There is an unending debate as to which martial art is superior between taekwondo and karate. So, is taekwondo better than karate?
Whether taekwondo is better than karate depends on what exactly you are looking to gain from the art. For example, if you are interested in learning fast and more elaborate kicking moves, taekwondo is the better option. However, if you are interested in learning more balanced, full-body moves, karate would be a better choice.
Taking beginner classes in both disciplines is a great way to find out what the best martial arts style is for you.
And whichever you choose, you also want to ensure it’s a style you love or prefer.
Is Karate Better Than Taekwondo?
Whether karate is better than taekwondo depends on what exactly you are looking to gain from the art. For those interested in learning more balanced, full-body moves, karate might be a better choice. Taekwondo is the better option if you are interested in learning fast and more elaborate kicking moves.
Both taekwondo and karate are amazing martial arts, especially for beginners looking to get into the world of martial art.
Unsurprisingly, many successful martial artists in fact have a background in one or both of these arts.
Generally and personally, it’s difficult to tell which martial art style is better since both are interesting martial arts, especially for kids and adults.
In this article, however, I will be breaking down the superiority of one over the other based on what exactly you are looking to gain from the art.
So in this article, we shall be looking to see which of these arts is better than the other in terms of:
- Weight loss
- Physical fitness
- Kids participation
Which Is Better for Self-Defense: Karate or Taekwondo?
Traditional taekwondo and karate are both good for self-defense purposes. However, modern Karate is better than taekwondo for self-defense as modern Taekwondo is now more focused on tournaments than self-defense training.
Remember, both martial arts were originally designed for self-defense.
So, both teach effective self-defense techniques and have special self-defense programs designed to teach you how to defend yourself.
However, karate is superior to taekwondo for this purpose simply because karate gives equal importance to the use of hands and feet techniques, while taekwondo focuses mainly on kicking techniques.
To me, self-defense techniques involving the use of hands are the fastest, safest, and most effective compared to kicking techniques.
Yes, Taekwondo kicks are strong and more effective than karate, but kicks are not the best-recommended way of dealing with an attacker in a self-defense situation.
This does not mean leg strikes are ineffective for self-defense, but you generally leave your groin exposed and are less balanced on one leg.
This can put you at a disadvantage to your attacker especially if you are not skilled enough.
Taekwondo requires greater balance and skill to execute a foot technique but the power you can generate is far superior to hand techniques.
One well-placed kick can afford you plenty of time to get away.
However, since taekwondo isn’t focused on practicing with arms, and punching (and being punched) which is more common in real fights, I would say Karate is more effective for self-defense.
Karate focuses on hand techniques that are easier to learn making you better prepared to defend yourself anytime.
Is Taekwondo Better Than Karate for Physical Fitness?
Both Taekwondo and karate are among some of the best martial arts for fitness and are both excellent ways to get good exercise.
However, they do slightly have different focuses, which depending on your fitness goals; may favor one style over the other.
For example, Karate focuses more on solid stances, power, and strength.
And while power and strength training is also important in Taekwondo, they emphasize more on flexibility and agility.
It’s impossible to swing those high kicks around if you aren’t flexible or good at staying on your feet.
There is no winner here; it just depends on what exactly your fitness goals are.
So, if you are looking for flexibility and agility, taekwondo is better.
But, if you are looking for power and strength, karate would be a better option.
Is Taekwondo Better Than Karate for Weight Loss?
Taekwondo and karate are both excellent martial arts for anyone looking to lose weight quickly. However, taekwondo is better than karate for weight loss.
Taekwondo remains one of the top activities for anyone looking to burn those calories. It is an incredible fat burner.
Without a doubt, Taekwondo is an effective sport for weight loss considering the number of calories burned by players during training.
This is probably because Taekwondo is a highly cardiovascular exercise with all the jumping and drills leading to the active burning of calories.
According to Business Insider, Taekwondo is the third best way to burn the most calories in an hour.
It burns 937 calories per hour in a 200-pound person. That’s a lot!
Taekwondo is only third behind Jump rope (1,074 calories/hour) and Running, 8 mph (1,074 calories/hour).
Also, according to Mayo Clinic, a 160-pound person burns 730 calories an hour doing taekwondo, which is also a lot!
Way of Martial Arts also ranks taekwondo as one of the best martial arts for weight loss.
Taekwondo is great for weight loss due to its highly acrobatic nature.
Of course, not initially, so there is no need to worry about backflip kicks in the third class.
However, the movements become more and more complicated and the classes more intense over time.
This requires you to primarily work more on your leg and core muscles, which are some of the most important when it comes to weight loss due to their sheer size.
Of course, just cardio exercise is also great for weight loss, but growing the largest muscle on your body (quads) and the ones around it and using those muscles to perform intense, hard kicks simply gives a whole new definition to weight-loss training.
So, Taekwondo is an attractive option, especially for people looking to get some insight into the world of martial arts while having weight loss as their main goal.
So yes, while karate is also an effective weight loss activity, there is little debate as to the superiority of taekwondo for this purpose.
For more on taekwondo weight loss, see: Does Taekwondo Make You Lose Weight?
Is Taekwondo Better Than Karate for Kids?
Generally, when it comes to martial arts for children, Taekwondo usually sits on top of parents’ lists.
But popularity aside, both karate and taekwondo are great for kids and I do not consider one better than the other for this purpose.
This is because the amazing benefits they both offer to kids are quite similar.
Taekwondo is good for kids as it offers physical and mental benefits such as self-defense, physical fitness, discipline, respect, self-control, and more.
Learning taekwondo can help them stand out from their peers.
Taekwondo is also an excellent activity for young children because it helps them to build healthy strong muscles early on, lower their cholesterol, and improve their cardio.
Children who train in taekwondo have a reduced risk of childhood heart disease and obesity even as they move from childhood into adulthood.
Kids enjoy taekwondo because it teaches them exciting techniques in a fun and playful way.
While it emphasizes kicks, different forms (such as the ITF) also teach punches.
Every kid would enjoy learning how to throw jumping or spinning kicks.
But above all, training improves their strength, and balance and makes them very flexible.
Some kids can even do splits after just weeks of training.
It is generally a very safe martial art for kids but you would need to buy protective gear for your child to give them more protection.
Taekwondo has many forms and different competitions where kids can test their skills.
If they have the needed skills, this might spark that competitive fire in them to work harder.
Karate on the other hand is also one of the safest and most popular martial arts for kids.
According to research, kids as young as three years old can train in karate and enjoy many benefits.
It is a fun, playful, and disciplined art that will give your child a full-body workout.
Karate emphasizes self-growth through training, just like a true traditional martial art.
Being a karateka is a way of life that will teach your child all about honor, discipline, confidence, respect, happiness, and more.
Kids will have a lot of fun learning kicks, and punches, and playing with one another.
So, whichever one you chose for your child, be assured that you can never go wrong.
Should You Learn Taekwondo or Karate?
Both Taekwondo and Karate are presently one of the best forms of martial arts.
They work well for both boys and girls and are great for self-defense, weight loss, physical fitness, and children & adult participation.
However, when choosing between the two, you need to determine what exactly you are looking to gain, examine the factors already considered in this article, and then decide on which art is best for you.
Learn the art that best suits your needs.
Hi, my name is Godwin. I am a passionate martial artist with black belts in Taekwondo and Karate. I have over 15 years of martial art experience. I created this platform to enable me to help you learn martial art the right way.