was invaded by Mongolian hordes. The head of the South-Japanese clan Satsuma, Iehitsu Shimatsu decided to take advantage of this situation. With the emperor's permission and three thousand Samurais armed with muskets on 100 warships, seized Okinawa. The Okinawan Emperor was disposed.|
A small group of people loyal to the Emperor openly resisted the Satsuma. They were captured and sentenced to death. Several enormous cauldrons water were placed on a bonfires and they were thrown into the boiling water alive. Okinawans who witnessed the execution created a symbol - three twisted drops in a circle which reminded them of the boiling water in the caldron boiling when a man was thrown in. "Hedari gomon " became the symbol of the fight of Okinawan inhabitants against Japanese Samurais and subsequently the symbol of Okinawa Te.
It was the end of Okinawa's independence and the beginning of a harsh subjugation of the Ruyku archipelago. (For more details click to "History/Japanese occupation".)
| In 1875 the official occupation by the Satsuma clan came to an end. Okinawa was recognized as an integral part of Japan and its inhabitants were granted full civil rights and freedoms. Subsequently it was at this time that Okinawa Te took on a more modern form.|
It was in 1936 in the city of Naha at a conference for the representatives of different styles and schools of Ancient Okinawa karate that the decision was taken to found the Okinawa Te Federation. Be that as it may they were very decided not to create one sole Okinawa Te karate style school but rather unite all the existing style and schools of classical Ancient Okinawa Karate. It was at this moment that began the modern history of Okinawa Te-a thousand year-old martial art incorporating the very best from two of the greatest branches of martial arts of all time.