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What is the difference between Karate and Taekwondo?

What is the difference between Karate and Taekwondo?

Abhijit Nair

Published: 24 Nov 2020 6:07 AM GMT

Karate and Taekwondo are two of the most popular martial art forms across the world. The sport of Taekwondo is being played regularly since the 2000 Sydney Olympics, while Karate will make its debut in the quadrennial event in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Most of the people believe Karate and Taekwondo to be similar to each other. It is true to certain extent but there are some stark differences between the two. Here, we look at some of the basic difference between Karate and Taekwondo:

While the martial art of Karate is considered to have been originated from the country of Japan, Taekwondo emerged from Korea. Taekwondo literally translates into ‘the art of feet and fist’ while Karate means ‘empty hands’ – signifying the importance of a mind empty of all desires and evils. A Karate instructor is called ‘Sensei’ whereas a Taekwondo instructor is called ‘Sa bum nim’.

The most basic difference between the two is that while Taekwondo emphasises more on the use of legs and kicking techniques, Karate focuses more on fighting with hands.

While kicks are a backup option, and the use of hands is primary in Karate; it is the opposite in Taekwondo – with kicks being primary and the use of hands secondary. There is also a major difference in the stance of a Karate and Taekwondo practitioner. While, the legs are more or less grounded in Karate, the stance taken during Taekwondo is more flexible as the use of legs in a fast pace is imperative.

Though, Karate and Taekwondo does not differ much from each other, they are not completely similar either. Before you start learning either of these two martial arts, it is necessary for you to know these basic differences which would help you to choose the one which suits you better.

Also read: How Bollywood is inspiring Indians to take up Taekwondo

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