Here is What Makes Taekwondo Different from Karate

You might have come across people in your life(maybe your friends) who claim to own a ‘black belt’ in karate or taekwondo, just to show off. They might not know how much discipline and dedication goes behind mastering these art forms. 

However, this writeup will fully equip you with all the necessary information regarding taekwondo, karate, and other similar art forms. 

Here is a gist of what will further unfold before you in this piece:

  • What is the difference between karate and taekwondo?
  • Martial Arts vs Karate  
  • Boxing vs Karate 
  • Karate vs Kung fu
  • Judo vs Taekwondo
  • Taekwondo in depth
  • Karate in depth
  • Final

We will guide you through this piece in the pattern of topics stated above, so there is no confusion. We promise that by the end of this writeup, you can pick up any conversation regarding these art forms. 

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What is the difference between Karate and Taekwondo? 

Although confused for the same term, taekwondo and karate are two separate art forms stemming from two separate backgrounds. After going through the following difference, you will in no way try to link the two again. 

difference between Karate and Taekwondo

For your reference, we have made a comparison chart:

What is it? It is a type of combat sport that originated in KOREA. It is a form of martial art from JAPAN, whose movements have been skillfully crafted from the Ryukyu Islands in Okinawa. 
Meaning? It primarily translates to “the way of the foot and fist.” Let’s break this up. ‘Tae’ means to strike with the feet. ‘Kwon’ means to strike with the hands, and ‘do’ means ‘path.’  It translates to ‘empty hands.’ This word is built around the sole concept of self-defense and not around ruthless attacking. Its primary goal is to teach the disciple how to defend himself/herself. 
Movements Involved This form of art involves a lot of ‘take-downs’, ‘punching,’ and ‘blocking.’ The techniques with the kicking of the feet are the central point of urge. It’s all about the strength in your kicks. Involves ‘open hand techniques,’’ knee and elbow strikes,’’ kicking and punching.’ Takedowns are also taught here and it includes several striking techniques. 
OrganizationsWorld Taekwondo Federation(WTF), International Taekwondo Federation(ITF), American Taekwondo Federation(ATF), and American Taekwondo Association(ATA). World Karate Federation(WKF), European Kyokushin Karate Org., World Seido Karate Org., USA National Karate DO, Japan Karate Federation, International Karate Association, and  Kenkojuku Karate Association. 

Now that the basic differences between Karate and Taekwondo are fairly clear to you, let us move on to the next segment of this article. 

Martial Arts vs Karate

The main thing to focus on here is the fact that karate is a type of martial art. It falls under the broad category of martial art which includes art forms like Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Judo, etc.

So, you cannot say whether martial arts is better or karate because the latter is a part of the former. 

Martial Arts vs Karate

Judging by the worldwide response and following under karate, it can be considered as the most popular form of martial arts that has gained worldwide recognition. 

If you need a full-body workout as well as gain awareness through the entire body, karate as a martial art is what you should opt for over other forms. 

The origin of Karate in the ‘land of the centenarians,’ which is ‘Okinawa’ in Japan, shows us enough reasons to adopt this discipline to live longer. 

I mean who does not want their type of elixir. 

Boxing vs Karate 

Moving on to the next popular choice of topic, a duo between boxing and karate, let us look at the art that takes away the badge. Boxing is a form of combat sport, which is also a popular type of martial arts. It includes a lot of straight punches and jabs, used to demobilize the player in front of you. Due to the severity of the game, the players have to wear protected guards on their head. 

Karate is a form of self-defense, where the movements are crisp. It has a lot of straight-line punches and quick jabs.  

Judging by the way boxers ruthlessly punch without any hesitation, a boxer could easily demobilize a karate man with his jabs. 

Karate vs Kung Fu 

There is a popular trend of overlapping karate with kung fu. Haven’t you heard your dumb relative ever say ‘kung fu karate.Well, what you need to realize is that kung fu is a term used under many other forms of martial arts. It can also be used as a phrase of achievement. 

Karate, however,  is a separate martial art in itself and requires years of dedication to master this sport. 

