What really is the difference between karate and taekwondo classes for kids? This is one question that we’ve been inundated with over and over again from our students and potential clients. As you are most probably aware, they are both forms of martial art and, on the surface, the two of them appear strikingly similar in their poses and movements. At the Brisbane Focus Martial Arts Academy, we teach karate and taekwondo for kids’courses. In this article, we give you a brief breakdown of the prime differences between taekwondo and karate for kids.
The Fundamental Differences between Karate & Taekwondo
Firstly, taekwondo is a Korean martial arts, while karate comes from Japan. In Australia, karate is generally more popular than taekwondo. Taekwondo is a martial arts form wherein kicking and foot work is particularly emphasized upon. Hand strikes and punches, for example, receive less attention in these classes.
On the other hand, karate classes 4 kids will emphasize on the hand punches, kicks, and strikes all at the same time, providing a more well-rounded experience. So, hand-eye coordination with legwork is likely to be more important to those hoping to succeed in karate than in taekwondo. On the contrary, a strong set of hamstrings and a natural penchant for reacting to attack with kicks rather than punches may help one to succeed at taekwondo.
Deciding Between the Two
Deciding between karate and taekwondo lessons for kids can be a little confusing. With the above information, you will find it easier to make this choice. There are some similarities between the two though. Neither karate nor taekwondo are ‘grappling’ styles of martial art, such as judo, for example. Also, both will instill the desirable qualities of self-defense and confidence into your child. Both of these forms require a certain level of physical strength, unlike tai chi, for example. Tai chi is often labeled the ‘soft’ martial arts form.
If you’re enrolling your child in taekwondo classes, chances are his instructor will be Korean too. On the other hand, most karate classes in Australia will be taught by an Australian native instructor with extensive experience and training in the popular martial art form. The two sports also vary in the terms used for various items. For example, ‘dobok’ refers to ‘uniform’ and ‘dojang’ refers to ‘school’ in taekwondo. However, in karate, we call a uniform ‘gi’ and the karate school is called a ‘dojo.’
Prospects of Competing at an International Level in Karate & Taekwondo
Taekwondo is currently an official international Olympics sport, while karate is not. In fact, the only form of Japanese martial arts that is currently a part of the Olympics is judo. Some parents of our current students have expressed particular interest in prospects of training their child to a national competitive level, if possible.
In such cases, we recommend that you choose to enroll your son or daughter in taekwondo classes instead of karate. Whether you wish to disclose your intentions to your child or not is completely up to you. However, we have seen some children react positively to this piece of information. In turn, they display increased enthusiasm and vigor within their taekwondo classes.
How Can You Enhance Your Child’s Taekwondo or Karate Learning Experience
The earlier you start sending your children to regular lessons at a Brisbane taekwondo centre, the faster they will catch on with the ancient techniques of taekwondo or karate. Nevertheless, most of our students are able to demonstrate key stances and moves they’ve learnt within the first 3 weeks of attendance. Also, the best time to enroll them is when they are 3 to 6 years of age. As children grow older and reach puberty, boys tend to exhibit increased enthusiasm for karate classes while most girls will shy away from it. However, if you get both your female and male toddlers enrolled at our academy at the innocent age of 3 to 6, they will not feel the awkwardness or gender divide quite as much when in class.
Of course, starting early also means that your kids will require extra support from you, their guardians, in order to master the complicated moves and actions of taekwondo. For example, mastering a hook kick spin often requires our students several weeks of practice both in class and at home. Also, we encourage that you keep in mind how every child is different from the rest of his or her siblings.
So, while one child is ready to embark on his taekwondo training journey at 4 years of age, the other may not be ready till a few years later. This is just one of the reasons Focus Martial Arts offers a FREE Trial. The first class is an assessment class, so our experienced instructors can determine which class style and time would be best and to determine if your child is actually ready to start taekwondo, karate, or martial arts classes. Often, when children foray into our karate classes before they are ready mentally and physically for it, you will find their enthusiasm to learn dipping drastically over time; so much so that they begin to dread the next scheduled class. We really don’t want that to be happening! Our goal is to build their confidence, not hinder it.
Benefits of Taekwondo Training
Within days to weeks of enrolling into our taekwondo Brisbane classes, you will witness significant change in how your child handles his or her body, as well as in their attitude towards other human beings. For instance, confidence and coordination seems to shoot through the ceiling for most of our students. As their stamina and physical capabilities improve through taekwondo training, they also start to excel at other sports activities, such as cricket, basketball, and football.
From Day 1, we teach our students in taekwondo class about the importance of discipline and respect for one’s own physical body as well as towards that of others. In fact, the character development aspect of taekwondo and karate is what really sets it apart from other social sports. With the newly learnt self-defense moves, they now know exactly how to protect themselves if, for example, someone grabs them from the back on a deserted road.
However, we do encourage that you re-enforce to your kids that they must place their own safety first when they find themselves in such a situation. The first reaction should always be to shout and yell for help from a nearby parent, policeman, or teacher. After all, violence is one element that is not encouraged in our taekwondo Queensland classes.
Contact us for Your FREE TRIAL Class Today!
Attending karate or taekwondo classes at their local karate school is a fantastic pastime activity that both children and adults thoroughly enjoy. Most of our clients have enrolled their kids in Focus Martial Arts courses for various purposes, such as:
- Increasing physical strength
- Sharpening hand-eye coordination
- Learning to defend themselves in hazardous situations
- Mastering discipline and respect for others
- Assisting in combating peer pressure or bullying
Martial art brings with it a whole treasure chest full of benefits for your child. The priceless lessons your child will learn in taekwondo class will help them through the rest of his or her life.
For more information on our Brisbane taekwondo centre classes for kids that are exclusively run by our professional, experienced karate and taekwondo teachers, please contact our customer service team at the Brisbane Focus Martial Arts Academy.