“What is the difference between Taekwondo and Karate?” Good question! A lot of people think all martial arts are pretty much the same, but they each have their own nuances.
Although the core principles of both Taekwondo and Karate stress self-discipline and a high code of personal conduct, we at Trautwein’s ATA thought we would take a moment to explain some of the differences between these two popular disciplines.
First of all, they started in different countries! Taekwondo originated in Korea, and Karate in Okinawa and Japan. But they are both ancient forms of martial arts, both tracing back over 2000 years ago when the military probably had to rely a lot on unarmed combat!
OK, now let’s go to school.
If you enter a Taekwondo school, you are entering a dojang and your instructor is Sabumnim. Everyone who ever saw Mr. Miyagi and The Karate Kid knows that Karate is taught in a dojo by the Sensei.
Now that you are inside, you are taught the proper bow, a symbol of respect and courtesy. In Taekwondo, as well as Karate, you bow with your arms straight at the side.
And, while you are bowing, you will also be wearing a different style of clothing. The Dobok is the traditional garb in Taekwondo, where students of Karate wear the Gi. Although both are often white, the style and patchwork are different.
Karate practitioners tend to practice forms or kata, where in Taekwondo it is referred to as poomsae.
Now that you are prepared for class, you will see that the movements are different. Taekwondo is primarily a striking style of martial arts. Hand and leg strikes are taught, as well as blocks to a great degree. But Taekwondo is primarily known for its kicking, particularly athletic kicking (spinning back kicks, jump kicks, etc.), as well as its heavy focus on being a sport.
Along with this, Taekwondo is the most popular single martial arts style worldwide with over 70 million practitioners. While each discipline has its own process for advancement and promotion, only Taekwondo is represented as an Olympic sport.
So which is better for your child? Neither. Each has its own merits and what is the most important is finding the right teacher for each individual student, whether the teacher is a Sabumnim or Sensei.
We would encourage you to speak to one of us here at Trautwein’s ATA to see if we can help guide you in your decision.