Of course, there are also differences between the two styles. See below for some of these, before moving onto some of the more notable Taekwondo vs. Karate match ups of all time (follow the numbered or named links below). Keep in mind when reading about these fights, however, that few to none of our highlighted bouts involve strict taekwondo vs. karate competitors, as strikers tend to engage in a lot of cross training.
Taekwondo: First and foremost, Taekwondo is a Korean martial arts style. It was named on April 11, 1955 when South Korean president Syngman Rhee declared that all of the various martial arts styles in the country must fall under one system and name.
Taekwondo is primarily a striking style of martial arts. Hand and leg strikes are taught, as well as blocks to a great degree. But taekwondo is primarily known for its kicking, particularly athletic kicking (spinning back kicks, jump kicks, etc.), as well as its heavy focus on being a sport. Along with this, taekwondo is the most popular single martial arts style worldwide with over 70 million practitioners. Along with this, it is also an Olympic sport.
Taekwondo practitioners tend to practice forms or hyungs, designed to be like a predetermined fight scene. Forms are sometimes considered meditation.
Karate: Karate is primarily a stand up or striking style of martial arts that emerged on the island of Okinawa as a blend of native Okinawan fighting styles and Chinese fighting styles. Whereas the name taekwondo came from a variety of Korean styles coming together as one, the term karate refers to multiple styles housed within that art. That said, there are some similarities between the majority of these.
Karate practitioners learn hand and leg strikes, as well as blocks. There are some throws and joint locks taught within the art, but these are not as focused on. What's more, the majority of karate practitioners learn a more balanced approach to kicking and hand strikes than taekwondo, which is usually more reliant on kicks.
Karate practitioners tend to practice forms or kata, designed to be like a predetermined fight scene. In that sense, the two arts are very similar.
The Story on Some Well-Known Taekwondo vs. Karate Fights
Check out some of the more well-known style vs. style match ups below.