In 1609, Japan was ruled by the Tokugawa shogunate, which maintained power through the skillful playing of one faction against another. The Tokugawa clan had previously subjugated the Satsuma clan but they still considered them a threat, so they sent the Satsuma to invade Okinawa to get them out of the country. The invasion was successful and once again the Okinawans were prohibited from possessing weapons. Once again the Okinawans had no option but to rely upon their empty-handed fighting skills, along with the combative use of domestic tools. Laws were imposed by the Japanese to eradicate all traces of Okinawan fighting systems, which resulted in karate being practiced in secret. This had a profound effect upon karate since now only a few practiced it and it became further shrouded in secrecy. The effects of this are still felt today as many of the original meanings of movements have been lost. An additional effect of secrecy was that karate became extremely violent, as its only purpose was to disable any assailant quickly .
Many of the patterns practiced at this time were Chinese in origin but the Okinawans also developed their own patterns to record their fighting systems. The only purpose behind a pattern at this point in history was to record highly effective and brutal methods of combat and to provide a training method to perfect those methods.
The supposed first karate kata, originally called kusanku but now called kanu-dai, was developed in the early 1800’s in Okinawa. Credit for inventing the kata goes to either Tode Sakugawa or Sokon Matsumura. Two other kata were developed in the 1800’s: channan (nothing is known about it today except its name) and another kata about which nothing is known, not even its name. All other kata were invented in the 1900’s.