Difference Between Taekwondo and Kung Fu (With Table)

Learning several fighting forms has been in trend for a very long period. Earlier, people used to learn sword fighting, wrestling, and many other forms of fighting. Nowadays, too, there are many martial arts forms learned by people for self-defense and their interests as well. And nowadays, when crime rates are increasing at a high pace, they have become a necessity for living as well.

Two martial art forms preferred by many are Taekwondo and kung fu. Both of them have several common aspects in learning and fighting, but to learn any of these, it is important to learn about them. Starting with learning them, first of all, it is important to understand the difference between Taekwondo and kung fu.

Taekwondo vs Kung Fu

The difference between Taekwondo and kung fu is that both of them have different places of origin. Korea and China are the place of origins for Taekwondo and kung fu, respectively. Both of these martial arts use weapons along with the hands and legs movements, but Taekwondo gives more emphasis on their legs skills rather than on weapons, whereas Kung Fu gives more emphasis on fighting using the weapons rather than on legs. Taekwondo has a firm and linear structure, unlike the circular structure of Kung Fu. Taekwondo has a little advantage for professional players as it is one of the events in the Olympic event, whereas Kung Fu has a little disadvantage as it is not added in these events. Apart from these, more differences are mentioned below.

Taekwondo is a form of martial art that originated in Korea. More emphasis is given to kicking and punching. Therefore it includes the firm use of arms and legs. It was added to the Olympic events in 2000. This art requires a proper attire known as Dobok or Tobo that needs to be worn by every player while fighting. There is an instructor who guides every player and is known as Sa Bum Nim.

Kung Fu is another martial art form that originated from China; it is also known as Thong Fu. It has been developed and changed over the years. This form, like other self-defense forms, includes different techniques which have leg and arm movement for defense and attack. But along with the body techniques, it also includes other weapons during the fight. There is a guider or instructor, also known as Si Fu.

Comparison Table Between Taekwondo and Kung Fu

Parameters of ComparisonTaekwondoKung Fu
Place of originKoreaChina
Olympic eventYesNo
AttireDobok or toboWhatever recommended by instructor
Title for instructorSa bum nimSi Fu

What is Taekwondo? 

This form is best known for its kicks as it is the main technique in the fight, and it is also the main difference between it and other forms of martial arts. Kicking is considered to be the strongest body part that can be used while fighting for attacking, and hence opponent can be easily hurt without causing much trouble to the attacker.

It is practiced and popular among all genders. It has several other advantages than self-defense. These are:

  • It develops force.
  • It develops speed.
  • It develops stamina and flexibility.
  • It increases stamina.
  • It boosts mental ability as well.

Many changes took place in this sport over the centurions. It not only involves physical and mental aspects of the body but also includes other things, for example, respect. It is very important to have respect for both fighters in the fight. On winning every match, a belt or strip to add on the belt is given to the winner.

What is Kung Fu?

It is one of the most popular and loved forms of martial arts in the world, and this fact can be easily observed from movies or belts, etc., as many actors have also been specialized in this art, which contributes to making it more popular. But there are many misconceptions about this art that is believed by people. 

It is believed to be one of the oldest martial art forms as t was developed in the 4th century. It has several circular movements and is inspired by science, and also has influenced animals. It has an article of special clothing or attire that the fighter has to be wear during the fight, which is decided by the instructor. Si Fu is the instructor or guide who provides direction and guidance to the fighter on how to fight. 

This form of martial arts focuses on using the different weapons in the fight and how these could be used without harming anyone in a serious manner.

Main Differences Between Taekwondo and Kung Fu

  1. The firstmost and major difference between Taekwondo and kung fu is in their place of origin. Korea is the place of origin for Taekwondo, whereas China is the place of origin for China.
  2. There are many events and martial arts that take place in Olympic events where players from different countries come together to fight against each other. Taekwondo, like many other sports, is added for the Olympic events, whereas Kung Fu has the disadvantage that it is not included in the Olympic events.
  3. Both of these included attire that had to wear during the official fighting, and they could not wear anything else except them. Taekwondo has attire known as Dobok or Tobo, whereas the attire of Kung Fu is decided by the instructor, and hence it’s not fixed.
  4. Both of them have a different title for their instructors (who gives them instruction or guides them the techniques and skills of the fight), the title for an instructor in the case of Taekwondo is Sa Bum Nim, whereas title for an instructor in case of Kung Fu is called Si Fu.
  5. Both of them indeed are used for self-defense. And for fighting, both of these martial art forms use several techniques and weapons. In Taekwondo, more focus is not given on using the weapons but on the kicking or on the moves of their legs, whereas Kung Fu is more focused on fighting with using weapons.


Hence, there should not be any confusion between both taekwondo and kung fu forms of martial arts. Every person should do their own research about them before choosing any of these for learning, especially when it comes to self-defense. Both of them can be confusing as they have similar fighting techniques or skills. They are very important to learn, especially for the girls, as we all are aware of the consequences that might be there in the absence of any fighting skills.

Therefore, everyone should be capable of protecting themselves, and for this government in several countries has initiated to provide self-defense techniques for free.


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