The goal of this study is to interpret the different meanings in the emblems/symbols of the styles and schools of Karate-Dō, analyzing their internal elements and their importance within of this practice. This survey was composed by three distinct stages: 1) research and cataloging of the styles and schools of Karate-Dō with historical, cultural and political representation; 2) identification of the symbols used by each one of these styles and schools; and 3) analysis of each one of these symbols. This analysis is important for a deeper understanding of the different meanings involved in the practice of Karate-Dō. Although Karate-Dō follow a common set of values to all Budō, schools have their own worldview, using their symbols to reinforce or express such concepts. Some symbols which was analyzed demonstrates a cultural enrichment in their artwork, being recognized by some elements of religious or spiritual aspect. This symbolism, in itself, shows an important aspect to understand the multicultural phenomenon named Karate-Dō.
Karate; Martial arts; Sport; Japanese culture; History