The Difference Between Karate And Tae Kwon Do | The Best

Posted By Ranjay On May 21, 2020

The two most common forms of martial arts practiced in North America are karate and tae kwon do. 

Many people don't know what the difference is between these two martial arts. This may be especially the case for those just starting out to find a martial arts school. 

After all, most karate and tae kwon practitioners seem to wear the same type of white uniforms with multi-colored belts.

Modern tae kwon do developed in Korea after much influence from Japanese karate during the occupation of Japan. 

In fact, tae kwon do is sometimes known as Korean karate. The Koreans adopted similar white uniforms along with a color belt classification system for tae kwon do. 

The time currently existing or in progress, there are two main styles of tae kwon do, one under the International Tae Kwon Do Federation and the other under the World Tae Kwon Do Federation.

Many tae kwon do schools have joined a black lining to their white uniforms for black belt levels. 

A V-neck top is often seen in schools amalgamated with the World Tae Kwon Do Federation. There are also older Korean styles that include tang soo do and moo duk kwan. 

An additional amount of Americanized karate and tae kwon do schools also wear uniforms with other colors such as red, black, and blue in addition to classical white.

It can be generalized that in karate, one would use his arms or hands for 60% of the time for blows or blocks, while the use of legs to kick will be approximately 40%. 

This breakdown is seen in the many forms or kata of karate that are traditonal routines that simulate fighting fictional opponents using martial arts techniques. 

The tae kwon do forms would have the opposite percentage disintegration with 40% hands and 60% legs.


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In tae kwon do, there is also more emphasis on higher head-level kicks than in karate. Tae kwon do practitioners also use more jump or flight kicks where one is in the air while performing kick techniques. 

Tae kwon do style or patterns are generally slightly shorter and less complex than karate forms. Some tae kwon do schools are known to also use the odd form of karate in their curriculum.

In North America, as in other sides of the world, there are separate traditional tournaments for karate and tae kwon do. 

However, open martial arts competitions in North America often have karate and tae kwon competitors contesting together. 

Some of the larger open martial arts competition events will have different form divisions for Japanese karate and Korean tae kwon do contestants, but the combat or combat divisions will generally be combined. 

Many black belts in tae kwon also end up studying karate and the opposite has also been true.

Tae Kwon Do has received more fame in recent years since its outset as an Olympic sport. 

The style and rules used for the Olympic version of tae kwon do matches come from the World Tae Kwon Do Federation (WTF). 

Both karate and tae kwon do are now considered hard-style martial arts in North America (as opposed to soft styles such as the many versions of Chinese kung fu).

Read about: Kata

Karate Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karate

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Apr 30, 2020
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