This covers many styles of self-defense involving kicks, punches, and open-handed chops. It’s believed that the word “karate” was first used in Okinawa, Japan, when a martial artist created a form of martial art that had Chinese influences. "Kara” originally referred to China and “karate” to Chinese hand—but the Japanese translation of karate is “empty hand.” As with all martial arts, karate has different levels of ranking, reflecting expertise. In karate (as well as many other martial arts) they’re denoted by belts in different colors, with the well-known black belt representing the highest level of expertise.