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Taekwondo vs Karate | Which Martial Arts Style is Better and Why

Taekwondo vs Karate Classes in Centerton

Taekwondo vs Karate – one of the longest-standing debates in martial arts. Most people probably think they’re the same thing, but there are a few differences that will determine which is better for you and your self-defense goals. We’ll settle the debate 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 Karate and Taekwondo

is karate and taekwondo the same

The most basic difference in karate vs taekwondo 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 has more diversity in combos as well, like spinning and jumping kicks.

 

Origins of Karate and Taekwondo

Karate Classes in Centerton

When you think about which martial arts classes you want to take, it can be helpful to consider the origin. Karate started later but became a pop culture phenomenon, while taekwondo has been practiced for thousands of years.

Karate made most popular by Mr. Miayagi in The Karate Kid, originated in Japan. It started around 500 years ago too, legend has it, stop the use of weapons on the island of Okinawa so that the king could prevent war. The Japanese started fighting with their hands instead of weapons to protect themselves, and karate was born- hand-to-hand fighting.

Taekwondo goes back quite a bit further to 50 B.CE. in Korea. It’s all in the name- tae means kick, Kwon means to punch, and do means, well, doing things. So are karate and taekwondo the same? Taekwondo literally means practicing self-defense with your whole body – it’s known as the art of the foot and hand. Fun fact, when Japan overtook Korea in the 1900’s, the Japanese actually declared taekwondo totally 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

Taekwondo Classes in Centerton

So what is the difference between karate and taekwondo? It’s the difference between the two halves 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 greater focus on mental strength and stamina because one of your only forms of protection when practicing is your mind. You’ll 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 emphasizes the legs, chiefly because the leg is the strongest weapon. Kicks in this martial art are very powerful for striking your opponent. Students in taekwondo classes learn spin kicks and a number of different kicking combinations while using hand techniques if necessary. Taekwondo is best if your opponent is at a distance because you can leverage the length of your legs against them.

Competing in Taekwondo and Karate

is taekwondo better than karate

Both karate and taekwondo are not only practical and effective martial arts forms, but they also provide opportunities for competition and advancement that will challenge you to grow.

They both require serious mental and physical strength and stamina just like other martial arts classes, which is why hundreds of students in Centerton enjoy the rewards of all their hard work being recognized at belt ranking and in competition.

There is a difference between taekwondo and karate competition rules. The rules of karate are a bit more involved, while the rules of taekwondo are more simple. 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 in order for the match to be considered a win, like good form, accurate distance, and good timing. Taekwondo competitions are more to-the-point. A taekwondo martial artist 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.

Conclusion

So honestly, both of these martial arts styles will transform your body and get you fit fast. They’ll both teach you practical self-defense that you can use to protect yourself and your loved ones. And they’ll both push you to achieve a ton and accomplish things you never thought you could do. So is taekwondo better than karate? Well, the best one for self-defense is the one you take the initiative to do. Doing nothing will result in nothing! So come and try martial arts with our Martial Arts Advantage staff here in Centerton for yourself- you’ll love it!

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