Karate Versus Tae Kwon Do
To start with, let’s address how both of these martial arts developed. Karate is often a general term for martial arts, the same way ‘Coke’ has come to mean soda, but it’s also a specific martial art. This is why you sometimes hear people say they’re taking ‘Karate’ class when what they mean is Judo or another martial art. At Maryville Tae Kwon Do, we teach Taekwondo, but here in the South a lot of folks call everything ‘Karate.’
So what is ‘Karate’ and how does it differ from ‘Taekwondo’ (which is often called ‘Korean Karate)?
Karate is from Japan; it developed from Chinese Kung Fu that was brought to Okinawa.
Taekwondo is from Korea; it came from karate and older fighting styles in the area.
So, what do they have in common?
Both styles of martial arts are good for self-defense.
Both use the different colored sashes to mark rank.
They’re both ‘hard style’ martial arts; they use tactics relying on force against force.
How are they different?
Karate is a Japanese martial art, while Taekwondo is a martial art which is also a combat sport.
Karate is primarily about strikes, punches, and parries. Taekwondo emphasizes strong and graceful kicks.
Karate classes will sometimes train with nunchaku and bo staff, while Taekwondo classes don’t usually offer weapons training.
The Karate stance is lower and the legs are slightly bent which allows for quick force for punches & strikes. The Taekwondo stance tends to be higher and have straighter legs. Karate seems to be able to effectively throw punches and strikes.
Karate has some of the Japanese formalism, with emphasis on uniformity and moving together as a class. Taekwondo has more emphasis on sport – eventually becoming the Olympic level style of full contact at speed similar to boxing, in that there is a referee and rules for matches.
Tae Kwon Do
In Taekwondo the emphasis is on kicking, as well as it being a sport. Taekwondo is one of the fastest martial arts. Taekwondo is the most popular martial arts style with over 70 million worldwide practitioners. Taekwondo teaches self-defense, coordination, balance, and discipline as well as showy kicks.
Taekwondo is an Olympic event.
The meaning of the word karate is ‘empty hands.’ The rough translation of Taekwondo is “the way of the foot and fist.”
So, which is better?
If you ask our Tae Kwon Do instructor, I’m sure he’ll say, “Maryville Tae Kwon Do is better!”
It really depends on what you are hoping your child will learn. Taekwondo has huge emphasis on teaching kids respect as well as self-defense, and our older students have the advantage of some of our real self-defense moves (from Silat & Kung Fu).
Obviously we prefer, Tae Kwon Do. If you ever have any questions about our children’s Taekwondo classes in Maryville, we’re happy to answer them at 379-9997.