Karate vs Taekwondo: Which Martial Arts Style is Better and Why

Karate vs Taekwondo: Which Martial Arts Style is Better and Why

Karate vs taekwondo– 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 Karate and Taekwondo

Karate and Taekwondo classes in Stafford

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 every ninja movie – karate uses hand combos primarily, and then kicking is more of an occasional thing. Taekwondo is the exact opposite- it emphasizes kicking and uses hand moves as the backup. Taekwondo has more diversity in combos as well, like spinning and jumping kicks.

Origins of Karate and Taekwondo

Karate and Taekwondo Classes

When you’re thinking about which one you want to study, it can be helpful to consider the origin. Karate started later but became a pop culture phenomenon, while taekwondo has been around for thousands of years. Even though Mr. Miyagi made karate famous in our pop culture, it actually originated in Japan. It started around 500 years ago to, legend has it, stop the use of weapons on the island of Okinawa so that the king could prevent war. The Japanese started protecting themselves with their hands 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 literally means practicing self defense with your whole body – it’s known as the art of the foot and hand. Interestingly, when Japan overtook Korea in the 1900’s, the Japanese actually banned taekwondo. Japanese renegades practiced the martial arts form in secret, and they’re they ones that kept taekwondo alive to this day.

Different Techniques Used

Martial Arts Techniques in Stafford

So what is the difference between karate and taekwondo? 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 any weapons. Karate emphasizes mental strength and stamina, then, because one of your only forms of protection when practicing is your mind. You’ll learn lots of hand techniques and combinations while keeping kicks on deck if needed.

Karate is best for when you’re close to an opponent and need that hand-to-hand combat advantage. Alternatively, 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. Taekwondo has more effectiveness at a distance, because you can utilize the length of your legs against your opponent.

Competing in Taekwondo and Karate

Martial Arts Competition

Both karate and taekwondo are not only practical and effective martial arts forms, but they also provide opportunities for competition and advancement that encourage serious growth in their students. They both require serious mental and physical strength and stamina just like other martial arts classes, which is why so many in Stafford enjoy the rewards of all their hard work being recognized at belt ranking and in competition.

There is a difference between taekwondo and karate competition rules. Karate rules are a bit more complex, while taekwondo rules are more straightforward. In a karate competition, you can strike to the head, neck, face, chest, side, abdomen and back. The judges in the competition 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, however, is a bit more straightforward. A taekwondo martial artist 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.

Conclusion

So honestly, both of these martial arts styles will transform your body and get you fit fast. 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 a ton and accomplish things you never thought you could do. So which is better, karate or taekwondo? 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 U. S. Academy of Taekwondo staff here in Stafford for yourself- you’ll LOVE it!

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