The 16 Best Documentaries About Karate

Jul 17, 2023 | Art, Best Of

Karate has long been a popular martial art and way of life that has inspired many people around the world. But few know what it’s truly like to experience the intensity and commitment required by those who practice karate, until now! Here we present 16 incredible documentaries about karate that highlight its history, philosophy and spirit.


1. The Way of the Warrior: Karate, The Way of the Empty Hand

This 8-part BBC documentary series is a must-watch for anyone interested in Asian martial arts. It’s an exploration of the history and culture behind Karate, Kung Fu, Kalaripayit, Escrima, Aikido Kendo, Shorinji Kempo and more. Discover the unique ways each discipline combines physical skill with spiritual insight to become the Way of the Empty Hand – The Way of the Warrior!


2. Shito Ryu Karate

This amazing documentary is the ultimate reference to Hayashi Ha Karate. It was created with the highest standards, featuring the kata and its various uses. Shito Ryu Karate Documentary gives you an in-depth look at this martial art style as performed by its founder. Get a glimpse into the applications of this powerful form of self defense through stunning visuals and expert commentary!


3. History of Shotokan Karate

Ever wondered what makes Shotokan karate the most definitive style of Karate in the world? This video attempts to answer that question. From its roots in Okinawa, Japan to its development under Gichin Funakoshi, explore the history and growth of this martial art that has become one of the most important styles of Karate today. Learn how it has spread around the globe and get an inside look into Dojo-style training. You won’t want to miss this comprehensive documentary about Shotokan karate!


4. National Geographic Gojuryu Karate Documentary

The Goju-Ryu Karate Documentary from National Geographic is a must watch for any martial artist. This documentary explores the history of the art and its founding fathers, Ryu Ryu Ko, Kanryo Higaonna and Goju-Ryu. It’s an in-depth look into how this amazing martial art evolved over time to become what it is today! Not only will you learn about Goju-Ryu’s origins but also gain insight into some of its techniques and principles. So don’t miss out, come join us on a journey through the amazing world of Goju-Ryu Karate with National Geographic!


5. Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate

Karate Masters Portrait Project is a unique and inspiring series that showcases the incredible martial arts teachers from Okinawa, the birthplace of karate. This documentary offers great insight into their stories and knowledge, giving viewers an inside look at the history behind this amazing art form. It’s free to watch on YouTube! Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate – Kenyu Chinen is a must-see for any fan of karate or anyone interested in martial arts in general. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain valuable knowledge about one of the oldest forms of self defense in existence!


6. Okinawan Karate – NHK World Japan

Japan is home to many unique martial arts that have been exported around the world. From karate, kendo and aikido to judo, these disciplines are more than just combat techniques – they emphasize spiritual development as well. This documentary will take you on an exploration of Okinawan Karate and its history in Japan. Learn how this form of martial art has helped countless people become better versions of themselves through physical training and mental discipline. Get ready for an inspiring journey!


7. Tee The True Spirit of Okinawan Karate

Tee, the True Spirit of Okinawan Karate is an inspiring documentary about two people’s journey into the world of martial arts. Follow along as an Italian and Englishman experience a summer filled with self-discovery and challenges through their exploration of tee. See what makes this ancient form of karate so attractive to Westerners in this captivating film.


8. Mas Oyama – Kyokushin Karate

This documentary is a must-watch for martial arts enthusiasts! It showcases the incredible journey of Mas Oyama, one of the most influential figures in Kyokushin Karate. Here you will learn about his early training and secrets to success – plus get an exclusive look into some of the best fighters in history like Shokei Matsui, Kenji Midori and Kenji Yamaki. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to uncover all the mysteries that surround Kyokushin Karate!


9. History of Kyokushin Karate – Art of One Dojo

Kyokushin Karate is an ancient martial art that has been practiced for centuries, and this documentary by Art of One Dojo offers a three-episode tribute to its history. Episode one explores the background and training of Mas Oyama, who created the Kyokushin style. The second episode examines dojo etiquette, curriculum and rank system while the last episode dives into organizations, offshoot styles and their impact on Kyokushin as a whole. Discover how this powerful martial art has shaped modern culture!


10. The Soul of Karate

This documentary is an amazing journey through the martial art of Karate-Do. It follows five karatekas from various backgrounds as they strive to reach their goal of attaining a black belt. The footage is thrilling and provides insight into traditional karate training in South Africa. Furthermore, this movie offers a philosophical statement on the soul of Karate and will leave you with an unforgettable experience!


11. The History of Martial Arts of the Entire World • Brief Martial Arts

Discover the origin and history of martial arts from around the world! From ancient times to modern, this video will take you through an interesting journey of how these practices have evolved. Learn about different fighting styles, their development over time, and how they are still used today in various forms. Get ready for a deep dive into martial arts – its history, culture and impact on our lives!


12. Human Weapon – Karate

Karate is one of the most impressive martial arts out there. It’s a powerful weapon that develops physical and mental strength in practitioners. In this video, you’ll learn all about karate – from its history and philosophy to its different styles and techniques. Discover how this human weapon can bring balance and power to your life!


13. Budo: The Art of Killing Martial Arts

The Japanese martial arts documentary Budo: The Art of Killing is an award-winning classic. Featuring renowned instructors such as Gozo Shioda, Taizaburo Nakamura and Teruo Hayashi, this film showcases a range of traditional Japanese martial arts including Karate, Aikido, Kendo, Sumo and Judo. Discover the fascinating art of killing in this compilation that highlights the beauty and skill behind these ancient disciplines. Learn more about modern Kyūdō too!


14. Morio higaonna Goju Ryu Karate

Are you interested in learning the traditional martial art of Morio Higaonna Goju Ryu Karate? Join us as we explore this ancient form of self-defense and understand how it is relevant to modern day life. In this video, we’ll discuss the fundamentals of this karate style and provide tips on how to apply its techniques. We’ll also demonstrate some key exercises so you can start training right away!


15. The Strongest Karate Kyokushin

If you’re looking for the strongest Karate style, then look no further! Kyokushin is a powerful form of martial arts that has been practiced by millions around the world. This video explores the history and power behind this incredible art form. We’ll take a close look at how it’s used in competition and what sets it apart from other styles of karate. Plus, discover why so many people are drawn to its principles and techniques! Get ready to learn about one of the toughest martial arts out there – Kyokushin Karate!


16. Growing Up As A Shaolin Monk – Inside China: Kung Fu

Shaolin Temple is a legendary place with a thousand-year-old history. It’s the birthplace of kung fu and Zen Buddhism, home to an ancient sect of warrior monks who have survived wars and upheavals. However, in this modern era, will fists and faith be enough to ensure Shaolin survives? Or will it succumb to corporate face lifts? Follow us as we dive into the lives of these new generation warriors as they train for the fight of their lives! A journey that reveals how Shaolin has adapted to remain relevant in today’s world.

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David B