Karate vs Kung Fu 

Kung fu has movements that are more circular and fluid, whereas karate is very rigid and to the point. 

In addition to this, kung fu practices are coupled with using weapons like the long wooden staff and some form of sword work. 

Since karate is considered as a separate definitive discipline under a specific form of martial art, and kung fu is a more spread out term used under may forms of martial arts, here, karate takes the gold medal. 

Judo vs Taekwondo 

Taekwondo, although a great form of martial art and sports, still has a limited range of motion there is solid confinement to the number of moves you can make there. It is not as effective as Judo is. Judo, as a form of martial art, is straightforward and contains grappling, which possesses a great disadvantage for your opponent. You learn how to control your balance whilst demobilizing your opponent. 

Judo wins this battle. 

Taekwondo in Depth 

By now, you must have got a fair idea of taekwondo as a form of martial art. Going further into it, let’s nourish our memory. 

  • Where did taekwondo originate? 

        Taekwondo is a two-thousand-year-old martial art form that originated in Korea. It originated there at the time when three rival kingdoms were at war(37BC-668AD).

It was developed in the context that every young man needs to be prepared for an unexpected attack at any point in time, and self-defense is the greatest tool here. 

  • Define Taekwondo 

Taekwondo is a form of Korean martial art in the form of combat. In this form of art, the use of the feet is elementary to cause destruction. It is sought in the manner of self-defense.

Taekwondo vs Karate
  • Taekwondo Ranks 

The ranks in taekwondo are divided into ‘junior’ rank and ‘senior’ rank, or between ‘teacher’ rank and ‘student’ rank. 

  • Taekwondo belt rankings

For juniors, their ranks are identified by belts of various colors. They have to start with the tenth group(white belt) and make their way up to the first group. 

The senior section, which is called ‘Dan’ is characterized by nine ranks which they need to cross to secure the black belt at its highest order. In a taekwondo fight,  It takes several years to advance from one belt to another. 

You will know what I mean if you have come across any taekwondo pictures. Their attire is called the Dobok or Tobo. 

Karate in Depth

  • Where did Karate originate? 

Karate is a form of unarmed Japanese martial art that originated in Okinawa in Japan. 

  • Is Karate a sport? 

Yes. Karate is a very serious sport, which has been globalized through several international organizations and has been adopted as a compulsory sport in most educational institutes at the primary level. 

Recently, in 2020, Karate as a sport has made its entry into the Olympics, which unfortunately could not be held this year due to the global pandemic. 

  • Karate Belt and Rankings

There are two types of rankings in Karate. The first one being the ‘pre-black-belt’ rankings and the second one being ‘black belt’ rankings. 

The pre-black belt levels are White Belt, Orange Belt, Yellow Belt,  Blue Belt, Green Belt, Purple Belt, High Purple Belt, Third Brown Belt, Second Brown Belt, and First Brown Belt.

Black Belt Levels are, Sho-dan: First Degree Black Belt; Ni-dan: Second Degree Black Belt; San-dan: Third Degree Black Belt; Yon-dan: Fourth Degree Black Belt; Go-dan: Fifth Degree Black Belt; Roku-dan: Sixth Degree Black Belt; Shichi-dan: Seventh Degree Black Belt; Hachi-dan: Eighth Degree Black Belt; Ku-dan: Ninth Degree Black Belt; Ju-dan: Tenth Degree Black Belt.

Final Verdict

So, what do you think is better, Karate or Taekwondo? 

Taekwondo, although authentic and respectable in nature, has restrictions in the number of moves. It does not guarantee complete victory. 

Karate, on the other hand, has more organizations than Taekwondo and has gained greater global recognition. 

what do you think is better, Karate or Taekwondo? 

Karate is the secret to a healthy long life as it originated from the practices of the Okinawa people, who are the oldest people on earth(the majority being over 100). So, Karate as a form of martial art has to take the prize here.So, who do you think is better, and why? Let us know about your thoughts in the comments section below, and we will revert back as soon as possible. 

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