There are questionable styles that have recently surfaced with no basis or no lineage. One organization even advertised in a popular martial arts magazine and would send out any rank diploma for a fee (without any proof of rank).
|A sketch by the author|
|A path leading to a garden - sketch by the author.|
If we examine Traditional “Japanese” Karate as opposed to Traditional “Okinawan” Karate, karate was created by Okinawans and kept secret for centuries from all outsiders (especially the Japanese). There were rules required to learn the art and individuals had to swear an oath to keep the art secret. It is not a Japanese art and was not introduced to Japan until the 20th century, and it was the Japanese who later created karate sport at the objection of Okinawan masters in the mid-20th century. Even the indigenous Japanese arts like jujutsu and judo, were never taught as sport until recently. These were originally samurai combat arts designed to defend against a heavily armored samurai.