Okinawa is not just a sub-tropical paradise, known for stunning beaches and convivial island culture. These isles have an ancient history as the Ryukyu Kingdom long before their assimilation into Japan. One common thread connecting this rich past with the present is the ancient martial art of karate. Developed over centuries, with influence drawn from Okinawa’s various neighbors in the Western Pacific, karate is now an Olympic sport and martial art practiced by millions worldwide. But its origins in Okinawa are as a secretive fighting style, handed down by masters to a select few students of each generation. Today, the veil of secrecy is lifted, but to train with a master in Okinawa remains an exclusive and privileged experience. Through certain organizations, you can arrange private training sessions and exclusive demonstrations, in Okinawa, the birthplace of karate. Training sessions are typically available for intermediate and advanced martial arts practitioners and include the opportunity to sit down with the expert sensei (master) afterward and talk or ask questions. Instructors are specialized in different styles of karate and can also offer instruction in Okinawan kobudo, an ancient martial art that preceded karate. Private demonstrations are available to all, and interested parties can choose from a varied program that includes sparring between top-ranking masters. All experiences, including demonstrations, are open to individuals, as well as groups.