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

Taekwondo vs Karate

Taekwondo vs Karate – a classic debate. The majority of people assume they’re the same thing, but there are a few differences that will determine which is better for you and your personal goals. We’ll settle this classic debate and go over the differences between karate and taekwondo to guide you to make your own decision on which is better for you!

The Difference Between Taekwondo vs Karate

Taekwondo vs Karate

The most basic difference in karate vs taekwondo is between your hands and your feet- punching vs kicking. Think of the shuto uchi, or the famous “karate chop” you’ve seen in every ninja movie – karate uses hand techniques primarily, and then kicking is a backup. Taekwondo is the exact opposite- it emphasizes kicking and uses hand techniques as the backup. Taekwondo has more diversity in combos as well, like spinning and jumping kicks.


Origins of Karate and Taekwondo

is taekwondo the same as karate

When you think about which martial arts classes you want to take, it can be helpful to consider the origin. Karate started later but has been popularized by modern culture, while taekwondo has been around 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.

The Japanese started using hand-to-hand combat to protect themselves instead of weapons, and karate was born- hand-to-hand fighting. Taekwondo goes back quite a bit 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 is taekwondo better than karate? literally means defending yourself with your whole body – it’s known as the art of the foot and hand. Fun fact, when Japan overtook Korea in the 1900s, the Japanese actually banned taekwondo. Japanese renegades practiced the martial arts form in secret, and it’s thanks to them that we can still practice taekwondo today.

Different Techniques Used

is taekwondo better than karate

So what is the difference between Taekwondo vs Karate? It’s the difference between the two halves of your body- hands/arms and legs/feet. Karate means empty hands, referencing the fact that it’s a martial arts form relying heavily on the use of your hands without weapons of any kind. Karate emphasizes mental strength and stamina, then, because one of your only forms of protection when practicing is your mind. Karate students learn lots of hand techniques and combinations while keeping kicks on deck as a last resort. Karate is perfect for when you’re close to an opponent and need that hand-to-hand combat advantage.

Alternatively, taekwondo emphasizes the legs, chiefly because your leg is the strongest (and longest!) weapon you have on your body. Kicks in this martial art are very powerful for striking your opponent. Students in taekwondo classes learn spin kicks and a number of different kicking combinations while using hand techniques as a backup. Taekwondo has more effectiveness at a distance because you can use the length of your legs against your opponent.

Competing in Taekwondo and Karate

is karate and taekwondo the same

Is taekwondo the same as karate? Both karate and taekwondo are not only practical and effective martial arts forms, but they also 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 hundreds of students in Brisbane enjoy the rewards of all their hard work being recognized at belt ranking and in competition. There is a difference between taekwondo and karate competition rules. Karate rules are a bit more complicated, while taekwondo rules are more straightforward. A karate student can strike the head, neck, face, chest, side, abdomen, and back. The karate judges 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. A taekwondo martial artist 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.


So honestly, both of these martial arts styles will transform your body and get you fit fast. They’ll both teach you self-defence skills that you can use to protect yourself and your loved ones. And they’ll both teach you to keep going no matter what, respect yourself and others, and gain confidence like never before. Is karate and taekwondo the same? Honestly, the best one for self-defence is the one you take the initiative to do. Doing nothing will result in nothing! So come and try martial arts with our Focus Martial Arts staff here in Brisbane for yourself- you’ll love it!


About our Karate & Taekwondo Classes

Pre-School Karate

If you are looking for toddler karate classes or martial arts for toddlers, you and your child will LOOOVVVEE our Little Ninjas Program. We teach the skills they need to be ready for learning at school and prep. They will improve their listening skills, co-ordination, focus and self control, while learning how to make friends!


Kids Karate Classes

At Focus Martial Arts, we specialise in kids martial arts classes. Instead of just karate lessons for kids or taekwondo classes for kids - we have actually taken elements of various martial arts that are effective against a bigger, stronger attacker. So they are PERFECT for kids! Its a personal development program with a self defence basis!


Teen Karate Classes

Fitness and Self Defense, two major goals parents have when looking for Teen Martial Arts in Brisbane. It’s time to give your teenager a workout they will enjoy and will relieve teenage stress and build confidence.


Adult Karate Classes

Fitness and Self Defense, two major goals for anyone looking for Adult Martial Arts in Woodbury. It’s time to change up your work out and get the results you’ve been looking for.


Family Karate Classes

Discover why parents love our Family Martial Arts lessons in Brisbane. "A Family that Kicks Together - Sticks Together!" What other activity or sport can you all do together, that you ALL enjoy?


Fitness Kickboxing Classes

Sick or boring fitness workout? Imagine a fun, calorie-burning, body-toning workout that you LOVE! Perfect to do with friends, or make new ones. Cardio Kickboxing is a workout like no other! our Fitness Kickboxing Classes in Brisbane is where you will see real results. Many losing 10kg+ in a few short weeks! Are you ready to for a change?


Adult Brazilian Jiujitsu
in Brisbane

Fitness and Self Defense, two major goals for anyone looking for Brazilian Jiujitsu in York . It’s time to change up your work out and get the results you’ve been looking for.


Kids Brazilian Jiujitsu
in Brisbane

The ultimate tech alternative that gets kids active, engaged, stronger and safer. Motivation has never been easier!


After School Care OHSC Alternative

An after school pick up service that you can have peace of mind, knowing your kids are getting life-long benefits of building confidence, focus, resilience and mental toughness. Our kids martial arts classes, as a fun after school program are the perfect alternative to OHSC. Plus lot of school holiday activity choices in our Brisbane martial arts academies.


Kids Karate Parties

Want a stress-free kids birthday party. We have all your kids party ideas covered. From themed parties to children's party entertainers. Our kids parties are AMAZING! The perfect combo of kids party games, fun entertainment and of course the highlight "cutting the cake, with a 'real' samurai sword"! Many parents & kids say "It's the BEST Kids Party I've been to". Chat with us & find out why. 

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