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Taekwondo vs Karate: Which Martial Arts Style is Better?

adult Karate class

Taekwondo vs Karate, which do you choose? The majority of people assume they’re the same thing, but some key differences will determine which is better for you and your personal goals. We’ll settle the scores and go over the differences between Karate and Taekwondo to guide you to make your own decision on which is better for you!

 

The Difference Between Taekwondo vs Karate

adult Karate classThe most basic difference between Taekwondo vs Karate is the difference between kicking and punching. Think of the shuto uchi, or the famous “karate chop” you’ve seen in movies. Karate uses hand combos primarily, and then kicking is a backup. Taekwondo is the exact opposite. It emphasizes kicking and uses hand techniques as the backup. Taekwondo is also more diverse with the moves you can master, including spinning and jumping kicks. These are very different from our Co-Ed advanced BJJ in Milwaukee.

 

Origins of Taekwondo vs Karate

Taekwondo vs KarateWhen picking which self-defense you want to study, it can be helpful to consider the origin. Karate started later but has been popularized by modern culture, while Taekwondo has been around for thousands of years. Even though Mr. Miyagi made Karate famous in our pop culture, it 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 using hand-to-hand combat to protect themselves instead of weapons, and Karate was born, hand-to-hand fighting. It makes you wonder, is Taekwondo better than Karate?

Taekwondo goes back quite a bit further to 50 B.C.E. in Korea. It’s all in the name! Tae means kick, Kwon means punch, and Do means, well, doing things. So Taekwondo means practicing self-defense with your entire body, known as the art of the foot and hand. Fun fact, when Japan took over Korea in the 1900’s, the Japanese prohibited TaekwondoJapanese rebels practiced the martial arts form in secret, and it’s thanks to them that we can still practice Taekwondo today.

 

Different Techniques Used

Taekwondo vs KarateWhat 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, referencing the fact that it’s a martial arts form relying heavily on the use of your hands sans weaponry. There’s a certain focus on stamina and mental strength 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. Karate is best for when you’re close to an opponent and need that hand-to-hand combat advantage. Are you still asking yourself, is Taekwondo the same as Karate?

On the other hand, Taekwondo emphasizes the legs, chiefly because your leg is the strongest and longest weapon you have on your body. Kicks in Taekwondo are very powerful for striking your opponent. Students in Taekwondo classes learn spin kicks and several different kicking combinations while using hand techniques as a backup. Taekwondo has more effectiveness at a distance because you can use the length of your legs against your opponent.

 

Competing in Taekwondo and Karate

adult Karate classBoth 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 hundreds of students in Milwaukee enjoy the rewards of hard work paying off at belt ranking and in competition.

There is a difference between Taekwondo and Karate competition rules. Karate competition rules are a bit more complicated, while Taekwondo rules are more straightforward. A Karate student can strike the head, neck, face, chest, side, abdomen, and back. The judges in the competition have a list of criteria that need to be followed for the match to be considered a win, like good form, accurate distance, and good timing. Taekwondo, however, is a bit more straightforward. 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, Taekwondo vs Karate can both get you super fit and in shape very quickly. They’ll both teach you practical self-defense that you can use to defend yourself against an attacker. And they’ll both teach you to persevere, respect yourself and others, and gain confidence like never before. So, 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 Co-Ed advanced BJJ in Milwaukee with our Gracie Jiu-Jitsu staff here in Milwaukee for yourself. You’ll love it!

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