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Taekwondo vs Karate: Which Martial Arts Style is the Best

Taekwondo vs Karate

Taekwondo vs Karate – one of the longest-standing debates in martial arts. A lot of people probably think they’re the same thing, but some 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

taekwondo vs karateThe 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 techniques primarily, and then kicking is more of an occasional thing. Taekwondo is the exact opposite; it emphasizes kicking and uses hand combos as the backup. Taekwondo has more variety in the martial arts moves you can learn, including spinning and jumping kicks. 

 

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 modern culture made it pretty famous. Meanwhile, taekwondo has been established 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 to prevent war. Japanese warriors started protecting themselves with their hands instead of weapons, and karate was born, hand-to-hand fighting. Taekwondo goes back quite a bit further to 50 B.CE. in Korea. So, is Taekwondo better than Karate?

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, it’s known as the art of the foot and hand. Fun fact: When Japan overtook Korea in the 1900s, the Japanese declared taekwondo illegal. Japanese rebels practiced the martial arts form in secret, and it’s thanks to them that we can still practice taekwondo today.

 

Different Techniques Used

karate vs teakwondo American Top Team AshburnWhat 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, a nod to the fact that it’s a martial arts form relying heavily on the use of your hands without any weapons. There’s a certain focus on stamina and mental strength because one of your only forms of protection when practicing is your mind. Students in karate classes learn lots of hand techniques and combinations while keeping kicks on deck if needed. It’s a good fit for when you’re close to an opponent and need that hand-to-hand combat advantage.

Alternatively, taekwondo focuses on the legs, chiefly because the leg is the strongest weapon. Kicks in this martial art are very powerful for striking your opponent. You’ll learn spin kicks and several different kicking combinations while using hand techniques if necessary. Taekwondo is a good fit if your opponent is at a distance because you can use the length of your legs against them. So, is taekwondo the same as karate?

 

Competing in Taekwondo and Karate

Huge Advantage of Martial ArtsBoth Taekwondo vs Karate 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 so many in Ashburn 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 complex, while taekwondo rules are straightforward.

In a karate competition, you 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 simpler. A taekwondo competitor 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.

To be honest, karate or taekwondo will both get you super fit and in shape very quickly. They’ll both teach you self-defense skills that you can use to defend yourself against an attacker. And they’ll both teach you to keep going no matter what, 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 our adult Taekwondo classes with our American Top Team staff here in Ashburn for yourself–you’ll love it!

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