Karate vs Taekwondo: Which Martial Arts Style is Better and Why

karate and taekwondo School

Karate vs taekwondo- a classic debate. Lots of people think they’re the same, but there are some key differences that will determine which is better for you and your martial arts goals. We’ll settle the scores and go over the differences between karate and taekwondo to empower you to make your own decision on which is better for you!

The Difference Between Karate and Taekwondo

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The most basic difference in karate vs taekwondo is the matter of kicks and punches.

Think of the shuto uchi, or the famous “karate chop” you’ve seen in every ninja movie – karate uses hand combos primarily, and then kicking is more of an occasional thing.

Taekwondo is the exact opposite- it puts an emphasis on kicking and uses hand techniques as the backup.

Taekwondo has more variety in the moves you can learn, including spinning and jumping kicks.

Origins of Karate and Taekwondo

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When you’re thinking about which one you want to study, it can be helpful to consider the origin.

Karate started later but modern culture made it pretty famous, while taekwondo has been established for thousands of years.

Karate, made famous by Mr. Miayagi in The Karate Kid, started in Japan. It started around 500 years ago to, legend has it, stop the use of weapons on the island of Okinawa so that the king could prevent war.

Japanese soldiers started protecting themselves with their hands instead of weapons, and karate was born- hand-to-hand fighting. Taekwondo goes back even further to 50 B.CE. in Korea.

It’s all in the name- tae means kick, kwon means punch, and do means, well, doing things. So taekwondo literally means practicing self defense with your entire body – it’s known as the art of the foot and hand.

Fun fact, when Japan took over Korea in the 1900’s, the Japanese actually prohibited taekwondo. Japanese rebels practiced the martial arts form in secret, and it’s because of them that we can even practice taekwondo today.

Different Techniques Used

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So what is the difference between karate and taekwondo? It’s the difference between the two sides of your body- hands/arms and legs/feet.

Karate means empty hands, a nod to the fact that it’s a martial arts form relying heavily on the use of your hands without any weapons.

There’s a certain focus on stamina and mental strength because one of your only forms of protection in a karate fight in your mind.

You’ll learn lots of hand techniques and combinations while keeping kicks on deck as the last resort. Karate is best for when you’re close to an opponent and need that hand-to-hand combat advantage.

On the other hand, taekwondo focuses on the legs, chiefly because your leg is the strongest (and longest!) weapon you have on your body. Kicks in taekwondo are very powerful for striking your opponent.

Students of taekwondo learn spin kicks and a number of different kicking combinations while using hand techniques when necessary.

Taekwondo has more effectiveness at a distance because you can leverage the length of your legs against your opponent.

Competing in Taekwondo and Karate

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Both karate and taekwondo are not only practical and effective martial arts forms, they provide opportunities for competition and advancement that will challenge you to grow.

They both require serious mental and physical strength and stamina just like other martial arts classes, which is why so many in Spring Branch & Westchase enjoy the rewards of hard work paying off at belt ranking and in competition.

There is a difference between taekwondo and karate competition rules. The rules of karate are a bit more involved, while the rules of taekwondo are more simple.

A karate student can strike to the head, neck, face, chest, side, abdomen and back. The judges in the competition have a list of criteria that need to be followed in order for the match to be considered a win, like good form, accurate distance, and good timing.

Taekwondo, however, is a bit simpler. In a taekwondo competition, a student gets 3 points for a kick to the head, 2 points for a spinning kick to the opponent’s torso, and one point for a basic attack on their torso.

Conclusion

To be honest, karate or taekwondo will both get you super fit and in shape really quickly. They’ll both teach you self defense skills that you can use to defend yourself against an attacker. And they’ll both teach you to keep going no matter what, respect yourself and others and gain confidence like never before. So which is better, karate or taekwondo? We’ll show you in class, as the better one for self defense is the one YOU do. Doing nothing will result in nothing! So come and try martial arts with our Active Jiu Jitsu staff here in Spring Branch & Westchase for yourself- you’ll LOVE it!

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Preschool Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
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Discover why parents love our Preschool Brazilian Jiujitsu program in Westchase. It's the perfect blend of gross motor, personal development and character enrichment. Find out why 100's of families, just like yours, trust Active Jiu Jitsu

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Adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
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Our self-defense program is for the student who have no experience in martial arts and for those interested in learning how to defend themselves from a possible aggressor.



