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is an Okinawan martial art founded by . The word Ryu-te is actually an acronym meaning "Ryukyu Hand" with Ryukyu being a reference to the original name of Okinawa prior to it becoming part of Japan. Before 1995, Oyata referred to his style as Ryukyu Kempo, but eventually renamed it "Ryu-te" as Ryukyu Kempo was a reference to all styles originating in Okinawa rather than to any one particular style. Ryu-te emphasizes effective self-defense while deliberately minimizing the harm to the opponent Its practitioners consider Ryu-te neither a sport nor a form of exercise, but rather a method of training the body and mind for the betterment of mankind.

Technically, Ryu-te is characterized by combining joint manipulation techniques ( tuite jutsu) with effective strikes to the body's weak points ( kyusho jutsu). These terms, which have become well known among martial artists, were originally introduced to the United States by Oyata in the early-1980s.

Unlike many styles of martial arts which are derived from publicly taught styles popularized by notable practitioners such as Gichin Funakoshi, Ankō Itosu, Sokon Matsumura and Tode Sakugawa, Ryu-te is principally derived from private, family styles. Oyata first learned Okinawan weapons (kobudo) from Uhugushiku, a bushi and retired palace guard. He also studied with Wakinaguri, whose family was descended from the Chinese families who emigrated to Ryukyu during the Ming Dynasty. Ryu-te is also influenced by Shigeru Nakamura's Okinawan Kenpo, as Oyata was a member of the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo Federation from the time of Uhugushiku and Wakinaguri's passing until Nakamura's death in 1968.