The answer to this simple question is no. The majority of Japanese people have never experienced karate in their lives. In fact, most of them have never even watched a karate match on TV. They didn’t learn it in school as children, nor did they engage in karate play with their peers.
While karate dojos can be found in every town, they attract only passionate karate fans. The kids’ classes are popular as a place for young children to cultivate their spirits. However, as they grow up, they become more interested in other sports like soccer, basketball, or baseball, and drift away from karate.
Combat sports have gained some popularity in Japan, but MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is the most popular. Karate and kickboxing, on the other hand, haven’t generated as much excitement.
I practiced karate for about five years. During that time, I experienced two fractures, but the simplicity of karate’s style is captivating, and wearing a gi (karate uniform) makes you feel more focused. There were also foreign students who were very dedicated and eager to improve. This can be said for judo as well, but I feel that foreigners are more drawn to karate than Japanese people.