Friday, May 21, 2010

What is the main difference between karate and kung fu and which is best for self defense?

My five year old grandson just started taking kung fu lessons. I was a bit disappointed he wasn%26#039;t enrolled in karate instead. I welcome the opinions of anyone experienced or knowlegeable in either or both arts. Thank you.|||Both %26quot;karate%26quot; and %26quot;kung fu%26quot; are very generic terms. There are over a dozen styles of karate and I%26#039;ve heard it said over 400 styles of kung fu, each with their own emphasis and %26quot;flavor%26quot;. Neither method is particularly better than another. The effectiveness of any system depends on the quality of the teacher, the realism of the training, and the conviction of the practitioner.|||Kung Fu developed in the Shaolin Temples, from the teachings of the Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma. The two largest temples were the Northern and Southern Temple. The Southern Temple trained many people in Fuzhou, who later immigrated to Okinawa, then part of the Chinese Empire. (The 42 families) The Japanese eventually took over Okinawa, and Kung Fu, then called Kara-te (China Hand) in Okinawa was renamed Karate (Empty Hand, which sound the same but are written differently. Like the words %26quot;weak%26quot; and %26quot;week%26quot;) . Karate became popular in Japan in the early 20th Century when the Okinawan teacher, Gichin Funakoshi moved to Tokyo and founded Shotokan Karate. Shotokan was brought to Korea, which was then a part of Japan. Korea gained it%26#039;s independence after wwII and renamed their system Tangsoo do (China Hand Way) then later Taekwondo.

Today there are many styles of Kung Fu and many styles of Karate, but all are related. If I were to say Kung Fu has more forms (called Kata in karate) I%26#039;d be generally right, but Wing Chun, probably the most popular form of Kung Fu today only has 3 forms. (kata) Shotokan Karate today can have more than 30 kata (forms), but the founder of that style only practiced around 10. (maybe 12, maybe 8 depending on the source) Uechiryu Karate had only 3 kata (forms) up to the 1950s, then added some for competition purposes. Isshinryu Karate still only had 8 kata. (empy hand forms anyway, they also have weapon forms) Northern Shaolin Kung Fu has hundreds of forms, which nobody knows all of, though each monk masters usually one, and sometimes a few.|||Karate came from some early kung fu styles. Kung fu has fluidity. the animal forms of kung fu were broken down into individual techniques by karate. There is still flow in karate but it has lost the intent of kung fu animal forms. True kung fu is always better, but few real teachers. Pressure-point fighting came from kung fu, They have it also in karate but is reserved for advanced students. I did karate for 20 years before shifting to kung fu. A hundred karatekas will basically move the same way right out of the book. Not so in kung fu were secret moves are really secret.|||The difference in style is not important, especially for a five year old. The quality of the instruction is, however.

As far as self-defense, the same applies. No style is any better than another. It%26#039;s the instruction and the application by the individual that means more. In my experience, I would look for a teacher who stresses situational awareness and avoiding danger first, then physical self-defense techniques.|||they are both good arts.

kung fu is much older and is one if the many styles that has influences the development of karate.

there are quite a number of styles of kung fu, kung fu was influenced by indian martial arts and also the middle east martial arts. there are may have been other countries that influenced chinese arts as well.

kung fu is both internal and external as well as hard and soft. the same is true for various karate styles

karate was influence by chiniese arts, philippino, vietnamese, mauy tai and japanese jujitsu.

as other have said more important is the quality of the instructor.|||Both Arts are great! But more important as Rob B states is the instruction, also different styles are for different people. I think in this case, the student/teacher relationship is more important than any style. At this age, children should be getting a good base, and knowledge on the whys of martial arts. I always suggest that parents/or grandparents try a few different schools. I don%26#039;t know of any instructors who wouldn%26#039;t give a free class.|||Karate is going to be a better art for real life self defense than Kung-Fu.

Kung-Fu is going to be flashier and better for winning trophies. Kung-Fu is very impressive to watch but on the street you don%26#039;t want flashy, you want what works.

The most important thing is that he likes it. If he likes Kung-Fu and doesn%26#039;t like Karate then forcing him into Karate will make him quit martial arts all together. He%26#039;s 5... let him choose what class he enjoys most.

The school and instructors are the most important thing. Visit many schools (even if they are too far away) of both arts and watch the advanced and kids classes. You should be able to get a good feel for the best school.

Attend the classes he takes! I have so many parents drop their children off and never come in to watch just what we are teaching them.|||As I have studied both Kung Fu and Karate i can say they are both exquisite martial arts. They are very different from one another. Karate is very power and weight orientated. Whereas Kung Fu focuses on well placed fast strikes with specific hand shapes.

They are both suitable for self defence, as is any martial art. Self defence is 50% mental and 50% physical, if you have the correct mindset and know how to react in a situation then self defence wont ever be an issue. This is what martial arts teaches people, the funny thing is you may not even realise it !

I certainly wouldn%26#039;t be disappointed that our grandson had taken up kung fu instead of Karate as they are both equally as effetcive.|||Karate is descended from Kung Fu which is a Chinese art.

Kung fu styles tend to be more evasive, circular and fluid, while karate tends to be more linear and strength based (emphasizes a block hard hit hard approach).

