The Japanese martial art of karate is primarily an art of aggression and contact used in complete control to defend yourself or to disable your opponent. Techniques such as punching, kneeing, elbowing, and open handed striking techniques are all learned and mastered to benefit you in a conflict. Almost every move is based on neutralizing an aggressive enemy and not on striking random victims. You are also taught to focus all of your energy is various parts of your body when you are preparing to strike an opponent. For example, when you strike with your fist you are taught to focus all of your energy on a small section of your fist so that you can make the maximum impact. It is the desire to create the most effect with the quickest and most precise action that drives the martial art.
Along with striking there is also a lot of neutralizing locks and holds that are learned to help subdue an opponent. Grappling, holds or restraints, pressure points, affecting the joints to cause minimalization of the opponent, and precision striking to not only stop your opponent from advancing but also to cause your opponent to be easily restrained. In all of these disciplines the point is not to attack but to repel an attack in an aggressive manner. A great deal of study goes into the various parts of the body where the most damage can be cause with the least amount of effort. It is a common myth among people that do not study karate that a black belt knows many ways to kill a person with one strike. While the result of striking someone in certain places may be death the point in learning all of these techniques is only to cause your opponent to be subdued. It is a study in discipline and not a study in killing techniques.
Karate tournaments happen all over the world and are extremely organized. They consist of three segments which are sparring, empty handed forms, and weapons forms. Karate is practiced all over the world but it is very protected by the people that practice it. Karate will not be an Olympic event in 2012 as it did not receive enough votes in the 2005 vote by the IOC. More than likely the sport and discipline of karate will survive losing its Olympic status.