Tae Kwon Do & Karate
Karate developed hundreds of years ago on the Japanese island of Okinawa. Japan forcibly occupied Okinawa in 1609 and confiscated all weapons. Okinawans fought back with their bare hands and feet. Those striking, blocking and kicking methods were refined and karate was born. Taekwondo originated in Korea. The first documented evidence of Korean martial arts dates back to the hand-to-hand combat training of the hwarang warriors in the 6th century. Taekwondo was officially formed in 1955. Karate is translated as “empty hand” and taekwondo means “way of the foot and fist.”
Both are considered “hard styles” of martial arts. This means force is used against force. For example, if someone punches you, you respond with a strong block, then follow with a counter punch or kick. Both teach a series of punches, blocks and kicks. Many of these techniques are included in choreographed forms called “kata” in karate and “poomse” in taekwondo. Both emphasize physical conditioning and teach a child how to understand the practical applications of techniques.
You or your child will learn several more kicks in taekwondo than in karate. In addition to basic kicks, this Korean art teaches several flashy spinning and jumping kicks. Children usually enjoy all the drills in which they repeatedly kick pads.