What Are the Differences in Tae kwon do, Kung Fu & Karate?
I describe myself to be a happy go round person. I don’t get intimidated or annoyed so easily; however, if there is one thing that bothers me from time to time is when people get confused with the martial arts of Asia. I understand that it may be hard to differentiate them if you aren’t actually born in that country. I also agree that they all look similar on the outside that it’s hard to tell them apart. So in this article, I will be writing about the difference between the main three martial arts of Asia; Kung-Fu, Tae Kwon Do, and Karate.
The most well-known out of the three could be said as Kung- Fu. The main point that is different is that Kung-Fu is a generalized term of different types of martial arts combined in China. Another thing is that the style of Kung-Fu can be taught differently depending on the master. It doesn’t have a written rule as to how each movement should be performed. It’s typical to have one discipline per master in Kung-Fu. That may not be the case in today China, but traditionally, only one person was chosen to be taught by a master.|
The two that people often confuse themselves with are Tae Kwon Do and Karate. Both wear white different color of belt associated with different levels of learning and use only their hand and feet in combat. Although they both look alike, their origin and the environment say so otherwise. First of all, Tae Kwon Do is from Korea and Karate is from Japan. Many of my friends get confused between the two and just conclude that every Asian martial art they see is Karate. One of the differences is that while the movement of Karate is formed through the soul and rigidity of the form. Although Tae Kwon Do also requires ordered and discipline environment, it has more freedom in that each student can choose their own inner peace. Another thing that is different is that Tae Kwon Do is a combat style which requires many kicks compared to Karate. It’s true that Karate also has its own combat style, but they are unique in that they use both feet and hand. Because of such combat style of Tae Kwon Do, now days, they are simultaneously seen as both martial arts and a sport.
To clearly sum up how to tell apart from the three when you see one on television, first check if they are wearing white uniform with colored belts. If you do, eliminate Kung-Fu because the uniform of Kung-Fu is usually gold, yellow, or red. Then comes the hard part; see if they are mostly using feet or hand. If they are mostly using the feet, then it’s Taekwondo. If they are using both hands and feet, then it’s karate. It’s going to be hard to tell apart from a glance, but if someone was able to tell apart from Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and Kung-Fu, I (as Asian) would really appreciate them for noticing the difference.