Did You Know that June is National Indigenous History Month? The style of karate we practice originates in Okinawa. The island now commonly known as Okinawa as part of Japan, this has not always been the case! The Indigenous peoples of Okinawa are the Ryūkyūans who have unique (and endangered) languages, culture, religion, politics, and customs. The Ryūkyūans have long and complicated histories with both Japan and China which is reflected in some adapted cultural practices. Like Indigenous peoples around the world, Ryūkyūans struggle for the recognition of their rights and independence as Indigenous peoples. You can learn more here: https://minorityrights.org/minorities/ryukyuans-okinawans/
Thankfully, with national awareness days and months like this one, the rights of people around the world continues to improve each year! Although there is still work to be done.
Equality and equity are foundational values of martial arts. Everyone has an individual journey that is supported by a community of peers and instructors. We learn to value and respect differences while appreciating our similarities.
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