Taekwondo is one of few martial arts that almost entirely adheres to one system. There were once several martial arts traditions in Korea, all of which received a fair amount of influence from Japanese Karate. But in 1955 South Korean President Syngman Rhee declared all these styles were to be combined into and replaced by Taekwondo. World Taekwondo (formerly World Taekwondo Federation) is the current International body for Taekwondo, and was formed in 1973. World Taekwondo was later recognised by the IOC in 1980, and Taekwondo became an official Olympic sport in 2000, at the Sydney Olympic Games.
While Taekwondo teaches a variety of kicks, blocks, and strikes, only kicking techniques and punches are permitted in Olympic Sparring. Each technique is taught to be performed in the same style, with correct techniques regulated by National and International governing bodies. Having one consistent style of fighting, with one set of criteria for competition, has at least one great advantage- Competitions between all taekwondo practitioners are standard, and each school uses the same set of competition rules. This is at least one reason why Taekwondo has become an Olympic sport long before most other martial arts.
With 80 million practitioners and its emphasis on sport, Taekwondo is commonly considered the most popular martial arts worldwide
Unlike Taekwondo, which formed one unified style of martial arts out of various traditions, Karate is an umbrella term that refers to several different but connected martial art traditions from Japan. A single name is appropriate as the styles have more in common with each other than they do with other martial arts.
Karate teaches hand and leg strikes, as well as blocks, throws and even some grappling techniques. It has less emphasis on kicks than Taekwondo, and is more varied in form.
While Karate has become an Olympic Sport as of 2020, one major limiting factor for competition Karate is the different forms not having a common set of competition rules. This has led to controversy in the past, as different forms dispute the judging process and validity of competition rules. Otherwise its various forms are valid and respectable both as a sport and a means of defence.
Study Taekwondo or Karate in Sydney
If you would like to understand the difference between Taekwondo and Karate, please visit us for a FREE Trial Class to experience Taekwondo. We have centres in Castle Hill, Hurstville, Homebush/Strathfield, North Rocks/Carlingford, Epping, Annandale, and Pymble.
We have various programs for adults, children, and families, so you can enjoy martial arts together! Contact us now 02 8850 7771 for more information.