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Difference Between Taekwondo and Karate

taekwondoTaekwondo vs Karate

The first difference that comes to mind is that while Karate is Japanese in origin Taekwondo is from Korea. Karate evolved in the island city of Okinawa in Japan after imbibing some influences of Chinese martial arts. The colored belt system was introduced to denote the rank and skill of the Karate practitioner. White depicts a novice and different types of black denote instructor level of differing grades. In between there is a whole range of colors that one needs to earn before moving on to the next level.

Taekwondo as we know it today developed in Korea and imbibed a lot of Japanese influence mainly during the Japanese occupation of Korea during the Second World War. The Koreans also adopted the same uniforms and colored belt systems as that used in the case of Karate. In North America where both sports are extremely popular there are separate competitions held for both the sports.

In so far as karate is concerned, its fighting style involves the use of arms and hands 60% of the time with the intention of striking and blocking whereas 40% of the time legs will be used for kicking. In taekwondo it is the other way round with 40% of the time being devoted to using arms and legs to strike and block and 60% of the time making use of legs for kicking. Moreover the kicking is always higher and directed towards the opponent’s head in Taekwondo. That apart the Taekwondo forms are shorter and less complex than those of Karate.

Purists among the practitioners of Karate are proud of their ability to throw powerful reverse punches, use back fists, deep stances and low sweep techniques. They will rarely kick, and if they do, it is seldom higher than the stomach level. The orientation is to down the opponent with one concerted strike. The practitioners of Taekwondo on the other hand are renowned for their varied use of different kicking techniques. They will jump, spin, fly, and thrust, multiple kick and high kick all over their opponent. Of the two, taekwondo is more spectacular and often used in movies.
One glaring difference between the two is that the younger Taekwondo has made it as an Olympic sport while karate has not. Taekwondo in essence is a Korean version of Karate which combines quite a few of the basic techniques of the Shotokan variety of Karate with ancient fighting techniques of Korean warriors.

Karate as a martial art is taught in a much regimented manner. Emphasis is placed on synchronized movement and yelling and moving at consistent speeds. Consequently there is considerable more uniformity to be found in the case of Karate. Taekwondo on the other hand is more in the form of a contact sport like boxing and wrestling where techniques have to be useful in theory as well as practice. Students have more liberty to yell the way they like to and devise their own strategy within established guidelines.

Both the disciplines are extremely popular with Taekwondo perhaps a little more so now.

Summary:
1.While Karate is Japanese in origin Taekwondo is from Korea.
2.Karate evolved in the island city of Okinawa in Japan after imbibing some influences of Chinese martial arts. Taekwondo as we know it today developed in Korea and imbibed a lot of Japanese influence mainly during the former’s occupation by the latter during the Second World War.
3.In Karate the fighting style involves the use of arms and hands 60% of the time with the intention of striking and blocking whereas 40% of the time legs will be used for kicking. In taekwondo it is the other way round with 40% of the time being devoted to using arms and legs to strike and block and 60% of the time making use of legs for kicking.
4.Taekwondo has made it as an Olympic sport while karate has not.


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2 Comments

  1. i lav karate

  2. I always find it funny that very few people in the USA know that there is a difference between Karate and Taekwondo. Thanks for the great read! I personally love Taekwondo!

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