Difference between Karate do and Taekwondo

Oriental martial arts are ancient practices and traditions whose purpose is the development and improvement of self-defense techniques and submission of the opponent, in addition to self-control and the improvement of physical conditions.

Among them, Karate do and Taekwondo are two of the most popular and popularized throughout the planet, since they have become highly attractive sports modalities due to the possibilities they offer for personal protection and the development of skills and abilities. motors. In this sense, this article aims to present the differences between Karate do and Taekwondo, based on their definitions.


Karate Do is a form of martial art that originated in Japan approximately 2,000 years ago. In this sport, a series of postures called katas are used, which can be offensive or defensive and the energies are focused to deliver high-impact blows to the opponent. Those who practice Karate do not usually attack first, but rather wait for the opponent’s attack to respond appropriately and learn their weaknesses.

The basic principles of Karate Do are based on improving and benefiting physical condition and perfecting the body to face the opponent and knock him down with a single blow. Regarding the main elements that characterize this martial art we have:

  • The Karategui (training and practice uniform), has an open jacket that has to be tied at the sides.
  • The combat is developed through the launch of low kicks and long and accurate blows and even takedowns in various leagues of competition.
  • It has direct roots in China, in White Crane Kung fu and the Shaolin style of fighting.

On the other hand, despite its great popularity worldwide, as a sports discipline it is not yet part of the Olympic sports. As a martial art, it allows the use of some weapons or objects for combat, such as the Bo or wooden stick, the tinbe, the tonfa, the kamas, sais, nunchakus, among others, and currently the use of the Katana which is a kind of sword. Finally, Karate do is more a martial art than a sport, since it is considered a kind of philosophy of life, with principles, values ​​and traditions that characterize it.


Taekwondo is a sport originating in South Korea, based on techniques taken from Kung fu and Karate Do. At first it was practiced as a form of military art, generally, it was practiced for self-defense but soon it became popular as a sports discipline. Today, it is one of the most famous modern combat sports and is practiced almost all over the world.

Among the most outstanding characteristics of this sport are:

  • The Dobok (practice and combat uniform) is closed at the front, wears a breastplate and helmet for the protection of the chest and face.
  • Taekwondo matches show a series of fast kicks (usually high) and some pushes and very rarely one or another punch.

Additionally, Taekwondo, the modern development of Taekwondo, has a very large influence from Japanese Karate Do.

Based on the above, we have that the main differences between Karate Do and Taekwondo can be summarized as:

karate Do taekwondo
Karate Do is a martial art of Japanese origin. Taekwondo is a sports discipline originating in South Korea.
The training of this art allows the use of some weapons and combat implements. The training of this discipline is associated with unarmed combat techniques.
In Karate Do, the kicks are of low height. In Taekwondo, the kicks are directed to the upper part of the body.
The practice and combat uniform is called Karategui. The practice and combat uniform is called Dobok and includes the use of breastplate and protective helmet.

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