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Adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
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The intermediate class is the largest class, with students from all levels attending. Due to the nature of this class, we try to pair more experienced students with those with less experience. There is a greater focus on technique and practice compared to the self-defense class.

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Adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
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The advanced class is designed for students who are blue belts or higher. However, white belts who feel comfortable with the pace of this class may participate, as we have created a comprehensive teaching method for all levels.

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Adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
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The competition class is for students who want to test themselves in a competitive nature or for those who want additional practice.



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Adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
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The No Gi class focuses on falls, leg braces, and guillotines. It is very popular among No Gi fans, MMA fighters, and those who want to learn more advanced self-defense.

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Private Class
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The private lesson is an exclusive product. During a private class you will receive one hour of undivided attention from the instructor who will assist in improving your Jiu Jitsu. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an art where each student may have a unique approach, so a private class can help refine your unique style.

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Curriculum

*1st place – Brazil Cup Jiu-Jitsu (CBJJO) – 2004
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State League (LERJJ) – 2004
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship (FJJ-Rio) – weight and open weight division – 2004
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Ranking (FJJ-Rio) – 2004
‍*2nd place – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship (CBJJ) – 2005
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship – weight and open weight division (FJJ-Rio) – 2005.
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Ranking (FJJ-Rio) – 2005
*1st place – Brazil Cup Jiu-Jitsu – weight division – 2006
* 3rd place – Brazil Cup Jiu-Jitsu – Absolut of light division – 2006
*1st place – Super Cup Rip Dorey Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Professional – 2006
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship – weight and open weight division (FJJ-Rio) – 2006
*3rd Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship CBJJO 2007 – Weight Division
*3rd Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship CBJJO 2007 – Open Weight Division
*2nd place – South American Jiu-Jitsu Championship (IBJJF ) – 2007
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship (FJJ-Rio ) – 2007
*1st place – International Jiu-Jitsu No Gi Championship – 2007
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship (FJJ-Rio) – 2008
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship (FJJD-Rio) – 2008
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship (FJJ-Rio) – open weight division – 2009
*1st place – South American Jiu-Jitsu Championship (IBJJF)- 2009
*2nd place – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Jiu-Jitsu No Gi Championship (CBJJ)- 2009
*1st place – Super Fight Jiu-Jitsu – Ohio – 2011
*1st place – Colorado State Jiu-Jitsu No Gi Championship – weight Division – 2011
*1st place – Colorado State Jiu-Jitsu No Gi Championship – Open Weight Division – 2011
*1st place – Super Fight Jiu-Jitsu – Colorado – 2011
*1st place – Dallas Jiu-Jitsu International Open (IBJJF) – 2012
*3rd place – Pan American Jiu-Jitsu International Championship (IBJJF) – 2013
*1st place – Chicago Jiu-Jitsu International Open (IBJJF) – 2013
*1st place – Seattle Jiu-Jitsu International Open (IBJJF) – 2014
*1st place – BJJ Tour Jiu-Jitsu International – 2014
*1st place – Summer Classic Super Fight Jiu-Jitsu – 2015
*1st place – Europa Super Show Dallas – Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Super Fight – 2015
*1st place – Vegas International Open (IBJJF) – Weight division – 2016
*1st place – Vegas International Open (IBJJF) Open weight division – 2016
*1st place – Los Angeles PRO (IBJJF) – 2016
*2nd place – weight division – New York International Open (IBJJF) – 2017
*3rd place – Absolute (open weight) divison – New York International Open (IBJJF) – 2017
*1st place – National Championship (IBJJF) – 2017
*1st place – San Jose International Open Championship (IBJJF) – 2017
*1st place – weight division – Seattle International Open Championship (IBJJF) – 2017
*2nd place – absolute (open weight division) – Seattle International Open Championship (IBJJF) – 2017
*Champion of super fight – Fight to Win PRO 47TX – 2017
*1st place – San Diego Pro Championship (IBJJF) – 2017
*2nd place – Pan American No Gi International Championship (IBJJF) – 2017
*1st place – San Antonio International Open (IBJJF) – 2017
*1st place – Cincinnati International Open (IBJJF) – 2017
*2nd place – World NO GI (IBJJF) – 2017
*1st place – Seattle International Open (IBJJF) – 2018
*2nd place – Super fight – Fight to Win PRO 87 TX – 2018

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