In 1984, everybody wanted to learn karate. Every kid wanted to be like Ralph Macchio in the Karate Kid, or beat his ass. Ever since, Karate spread rapidly into mass popularity.
Karate is known primarily as a striking art, featuring punching, kicking, knee/elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques. It is divided into kihon (basics or fundamentals), kata (forms), and kumite (sparring).
Here is one of the popular Karate forms from that era, as performed by 4 time Karate World champion, Jean Frenette:
Today, with the rising popularity of MMA, kids are going to muay thai and jiu-jitsu gyms. Nevertheless, karate, with its thousands of years of evolution, is here to stay. Influenced by Chinese merchants, the people of Okinawa developed Karate into a time-tested martial arts.
Here is Bas Rutten, the vicious MMA fighter, paying homage to Frenette:
Lyoto Machida, one of the most elusive fighters in mma, is a karate stylist and bjj expert: