Karate has been included for the first time in Olympics and promises to throw light on the rich history of the discipline. At the 2020 Tokyo Games, 80 competitors will take part in the karate event. It joins surfing, skateboarding, climbing and baseball-softball as new sports included for the 2020 edition. In its press release, IOC described the decision as “the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympicprogramme in modern history." A blend of indigenous fighting styles, karate was born in Okinawa in the 15th century when the area was ruled by the independent Ryukyu Kingdom. Strong trading links meant that the sport was also influenced by Chinese martial arts. It has at least 10 million registered practitioners worldwide, and yet it has struggled to make the case for inclusion in the Games.
Judo and Taekwondo are already permanent fixtures. While judo made its Olympic debut when Tokyo hosted the 1964 Games, taekwondo made its first appearance at the event in 1988.
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