Hi there and welcome to our channel. In today’s video, we’ll be looking at the differences between Kung Fu, Karate, and Taekwondo. Martial arts has become a very exciting sport because it’s excellent for your physical and mental health. But mostly because you learn how to defend yourself. Thanks to martial arts actors like Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Bruce Lee, so many people are more aware of the art. And some have taken a keen interest in it.
However, there are so many types of martial arts in existence today such as Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido, Kung Fu, Krav Maga, Kickboxing, Tai Chi, Sambo, Wing Chun and Muay Thai. And each of these martial arts has the same similarity or goal of defeating the opponent. However, they are all different. Before we take a look at these three martial arts, hit that like button, subscribe to our channel and click on that notification bell so you never miss out on any of our videos.
Let’s start with Kung Fu.
Kung Fu is one of the chief and oldest forms of martial arts to have originated from China. It was developed in the 4th century at the Shaolin Temple in China. It is an umbrella term for martial arts in China. This means that all the many styles that have been developed in China are known as Kung Fu. For example, styles such as Wing Chun, Shaolin, Praying Mantis, Tai Chi, and Wushu are popular styles of Chinese Kung Fu.
When translated, Kung Fu means “accomplishment arrived at with great effort”. Another translation breaks it down to say that Kung means “work or achievement” and Fu means “intensity”. When put together, it implies “the will and commitment of an individual towards a skill that he or she wants to achieve”.
Kung Fu is a fighting skill that consists of fluid and circular movements. Its study is a science in itself because it trains an individual’s body to move in a continuous circular motion and turn. Kung Fu is an open martial art which means it allows its styles to be adapted by expert practitioners. In Kung Fu, the aim is to cause as much damage as possible without losing balance. This makes the strikes quick calculated and controlled. Many of Kung Fu’s actions are taken from animal moves and styles, with stances such as dragon, frog, horse riding, and snake.
When compared with Taekwondo and Karate Kung Fu places more emphasis on self-defense techniques such as elbow and knee strikes, headbutts and eye strikes. However, the unique aspect of this art is the use of tactile sensitivity. Tactile sensitivity is the ability to decide on the kind of move you want to use in self-defense, not based on sight but rather by feeling out the opponent’s position. This makes Kung Fu much more instinctual and instant.
One difference Kung Fu has from Taekwondo and Karate is that it is more fluid in its movement and combinations, while the other two tend to be more rigid in their structure. Kung Fu can also be combined with various weapons which are rare in Karate and Taekwondo. Compared to Karate and Taekwondo, Kung Fu has been fused into the daily lives of the Chinese people and it has become a way of exercise.
Karate is arguably the most popular martial art. As such, it is the most widely practiced martial art in the world. Even so, it was recently included as a martial arts sport for the Olympics 2020. It originated from Okinawa in Japan through one man who is responsible for the evolution of the art. His name was Gichin Funakoshi and he is considered the father of modern day Karate.
Karate means the way of the empty hand and since Japanese society is very formal, Karate also reflects this formality. A typical Karate class demonstrates elaborate rules of etiquette with specific ways and times to bow. Karate involves sharp and precise movements that rely heavily upon a person’s hand-eye coordination. The basic principle is to make one’s body as hard as steel so it can withstand the impact of objects like bricks and wood, and also be able to break them. Karate teaches self-defense, combat and physical training. As such, it is one of the most energetic forms of martial arts. It also has a variety of striking techniques such as punches, kicks, knee -and elbow strikes.
There are also many subforms of Karate that teach techniques of grappling, throwing, joint locking and restraints. Some of these sub-styles are Shotokan Goju Ryu, Shito Ryu, Wado Ryu and Shorin Ryu.
Taekwondo is a Korean form of martial arts and combat sports. It originated in Korea and it was once used as a military art form centuries ago. The art form of Taekwondo is full of kicking and punching techniques. That is why it means “the art of kicking and punching”. This martial art places emphasis on the practitioner’s foot movements. The most distinguishing characteristic of Taekwondo is the fast kicking involved.
In Taekwondo, the legs play a major role in attack and action. However, it also includes punching and blocks. Taekwondo is known for its famous kicks such as side kicks, front kicks, roundhouse kicks, and the spectacular jumping spinning kicks. This martial art is so unique in that its ratio of kicking techniques to hand techniques is about 80% kicking and 20% hand technique.
Also, Taekwondo training can include weapons such as the kama, nunchaku and the bo staff. Taekwondo is also the second art out of the three to be listed as a competitive sport in the Olympics. And it came before Karate when it was first included in 2000.
One unique thing about Taekwondo is that they have a global governing body that unifies all the forms, patterns and standards required for promotion. This means that the curriculum is the same no matter what school you go to. It also means that whatever belt you obtain in one country will be recognized as the same level in another country. And this is unlike Kung Fu where every school has a unique curriculum.
Let’s look at some other differences between these three martial arts.
– A Taekwondo school is called a dojon, a Karate school is called a dojo and a Kung Fu school is called a kwoon.
– Also, these three arts use a method of training called “forms” and forms are a routine where all the moves are memorized and choreographed. In Taekwondo, these forms are called poomse, in Karate they are called kata, while in Kung Fu they are called LU.
– In Karate, the focus is on striking, Taekwondo focuses on kicking, while in Kung Fu, the focus is on fighting.
– The title for the instructor in Kung Fu is Shifu, for Karate it is Sensei and for Taekwondo it is Sa Bum Nim.
– When it comes to the title given to practitioners, Taekwondo is said to be called taekwondoka, a Karate practitioner can be called a karateka, while for Kung Fu, there has been no common consensus.
– Another difference is the attires. In Karate, the attire is called a karategi, in Taekwondo it is called a dobok or gi, while in Kung Fu, it is generally called a yi-fu. However, the clothing can be recommended by the instructor.
In the end, all three styles of martial arts are good for you. They give benefits such as self-discipline, self-control, flexibility and fitness. Martial arts help you to train yourself to be the best version you can be.
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