General

Difference Between Taekwondo and Karate

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Main Difference

The main difference between Taekwondo and Karate is that Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that focuses on kicking, whereas Karate is a Japanese martial art that focuses on striking.

Taekwondo vs. Karate

Taekwondo is a type of Korean martial art which was originated about two thousand years ago around 37 BC – 668 AD. On the other side, karate is a type of Japanese martial art that was originated about two thousand years ago, around the fifth century BC. Taekwondo is also recognized as Tae Kwon-Do, Taekwon-Do, or Tae Kwon Do, etc. On the flip side, karate is also recognized as Karate-Do.

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In the word ‘Taekwondo,’ Tae stands for ‘to destroy with the feet,’ Kwon stands for ‘to strike or smash with the hand’ and do means “path” or “way.” So, the word ‘Taekwondo’ represents ‘the way of the foot and fist.’ On the flip side, the word ‘karate’ stands for “empty hands.” So, Taekwondo mainly focuses on kicking. On the other hand, karate focuses on striking. Taekwondo was added as an Olympic event in 2000 while; karate is now the part of Olympic in 2020.

Moreover, taekwondo also involves other techniques like punching and blocking with parries and takedowns. On the other side, karate involves teachings related to punching, knee or elbow strikes, kicking, blocking techniques like parries and takedowns, and open-handed techniques, etc. In taekwondo, the style of bow is like hands together or arms together. On the flip side, the bow style for karate is like straight arms against the torso with hands just under the waist, and the bow achieved by bending the torso down, while eyes are always on the opponent.

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The practitioners of taekwondo are called as Taekwondoka. They use a particular dress or uniform known as dobok or tobo. On the flip side, the practitioners of karate are known as Karateka, they also wear special dress or Gi with patches, and perform barefooted and use the colored cotton belt on the basis of their skill level. Moreover, the instructor of taekwondo is named Sa bum nim, whereas that of karate is known as Sensei. The specific sequence of techniques in taekwondo is known as Poomsae, whereas, in karate, it is known as kata.

Comparison Chart

TaekwondoKarate
A type of Korean martial art that focuses on kicking techniques is known as taekwondo.A type of Japanese martial art that focuses on hand strikes is known as karate.
Origin
It was originated in Korea.From Japan.
History
It was originated about two thousand years ago, around 37 BC – 668 AD.It was originated in about 5th Century BC.
Etymology
In the word ‘Taekwondo,’ Tae stands for ‘to destroy with the feet,’ Kwon stands for ‘to strike or smash with the hand’ and do means “path” or “way.” So, it represents the way of the foot and fist.The word ‘karate’ stands for “empty hands.”
Also Known As
It is also recognized as Tae Kwon-Do, Taekwon-Do, or Tae Kwon Do, etc.Karate is also recognized as Karate-Do.
Focus
It mainly focuses on kicking.Karate focuses on striking.
Other Techniques
It involves other techniques like punching and blocking with parries and takedowns.It involves teachings related to punching, knee or elbow strikes, kicking, blocking techniques like parries and takedowns, and open-handed techniques, etc.
Bowing Style
The style of bow is like hands together or arms together.The bow style is like straight arms against the torso with hands just under the waist, and the bow achieved by bending the torso down, while eyes are always on the opponent.
Practitioners
The practioners of taekwondo are recognized as Taekwondoka.Practitioners of karate are recognized as Karateka.
Clothing
They use a special type of clothing or uniform known as dobok or tobo.They wear special dress or Gi with patches and perform Barefooted with colored cotton belts on the basis of their skill level.
Olympic Event
It was added as an Olympic event in 2000.It is now the part of Olympic in 2020.
Instructors
Its instructor is named as Sa bum nim.The instructor of karate is known as Sensei.
Features
Its main feature is effective kicking.Its main features are strong punches, takedowns, kicks, and blocks, etc.
Self Defense
It provides self-defense.It also provides self-defense.
Organizations
Some important organizations for taekwondo include the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) and World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).Some important organizations for karate include European Kyokushin Karate Org., WKF or World Karate Federation, and World Seido Karate Org., etc.
Forms
The prearranged sequences or forms of techniques are known as Poomsae.In karate, the specific sequence of techniques is known as kata.
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What is Taekwondo?

Taekwondo is a type of Korean martial art that focuses on kicking techniques. It is also recognized as Tae Kwon-Do, Taekwon-Do, or Tae Kwon Do, etc. In this word ‘Taekwondo,’ the part Tae stands for ‘to destroy with the feet,’ ‘Kwon’ stands for ‘to strike or smash with the hand’ and ‘do’ means “path” or “way.” So, taekwondo represents ‘the way of the foot and fist.’ That is why it emphasizes on foot movements.

