Kung fu vs Karate
You cannot differentiate between the Kung Fu and karate, unless you have studied or tried to train in either of these world famous martial arts. The west came to know about Kung Fu and Karate through Bruce Lee, the actor who popularized these martial arts with his Hollywood movies that were extremely successful. Both art forms are equally exciting, and to someone not aware of the nuances, it is hard to tell if a person is performing Kung Fu or Karate. This article attempts to highlight the differences between Kung Fu and Karate, one of which is inspired by the other with assimilation of other influences.
Kung Fu originated in Shaolin Temples in China, and people of Okinawa Islands that were a part of the Chinese Empire were trained in this martial art form. There are Okinawa Islands south of Japan that learnt about Kung Fu, the ancient Chinese martial art form, and through these islands, the people of Japan came in touch with Kung Fu. They absorbed the combat sport but also introduced new rules and the art form got influenced with Japanese culture. This led to the development of a totally different martial art called Karate. When you try to differentiate between the two martial arts, you can find that Japanese have reduced the number of techniques and streamlined the procedure. Execution of techniques in karate has also been modified and not incorporated as it is from Kung Fu. Interestingly, Korea, which was a part of Japan and got independence after WW II, modified even Karate and developed Taekwondo, which is another famous martial art form.
Talking of differences, movements in Kung Fu are circular that look majestic when a person uses his hands to make these movements. There is much less stop and go in Kung Fu than in Karate, which is why it is referred as a soft style whereas Karate is referred as a hard style of martial art. This is not to say that Kung Fu is any less powerful than Karate. Only thing it means is that power remains hidden because of circular motion. These techniques make Kung Fu look more exotic in nature than Karate which looks more straight forward and easier to learn for some. As described above, there are more techniques, movements, and even uniforms in Kung Fu when compared with Karate.
Despite ostensible differences, both martial art forms look exquisite when performed by an expert and it all boils down to personal preference when it comes to choosing between the two martial arts. It is difficult to say one or the other martial art is any superior to the other martial art form.
What is the difference between Kung fu and Karate?
• Kung Fu is a martial art form from China whereas Karate is a similar martial art form from Japan.
• Karate is a modified form of Kung Fu and people from Okinawa Islands introduced it to Japanese people.
• Kung Fu has circular movements and has complex techniques whereas Karate has streamlined movements that appear to be simpler.
• Kung Fu is considered a soft style whereas Karate is a hard style of martial art.