Beginners Guide

Some handy information for martial arts beginners

Karate Vs Taekwondo: how does karate differ from Taekwondo?

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art with strong emphasis in sparring (fighting). The sparring in taekwondo is composed mainly of kicking, with little use of the upper body. Taekwondo incorporates elements of karate and Chinese martial arts, as well as indigenous Korean martial arts.

Karate, on the other hand, is a Japanese martial art with a longer history. Modern karate is about twice as old as Taekwondo. Karate has a larger and more complex kata component, and incorporates 50% kata and 50% sparring. Sparring in karate is composed of a mix of 50% upper body and 50% lower body.

The Olympic event for taekwondo is sparring only.
The Olympic events for karate include kata and sparring.

Karate Vs Kung Fu: how does karate differ from Kung Fu?

Kung Fu is a Chinese martial art that is older than karate.Some karate styles were, at birth, influenced by Kung Fu, but not all karate shows the influence of Chinese martial arts. Karate was developed within the Okinawa Islands. Karate is heavily influenced by Samurai fighting arts from mainland Japan and Okinawan native fighting practices. Due to exchanges between China and Okinawa (these are delicate matters, as exchanges were not always peaceful), the Okinawan people learned and adopted some fighting principles from their Chinese counterparts.

Today, Japanese karate tends to be more prescriptive and detailed in the practice of kata (for example, in the specificity of the angles of the feet in stances!). In the Dojo, the detailed definition of karate movements is a result of the urge of Senior karate practitioners to technically improve and share quality practice.

In sports karate, regulation has responded to a need to comply with IOC standards (International Olympic Committee). Karate is an Olympic sport (a recent and wonderful change) whereas Kung Fu is not an Olympic sport.