Karate originated as a martial art hundreds of years ago and was brought to Japan from Okinawa. In Okinawa it was developed by a fusion between the local art of 'te' also known as 'todi' and chinese martial arts. Many famous practitioners at the time experimented and developed their skills in such provinces as Shuri, Naha and Tomari. Unlike many martial arts in Japan, karate was practiced in secrecy for a very long time. There was no fixed system until the early 20th century.