Taekwondo vs Karate: Difference and Comparison

Besides self-defense, martial arts are beneficial for both physical and mental health. You can build muscles, improve balance, and get a full-body aerobic workout by practicing martial arts.

Taekwondo and Karate are two of the widely popular and common martial arts. Many people think that taekwondo and karate are the same. But these two martial arts have distinctive features.

Key Takeaways

  1. Taekwondo, a Korean martial art, emphasizes high, fast kicks and jumping, whereas Karate, a Japanese martial art, focuses on hand strikes and strong stances.
  2. Taekwondo practitioners wear a Dobok and use a colored belt system, while Karate practitioners don a Gi and follow a colored belt system.
  3. Taekwondo is an Olympic sport, while Karate debuted at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Taekwondo vs Karate

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that focuses on high, quick kicks, jumping, spinning kicks, hand strikes, blocks, and grappling techniques. Karate is a Japanese martial art that encompasses throws and joint locks as well as striking techniques such as punches, kicks, and knee strikes.

Taekwondo vs Karate

Taekwondo refers to one of the most scientific and systematic martial arts, which originated in Korea. Taekwondo heavily emphasizes the use of legs for kicking while fighting.

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During the 1940s and 1950s, this martial art was developed by several Korean martial artists by blending indigenous fighting styles of Korea with foreign martial arts like Chinese martial arts karate.

Karate is another widely popular and dynamic martial art that originated in Japan. Karate consists of dynamic defensive and offensive techniques by using all body parts.

Trained karatekas can coordinate body and mind properly, which helps them unleash extreme physical power.

It was first introduced in Japan by Gichin Funakoshi, who was considered the founding father of modern karate, in 1917.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTaekwondoKarate
OriginTaekwondo originated in Korea.     Karate originated in Japan.
MovementsTaekwondo mainly focuses on kicking techniques that need to be graceful and strong. Using hands while fighting is secondary in taekwondo.     Karate is the striking art with kicking, punching, open-handed, and elbow/knee techniques.
FeaturesThe major feature of Taekwondo art is kicking. Taekwondo is considered to be one of the fastest martial arts.     The major features of karate are blocks, takedowns, punches, and kicks.
Bow style The bow style of taekwondo is arming together or hands together.     In karate bow is done by bending the torso down, keeping arms straight against the torso, and eyes on the opponents.
ClothingThe uniform of taekwondo is known as dobok.     The clothing of karate is known as Gi.

What is Taekwondo?

Taekwondo refers to an empty-hand martial art form that originated in Korea.

Taekwondo is derived from three words- “tae,” “Kwon,” and “do,” which means kick, punch, and other fist and hand blow; and a way of operation, respectively.

It is distinguished from other martial arts by its sweeping kicks, emphatic punches, and high speed.

KTA, or the Korean Taekwondo Association, is considered the oldest taekwondo governing body. It was formed in 1959 by Korea’s 9 original martial art schools, known as kwans.

In 1966, General Choi Hong Hi founded the ITF or International Taekwon-Do Federation, the international taekwondo governing body. 

In taekwondo matches, two competitors face each other across a mat surface. Officials scored the match by accessing points for the execution style and delivered blows by the competitors.

Points are given for each kick delivered to the side and front of the head and punches to the opponent’s body or head.

The uniform of taekwondo is known as dobok. Dobok is loose-fit white pants and jacket. The color of the belt identifies proficiency in taekwondo. Each color of the belt presents each level of taekwondo ability. 

taekwondo

What is Karate?

Karate is another well-known martial art that originated in Japan. The word is derived from two words- “kara” and “te” which mean “empty” and “hand” respectively.

Karate refers to fighting without the help of any weapon which is fought in an empty hand. In karate, the full body is used to defend and attack the opponent.

Over a period of centuries, karate evolved into a systematic martial art and became popular as self-defense in the 17th century in Japan, as weapons were forbidden at that time.

After the Taisho era, it was widely taught in Japan. During the 1960s and 1970s, martial art movies made it popular all over the world.

Karate focuses on full-body movements with counter-attacks using strikes, punches, and kicks, and blocking. It mainly focuses on hand movement rather than the use of kicks.

Karate is practiced as self-defense, a sport, and a healthy workout. Karate develops flexibility, coordination, strength, aerobic fitness, and balance to keep healthy and fit. 

Karate practices are divided into three major elements: Kumita or sparring, kata or forms, and kihon or basics. These three elements rely on each other and overlap constantly.

The main goal of this martial art is to build a perfect character. It is believed that karate helps to develop a person’s character and spiritual thinking.

karate

Main Differences Between Taekwondo and Karate

  1. Taekwondo originated in Korea. On the other hand, karate originated in Japan.
  2. Taekwondo mainly focuses on kicking techniques that need to be graceful and strong. Using hands while fighting is secondary in taekwondo. Karate is the striking art with kicking, punching, open-handed, and elbow/knee techniques.
  3. The major feature of Taekwondo art is kicking. Taekwondo is considered to be one of the fastest martial arts. The major features of karate are blocks, takedowns, punches, and kicks.
  4. The bow style of taekwondo is arming together or hands together. In karate, a bow is done by bending the torso down, keeping arms straight against the torso, and eyes on the opponents.
  5. The uniform of taekwondo is known as dobok. The clothing of karate is known as Gi.
Difference Between Taekwondo and Karate

References

  1. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=taekwondo+&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3Dw7DOpTdIVncJ
  2. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=karate+&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3DDhPOiEy47bYJ

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