Taekwondo is Korean Martial Art which has independently developed over twenty centuries into a dynamic combat sport. Currently there are 40 million Taekwondo practitioners in more than 142 countries. Also, gyeorugi, a type of sparring, has been an Olympic event since 2000.

Taekwondo directly translates to “the way of the hand and foot”. It is characterized by the way kicks and punches are employed to defeat an opponent. Much emphasis is put on the physical training requiring strength, body coordination, free fighting techniques and skills. However, the main goal of learning Taekwondo is to achieve control over the body as well as the mind. Its discipline, technique and mental training are the mortar for building a strong sense of justice, fortitude, humility and resolve.

Meaning of TAE: Powerful and fast kicks like typhoon
Meaning of KWON: Strong fists and punches
Meaning of DO: Good manner and etiquette


Judo is a combat and Olympic sport created in Japan during the 1980s. It concentrates primarily on defensive maneuvers, utilizing close-range grappling and throwing techniques to push or pull an opponent off-balance, immobilize and bring him to the ground in a submissive hold.

Karate is originated in Japan but is not yet an Olympic sport. There are many different types of Karate (Shotokan, Gen-wa-ki, Kempo, Kenpo, Kyokoshin, Goju, Isshin-Ryu). Karate incorporates kicking and striking maneuvers more equally, utilizing both the upper and lower body for both defensive and offensive purposes.

However, Taekwondo techniques concentrate primarily on kicking maneuvers, with the arms used more for blocking than striking, it is also a practical self defense system that is utilized by the Korean military and secret police.  One of the unique things about Taekwondo is that they have a global governing body that unifies all of the forms/patterns and standards required for promotion. Therefore, the belt you obtain from anywhere in the world will be recognized as the same level due to the standardized promotion requirements, i.e., a blue belt in Hong Kong will be learning the exact same form as a blue belt in Korea or Europe or anywhere else in the world. Taekwondo is also unique in that it’s ratio of kicking techniqes to hand techniqes is about 80% kicking to 20% hand techniques.

In both Taekwondo and Karate, practitioners attempt to keep each other at mid-range distances to deliver the most power and momentum to their blows.