Karate is a tradition of indeterminate age, but everyone agrees it has been developed and passed down for hundreds of years. There is no vanilla "karate". Karate is broken into families, where one generation teaches the next. You can read about the specific lineage of the USA Goju Federation here.
Karate instruction has evolved over the years. Originally, there was a focus on kata alone. Katas are forms which demonstrate the movement of a system. Kata is the core of true karate. Both percussive and grappling techniques can be gleaned from its study.
In Japan, minimal contact sparring, known as ju-kumite, evolved. This
allowed karate to be practiced as a competitive sport like judo or kendo.
In USAGF Karate, kata is still the core, and sparring is practiced to build reflexes and introduce students to the concept of conflict. There is also a strong focus on self defense beyond the bunkai found in kata.
USAGF Tampa offers three types of classes.