Is it permissible to learn karate?

Fatwa, posted 4.22.2010, from South Africa
Religious Authority: 
Mufti Siraj Desai
Fatwa Question or Essay Title: 
Is it permissible to learn karate?

It is permissible to learn this form of martial arts as a means of self defense. However, when learning these martial arts and self defense techniques, observe restrictions of sharia, such as dressing without exposing the satr (parts of the body that must be covered), not training during salah (prayer) times thereby missing [prayers], avoiding forms of protocol and deference observed by proponents of this art such as bowing, kneeling, etc.