It was originated about two thousand years ago, around 37 BC – 668 AD. It was developed in the ruling period of three rival kingdoms. It was started on the concept that every person has the right to defend himself against a sudden attack. So, young men were skilled in armless fighting techniques so that they may develop speed, strength, and survival skills, etc.

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The taekwondo mainly focuses on kicking, but it also involves many other techniques like punching and blocking with parries and takedowns. In this type of martial art, the style of bow is like hands together or arms together. It shows power against power. Therefore, in taekwondo, a punch is opposed with a block, which is followed by an attacking move. It performs a series of punches and kicks in a specific sequence or form that is called ‘Poomse.’

The practitioners of taekwondo are called as Taekwondoka. They wear a special type of clothing or uniform known as dobok or tobo. In this type of martial art, the instructor is named as Sa bum nim. In 1955, it was officially declared as a martial art, and in 2000, it was recognized as an Olympic event. Some important organizations for taekwondo include the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) and World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) etc.

What is Karate?

Karate is a kind of Japanese martial art that focuses on hand strikes. It is also recognized as Karate-Do. Here, the word ‘karate’ stands for “empty hands.” So, it emphasizes on striking. Karate was originated in about 5th Century BC in Japan. Earlier, it was practiced in Okinawa, where the weapons were restricted by the invaders. Later, it was introduced in Japan after its popularity as a self-defense technique.

Karate focuses on striking, but it also involves teachings related to punching, knee or elbow strikes, kicking, blocking techniques like parries and takedowns and open-handed techniques, etc. Here, the bow style is like straight arms against the torso with hands just under the waist, and the bow achieved by bending the torso down, while eyes are always on the opponent.

The practitioners of karate are recognized as Karateka. They wear a special dress or Gi with patches. Karateka performs Barefooted with colored cotton belts on the basis of their skill level. For example, a white belt represents the beginners. The instructor of karate is known as Sensei. Here, the specific sequence of techniques or forms is known as kata.

Earlier it was not the part of Olympic, but now in 2020, it will be an Olympic event. Moreover, some important organizations for karate include European Kyokushin Karate Org., WKF or World Karate Federation, and World Seido Karate Org., etc.

Key Differences

  1. A type of Korean martial art that focuses on kicking techniques is known as taekwondo, whereas, a type of Japanese martial art that focuses on hand strikes is known as karate.
  2. Taekwondo was started in Korea. On the other hand, karate was originated in Japan.
  3. Taekwondo originated about two thousand years ago, around 37 BC – 668 AD. Conversely, karate was originated in about 5th Century BC.
  4. In the word ‘Taekwondo,’ Tae stands for ‘to destroy with the feet,’ Kwon stands for ‘to strike or smash with the hand’ and do means “path” or “way.” So, it represents the way of the foot and fist. On the flip side, the word ‘karate’ stands for “empty hands.”
  5. Taekwondo is also recognized as Tae Kwon-Do, Taekwon-Do, or Tae Kwon Do, etc. On the other side, karate is also recognized as Karate-Do.
  6. Taekwondo mainly focuses on kicking while; karate focuses on striking.
  7. Taekwondo involves other techniques like punching and blocking with parries and takedowns. On the other hand, karate involves teachings related to punching, knee or elbow strikes, kicking, blocking techniques like parries and takedowns, and open-handed techniques, etc.
  8. In taekwondo, the style of bow is like hands together or arms together. On the other side, in karate, the bow style is like straight arms against the torso with hands just under the waist, and the bow achieved by bending the torso down, while eyes are always on the opponent.
  9. The practitioners of taekwondo are called as Taekwondoka, whereas, the practitioners of karate are known as Karateka.
  10. There are prearranged sequences or forms of techniques in taekwondo that are known as Poomsae. On the other side, in karate, the specific sequence of techniques is known as kata.
  11. The practitioners of taekwondo use a special type of clothing or uniform known as dobok or tobo. On the flip side, the practitioners of karate wear a special dress or Gi with patches and perform barefooted with colored cotton belts on the basis of their skill level.
  12. Taekwondo was added as an Olympic event in 2000 while; karate is now added as a part of Olympic in 2020.
  13. The instructor of taekwondo is named as Sa bum nim. On the other hand, the instructor of karate is known as Sensei.
  14. The main feature of taekwondo is effective kicking. On the flip side, the main features of karate are Strong punches, takedowns, kicks, and blocks, etc.
  15. Some important organizations for taekwondo include the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) and World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). On the other side, some important organizations for karate include European Kyokushin Karate Org., WKF or World Karate Federation, and World Seido Karate Org., etc.

Comparison Video

YouTube video

Conclusion

The above discussion summarizes that taekwondo is a Korean martial art that emphasizes the use of foot or kicking techniques. On the flip side, karate is a Japanese martial art that emphasizes the use of hands or striking techniques.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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