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What is the difference between Karate and Taekwondo?

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Whenever someone is considering beginning martial arts classes, they often ask us “How are Taekwondo and Karate different?” To answer this, we’ll start by saying that both are excellent forms of martial arts training, with each offering numerous benefits. The core principles of both Taekwondo and Karate stress self-discipline and a high code of personal conduct. Both have a sport competition aspect, however this makes up only part of the entire curriculum.

So, how are they different?

  • Taekwondo emphasizes kicking techniques, while Karate focuses on hand strikes.
  • Taekwondo= Korea, Karate= Okinawa, Japan (with roots from hand fighting in China.)
  • Prearranged sequences of techniques, generally known as forms, are referred to as poomsae in Taekwondo, and kata in Karate.
  • Taekwondo is an Olympic sport.
  • The specific postures, stances and movements differ significantly between Taekwondo and Karate.
  • It should be noted that although Taekwondo tends to favor fast kicking, Taekwondo training is well-rounded and involves learning blocks, punches, open-handed strikes, take-downs, throws and joint locks.

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