Suffolk VA martial arts classes - Master Hwang

What's the difference between Taekwondo and Karate?

Whenever someone is considering beginning martial arts classes, they often ask us, "How are tae kwon do and karate different?" Or, "Which is better?"

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 (or Tae Kwon Do) and Karate stress self-discipline and a high code of personal conduct.

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
  • Tae Kwon Do is an Olympic sport.
  • The specific postures, stances, and movements differ significantly between Taekwondo and Karate.

Although tae kwon do favors fast kicking, the training is well-rounded and involves learning blocks, punches, open-handed strikes, take-downs, throws, and joint locks. Conversely, while karate is known for hand techniques, it frequently includes knee and elbow strikes, but does use kicking techniques to a certain extent.

How to choose between tae kwon do and karate

If trying to decide between a Tae Kwon Do or a Karate school, the decision may come down to a personal preference of style, however other conditions should be considered:

  • What is the quality of the instruction?
  • What does the facility look like?
  • What is the atmosphere like?
  • How does the class schedule work?
  • Other factors?

The answers to the questions above may (and sometimes should) be more important in deciding which martial art to study. If the instructors are inexperienced, the atmosphere is intimidating, or the location is out of the way, your overall enjoyment and the benefits you receive will be diminished.

In addition, it's always a good idea to personally visit the schools you are considering. Although websites and phone conversations can provide plenty of information, your decision should also be influenced by the experience of visiting the martial arts school.


Are you located in the Suffolk, VA area?

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See what a big difference martial arts classes at
Master Hwang's Tae Kwon Do can make.
Try our Martial Arts Trial Program.
We promise you'll find Tae Kwon Do to be
one of the best decisions you'll ever make.

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