ZXZ asked in SportsMartial Arts · 9 years ago

What's the difference between Sport Karate and Sport Taekwondo?

Easy points if someone can tell me the difference between the two. Good job WTF for making Taekwondo an Olympic sport. and I know the WKF wants Karate to be an Olympic sport but seriously, is there any difference between the two? Thanks

Oh, and another thing, I'm also aware that Karate is recognized by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) so Karate does have a shot at being in the Olympics. Just don't know when that will happen


How are the rules and the gear slightly different? Please explain. Thanks

6 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Rules are different between Taekwondo and Sport Karate as is the gear.

    In a nutshell, without retyping the two syllabuses, the biggest differences are thus:

    Taekwondo – (WTF/Kukkiwon/Olympic Taekwondo) Sparing is heavy contact (Full contact with control) Kicks are preferred. Only reverse punches can be used against the body to score a point. By reverse punch, they mean both feet must be firmly planted on the floor and the rear hand (the hand on the same side with the leg that is furthest back) must throw a strait punch and return cleanly) the punch can ONLY contact the hogu. (chest guard).

    Scoring is fairly simple.

    A basic kick or reverse punch to the hogu = 1 point.

    A turning kick where the back is fully exposed to the opponent and scores a strike to the hogu = 2 points.

    A kick to the head = 3 points.

    (I do not know if the new rules give an additional point for Spin kicks to the head or not. In the past, they did not! )

    There is a maximum of three rounds. In the event of a tie, a fourth "Sudden-Death " round occurs.

    The gear required is a mouth guard, groin guard, shin and forearm guards, head gear (Foam helmet) and the chest protector (hogu). Some tournaments are now using Electronic hogu that use either wired or the newer Bluetooth wireless scoring system, however, these tournaments are still rare.

    Taekwon-Do (ITF) – Because there are different ITF organizations, there are different rules. Generaly speaking though, here is what you will find. Most tournaments use Semi-continues point system, though there are many continues point tournaments to be found. Most organizations score as follows (Black belt level and up):

    Punches to the head or body = 1 Point.

    Kicks to the body = 2 Points.

    kicks to the head = 3 Points.

    The rounds are 2 to 3 minutes and there are usually 1 to 3 rounds per bout.

    Gear consists of Foam hand and food guards, mouth guard, groin guard, head gear and in some organizations chest guard (NOT hogu) are worn by woman and younger competitors.

    Sport Karate – This is a little less defined becuase, as with the ITF, there is no single governing body. The Kyokushinkai and Seidokaikan use full contact rules and no sparing gear. The World Karate Federation is light-contact sparing. The gear required is mouth guard, shin pads, foot gear, hand guards, helmets and groin protection. Woman must wear chest guards.

    ONLY techniques considered to be of "Proper Technique" in good form, with intent and good sportsman attitude are counted. Body techniques may be of significant force, so long as injury does not occur. All face/head contact must be "non-injurious, light, controlled “touch” contact"


    Controlled kicks to the head or any controlled technique delivered to a thrown/fallen opponent = 3 points.

    Kicks to the body = 2 points.

    Any hand technique = 1 point.

    Bouts are generally a single round of three minutes.

    In many sport karate systems, throws/takedowns are permitted. However, generally speaking, the person doing the throwing may NOT have more than two points of contact at any one time. Meaning that if you take down your opponent and drop to one knee, your two feet plus one knee = three points. This is more than two so the take down is not counted and any technique landing on the opponent is NOT counted.

    I hope this helps. Helps.

    Source(s): 30+ years of martial arts experience.
  • Kokoro
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    lex karate is not primary punch, there is a lot of grappling in karate, if you did not learn the grappling part you are taking a sports version which eliminates most of the karate technique, hence why i hate the sport version

    and as usually in the sports version like wkf they eliminate all the grappling down to just a few throws. the wkf is not the first organization to try and get karate into the olympics,

    and to tell you the truth i hope it doesnt go into the olympics, since the only out come will be karate being even more watered down and even less people understanding all the techniques in karate, just like most dont know the techniques in tkd and think there is all kicking, again tkd also contains grappling but now is seldom seen

    as for the rules of wkf


    Source(s): 30yrs ma
  • K_JKD
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    franks right the rules, scoring methods & gear are slightly different.

    I don't know the exact differences but I'm sure its like the difference between the rules of sport muay thai & kickboxing.

    scoring methods are for flawless execution of technique and in a karate tournament wing chun punches wont get you points unless you drop someone with them them since they aren't karate.

    same with taekwondo techniques in a karate tournament & karate moves in a taekwondo tournament.

    the olympics would be better to go a different route though.

    they should have some type of hybrid striking sport with rules based on karate, taekwondo, muay thai, boxing & kickboxing rules which any martial artist can compete in instead of just teakwondoin but they could still participate.

    a hybrid grappling sport with rules based on bjj, judo, sambo, freestyle wrestling, greco-roman wrestling, scholastic wrestling & catch wrestling that any grapler regardless of style can compete in which instead of just judo but the judoka could still participate.

    and a hybrid sport with rules based on mma, shoot fighting & amateur pankration althima (modern pankration) and all other combat sports any martial artist could compete in.

    it would & something like mma.by like the old olympics with Pygmachia (boxing) , Pale (wrestling) & Pankration (all fighting) but instead we would have something like k-1, something like ADCC

    since tkd & karate both have grappling & karate was even a grappling based art to begin with originally before the post ww2 sports craze so it's erroneous to call them karate, taekwondo or judo since they are only a small fraction of their respective arts.

    Source(s): martial arts training since 1997
  • 9 years ago

    Karate focuses more on punches and arm work but Taekwondo focuses more on kicks. If you go to a tournament when they sparr in karate the judges look for good punches but for taekwondo they look for the kicks. The forms are very different, the gi is different, belt ranks, and the way they do "chombee" is different as well. Taekwondo is said to be the easiest martial arts to learn but karate isn't. Theres different types of karate as well, but for taekwondo theres only one.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 9 years ago

    The rules, what gives you points, what's allowed and what's not.

    The gear also is slightly different.

    Source(s): my brain ;)
  • 9 years ago

    I heard on some mma fight on tv that in tekwando you aren't allowed to use your elbows...... Idk about karate

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.