Taekwondo vs Karate- which do you choose? The majority of people assume they’re the same thing, but there are a few differences that will determine which is better for you and your martial arts goals. We’ll settle the debate and go over the differences between karate and taekwondo to help you to make your own decision on which is better for you!
The Difference Between Taekwondo vs Karate
The most basic difference in karate vs taekwondo is the matter of kicks and punches. Think of the shuto uchi, or the famous “karate chop” you’ve seen in movies – karate uses hand techniques primarily, and then kicking is more of an occasional thing. Taekwondo is the exact opposite- it emphasizes kicking and uses hand techniques as the backup. Taekwondo has more diversity in combos as well, like spinning and jumping kicks.
Origins of Karate and Taekwondo
When you think about which martial arts classes you want to take, it can be helpful to consider the origin. Karate started later but modern culture made it pretty famous, while taekwondo has been established for thousands of years.
Karate made most popular by Mr. Miayagi in The Karate Kid, originated in Japan. It started around 500 years ago too, as the story goes, stop the use of weapons on the island of Okinawa in order to prevent war. Japanese warriors started using hand-to-hand combat to protect themselves instead of weapons, and karate was born- hand-to-hand fighting.
Taekwondo goes back quite a bit further to 50 B.CE. in Korea. It’s all in the name – tae means kick, kwon means punch, and do means, well, doing things. So taekwondo vs karate literally means practicing self-defense with your whole body – it’s known as the art of the foot and hand. Interestingly, when Japan took over Korea in the 1900’s, the Japanese actually declared taekwondo totally illegal. Japanese renegades practiced the martial arts form in secret, and they’re the ones that kept taekwondo the same as karate alive to this day.
Different Techniques Used
So what is the difference between taekwondo vs karate? It’s the difference between the two sides of your body- hands/arms and legs/feet. Karate means empty hands, pointing to the fact that it’s a martial arts form relying heavily on the use of your hands without weapons of any kind.
There’s a greater focus on mental strength and stamina because one of your only forms of protection in a karate fight is your mind. Karate students learn lots of hand techniques and combinations while keeping kicks on deck if needed. It’s best for when you’re close to an opponent and need that hand-to-hand combat advantage. On the other hand, taekwondo focuses on the legs, chiefly because the leg is the strongest weapon.
Kicks in taekwondo are very powerful for striking your opponent. Students in taekwondo classes learn spin kicks and a number of different kicking combinations while using hand techniques when necessary. Is taekwondo better than karate has it more effective at a distance because you can utilize the length of your legs against your opponent?
Competing in Taekwondo and Karate
Both taekwondo vs karate is not only practical and effective martial arts forms, but they also provide opportunities for competition and advancement that can really push you to grow.
They both require serious mental and physical strength and stamina just like other martial arts classes, which is why so many in Crest Hill enjoy the rewards of hard work paying off at belt ranking and in competition. There is a difference between taekwondo and karate competition rules. The rules of karate are a bit more involved, while the rules of taekwondo are more simple. In a karate competition, you can strike the head, neck, face, chest, side, abdomen, and back.
The karate judges have a list of criteria that need to be followed in order for the match to be considered a win, like good form, accurate distance, and good timing. Taekwondo competitions are more to-the-point. In a taekwondo competition, a student gets 3 points for a kick to the head, 2 points for a spinning kick to the opponent’s torso, and one point for a basic attack on their torso.
In all honesty, karate or taekwondo can both get you super fit and in shape very quickly. They’ll both teach you self-defense skills that you can use to protect yourself and your loved ones. And they’ll both push you to achieve your goals and accomplish things you never thought you could do. So which is better, is karate and taekwondo the same? We’ll show you in class, as the better one for self-defense is the one YOU do. Doing nothing will result in nothing! So come and try martial arts with our MMA Stop Fitness staff here in Crest Hill for yourself – you’ll LOVE it!