Martial arts, in general, offer, a lot of benefits to your body and mind. You will have a rigorous exercise while at the same time more confidence and discipline over time of training. Taekwondo and karate are two of the most popular martial arts in the world. Of course, there are different types of martial arts you can practice two or more. The Washington DC Kung Fu classes offer training to different types of martial arts.  

Many have asked “what is the difference between taekwondo and karate?” But more people are asking” which is better between the two?” 


Both martial arts start with the basic moves and fundamental rules, which are the foundation for learning more advanced moves. Taekwondo is best known for its variety of kicking styles, while the hands are used as a back-up. Karate pays more reliance to hands and arms for defense and offense and uses legs for support and backup.  


The differences between taekwondo and karate are more historical in nature. In the first half of the 20 Century, Korea was occupied by Japanese, and at that time, the Korean martial arts which were called Tae Kyon, were outlawed by the Japanese. This martial art later became taekwondo.  




Taekwondo was named back in 1955 that has become popular because of its kicks. The earliest records of taekwondo practitioners were dated back in 50 B.C.E in Korea. The “tae” means kick and “Kwon” means to punch. When Japan occupied Korea in the 1900s, they banned all Korean military arts and one of which is the taekwondo. There were people who continued on practicing Korean martial arts in secrecy while others learn other martial arts including karate, judo, and Kung-Fu in China and Japan. Since then, Japanese and Chinese martial arts were learned by Koreans, which lead the Korean traditional martial arts including taekwondo to develop some stunts similar to Japanese and Chinese martial arts and integrated them into the Korean traditional martial art taekwondo. When the Japanese finally left Korea in 1945, Korea opened its first taekwondo school.  


The popular taekwondo of today started in 1955 the masters held a meeting and decided on a more uniform way of teaching the martial arts. Since then, it has become popular and is practiced by many people. 



Karate was originated in Japan 500 years ago. It was said that it was the King Shoha who developed the martial arts when he banned weapons to prevent wars in his rule, and people started fighting through their body.  


Karate was the confluence of Chinese and Japanese martial arts culture as the two cultures were exposed to each other. Funakoshi Gichin was the first known Okinawan karate master who dedicated his life to teaching karate in Japan. In 1949, his followers created the Japan Karate Association that promotes karate in the place. There are known four types of karate, which resulted from different styles branching off from the original karate.  


Which is better? 

While the two martial arts have more differences than similarities, there is no way to determine which of the two is better.