Karate was born in the Ryukyu islands of Japan in what is now Okinawa. It began in the 14th century when trade relations with the Ming Dynasty opened up and Chinese martial arts were brought to the islands. Karate is predominantly a striking art, with punches, kicks, elbows and knees. The art spread to the Japanese mainland in the 20th century, and after world war two became popular amongst US army servicemen who were in Japan. This popularity was increased globally when a series of Karate films came out from the 1960’s. Although some forms of full contact Karate, like Kyokushin, are used by some MMA fighters, most would rather choose to practice Muay Thai and boxing for their striking.