TAEKWON-DO VS KARATE
Which one do you choose
Taekwon-do and Karate are the two most common martial arts being practiced in the USA today.
It is often wondered what the differences between these two popular martial arts are. This is especially true for people looking to start learning at a school (club/studio)
With both karate and taekwondo wearing similar uniforms and belts, most people are unsure which of these two martial arts they are watching
The development of Taekwon-do.
Taekwon-do is a modern Martial Art developed in Korea by General Choi Hon Hi after much influence from Japanese karate during the occupation by Japan. People sometime refer to Taekwon-do as Korean Karate.
General Choi adopted the same white uniforms along with a colored belt ranking system for Taekwon-do.
There are currently two major branches of Taekwon-do under the International Taekwon-do Federation and the other under the World Tae Kwon Do Federation.
A V-neck top is often seen in schools affiliated with the World Tae Kwon Do Federation. Most Taekwon-do schools have added black trim to their white uniforms (Doboks) for black belt levels.
There are also older Korean styles including Soo Bahk Do, Kwon Bop, Kong Soo Do, Tae Soo Do and Kang Soo Do. Some of the more Americanized karate and taekwondo schools also use uniforms with other colors such as red, black and blue. This is in addition to the traditional white.
The development of Karate.
Modern style of traditional karate was developed in the islands of Okinawa in Japan after some influences from martial arts practised in China.
In fact, there are different styles of karate but they are all commonly considered as Japanese martial arts today. Karate practitioners use a colored belt system that was developed to show the different ranks of Students and Instructors.
White depicting novices and black belts representing instructor levels and higher. There is a whole range of other different colors in between.
It can be noted that in karate, arms or hands are used 60% of the time for strikes or blocks while the use of legs for kicking is just around 40%.
This ratio is seen in the many routines of karate, forms or Kata’s are set routines that simulate fighting against imaginary opponents using a range of techniques.
The forms from Taekwon-do (tuls, patterns, poomsaes) would have a percentage breakdown of 40% hands and 60% legs. In Taekwon-do, there is more stress on higher kicks to the head level than there is in karate.
Taekwon-do practitioners tend to utilize more jumping and flying kicks where one is airborne while executing kicking techniques. The Taekwon-do forms or patterns are generally a bit shorter and less complex than the karate forms.
In the US as well as other parts of the world, there are separate conventional competitions for Taekwon-do and Karate
However, the open martial arts tournaments often have competitors from both karate and tae kwon do competing together.
Open martial arts competition events even have separate patterns/kata divisions for Karate and Taekwon-do competitors but the sparring divisions are usually combined with a hybrid set of rules.
Some black belts in taekwondo cross train in karate and vice versa.
WTF Taekwon-do has received a lot of publicity in recent years when it was added to the Olympics. But both Taekwon-do and Karate are considered as difficult styles martial arts today.
Both these martial arts have principles around integrity and indomitable spirit (remember the spartans) , both provide very good skills in self defence, and provide a platform to live a healthy and fit lifestyle.
It doesn’t matter which one you choose, just make sure you choose something!!