Kung fu is often criticized for its %26quot;showiness%26quot; but if taught correctly it is a very effective form of fighting, self defense and fitness. |||what i watch from discovery channel last month,it show where karate originated,actually karate was born from the mixing of kungfu and teakwondo..that how karate was born..and it not from japan,it from okinawa it part of japan..dont felt disappointed,karate is very good because it teaches hand and kicking technique a complete workout of upper body and lower body..there are many style off karate,just ignore what style as long as it is karate,it good for u..

i have some link of fight quest documentary about karate,kyokushin style. part 1 of 6 part 2 of 6 part 3 of 6 part 4 of 6 part 5 of 6 part 6 of 6

here a karate expert was suddenly attack by street gangster:

|||i know they are both striking martial arts.

one has a bit of grapples(karate)

kung fu is really to flashy and mainly only used in action movies if you will.karate is way better and has more techniques|||both are good for self defense. It depends on your dedication. Karate is japanese and kung fu is chinese.|||most kung fu is based on animal movements|||i agree with sensei rob,he does get it right occasionally.|||Any external style of Kung Fu is better than Karate in terms of completeness and development, although, even though as a kid I was a HUGE Kung Fu fan (still am actually), when I did personal research in college about various Kung Fu styles, I came to respect Karate for its simplicity. Kung Fu is not for everyone; many of the forms can be incredibly complicated and require a great deal of patience to learn.

As a general rule in martial arts, the simpler a form, the more power it requires, and the more you rely on physics and momentum rather than raw strength, the more complicated the technique. Simple technique is easy to learn but you need a lot of power to use it effectively, and if you want to overcome a more physically powerful opponent, it IS possible through the principles of physics and how they apply to human anatomy (namely kinesiology). If a move is simple, it needs power, if a move is complex it barely needs any strength at all but boy is it tough to learn.

Kung Fu is branded as %26quot;impractical%26quot; because so many of the techniques, especially the Chin Na joint locks, are so highly reliant on physics, and the only way you can use the principles of physics on the human body without too much strength, is through very precise application that demands many years of practice. I looked into a lot of Kung Fu styles; traditionally, per influence of the Shaolin temple, every Chinese Boxing (their traditional name for Kung Fu is %26quot;boxing%26quot;) style has 5 forms to learn, each form being 108 steps long.

From style to style different teachers have had different approaches, some using only 1 cohesive form, others using 3 and some styles even have had a whopping 10 forms to learn. The varieties were endless, chaotic, and as a result, only the traditional styles have survived. The world of Chinese martial arts produced so many variants and offshoots, it is impossible to keep track of them all. The Tibetan Crane style of Kung Fu, has over 5,000 techniques, and I believe 20 unarmed forms, and whopping 40 weapons forms. It has such a ridiculous arsenal of techniques, the martial art has few traditional masters of it anymore, the people who study the Tibetan Crane style now study a %26quot;crash course%26quot; version of it and even though it has been severely stripped of all but the most rudimentary forms, it is still an exhaustively hugely arsenaled style.

One of the things people fail to realize is the time issue; it isn%26#039;t just enough to simply KNOW a technique, you also need TIME to practice and refine and polish it. See that is why I like Karate; you can learn a total of 12 forms, the original recomendation of Master Funakoshi, the longest of them being 40 steps long. You practice each form 5 times a day 6 days a week, if you are fit, you can do it in the space of an hour. To practice a Shaolin form 5 times a day, 6 times a week, would easily consume up to 6 hours, meaning, even though the forms are shorter, the fact that they are shorter means that with Karate you can practice more. In the time it takes a Shaolin practitioner to practice one form, a Karateka can practice a Kata up to 10 times.

However, its a trade off; Karate%26#039;s shorter forms allow for more practice and greater polish but see, it requires so much power, the use of your entire body weight if you don%26#039;t have any power or not enough to use against the heavy hitters, that it DEMANDS practice, where in Kung Fu, believe it or not you can get away with practicing a single set of 5 animal forms only once a day, and you would STILL develop enough hand-eye coordination to defend yourself against a large bruiser. Again its a tradeoff; Kung Fu offers a large arsenal, so large, that even though practice is demanded, you don%26#039;t really need it because the martial art is so well developed. Karate is simple, and you can practice and refine a single Kata to unbelievable levels but see, you NEED to do it, because if you can not put your entire body weight behind EVERYTHING, Karate simply doesn%26#039;t work.

Furthermore; Karate%26#039;s power is reliant on movement of the entire body behind every punch, every block, and every kick. When a Karateka kicks, what he is in fact doing, is concentrating their entire body weight into roughly the space of two knuckles, or, a small space of bone on either side of the wrist, or the ball of the foot bellow the big toe. A Kung Fu stylists power, come from the centrifugal force of the circular motions of the techniques; in Kung Fu everything moves in a circle, because if you used to spin a jump rope over your head as a kid, or any kind of rope, you know that once a spinning object gather%26#039;s momentum, if it accidentally hits someone it HURTS. See, that is the principle behind the circular motions of Kung Fu; you move your fists in circles, so that they connect with greater impact without wasting too much energy nor using too much of your body%26#039;s strength, hence the reason its superior to Karate.

However again, that superiority, com|||a gun is best for defense.

either kung fu or karate is good for kids to learn

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