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Difference Between Taekwondo and Kung Fu

Taekwondo vs Kung Fu

If you want to learn martial arts, you must first assess yourself and try to ask the experts about the best fighting style fit for you and your needs. Two of the well-loved martial arts that have enjoyed worldwide respect today are taekwondo and kung fu. So how do they differ?

If you are fond of films starring Bruce Lee, Jet Li, and Jackie Chan, then most likely you’ve already had an initial idea of what kung fu is. In actuality, kung fu, as seen in Hollywood, is just the tip of the iceberg. In cinemas, kung fu is the martial art of intimidation that uses the quick movement of the arms and hands. But in its most ordinary sense, kung fu is more than that alone. It was primarily meant to enlighten and encourage the martial artist.

This Chinese art includes not only fighting but also deep meditation. As such, it is good for the body, soul, and mind. One can learn it more effectively under an efficient master. Because of the extreme use of muscles in action, the kung fu martial artist is bestowed with superb awareness upon mastery of the art.

The other popular martial art taekwondo actually originated from South Korea. In fact, this is their national sport. As a martial art, taekwondo emphasizes the use of the legs to fight. Characterized by too much kicking, this art treats one’s legs as the best weapon. It is also meant as an effective self-defense methodology, art of meditation, and engagement in sports rather than as an offensive, fighting style.

The two have other diverse characteristics. Kung fu is structured around fluid, soft (yet powerful), continuous and circular movements (almost like dancing). This is very contrary to taekwondo that is more linear, choppy, and firm. In terms of weaponry, kung fu makes use of 18 traditional weapons (i.e., rope dart, staff, rattan shield, and double daggers to name a few). Although taekwondo highlights the use of the legs as the primary weapon, it has now gone under the influence of the Japanese by using their traditional weapons like the tonfa and bo staff.


1.Kung fu is a Chinese martial art while taekwondo is of South Korean origin.
2.Kung fu has more use of the hands or arms while taekwondo has more emphasis on the use of one’s legs.
3.Kung fu has a more circular structure unlike the linear and firm structure of taekwondo.
4.Taekwondo has less usage of weapons and treats the legs as the best weapon compared to kung fu which employs the use of a wide array of weaponry.

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