“Do you do Karate?”


Martial arts are greatly varied in many aspects including their belts. To the right, is a Karate black belt, while to the left is a Taekwondo black belt.

Ramya Raja, Staff Writer

There are over a thousand types and variations of martial arts in the world, each one different from any other, even if only slightly; however, many are yet to realize each martial art has its own unique style and origin. Each martial art is often remembered as only one, Karate. However, freshman Angel Mercado says, “People need to know there are differences. Calling everything Karate is not the best thing to do.” He believes it is important to recognize all martial arts and not just categorize all of them as Karate.

The most common fighting form that is confused with Karate is Taekwondo. Being the two most known martial arts in the United States, the two sports are often and easily muddled together. However, students of both Taekwondo and Karate disagree that both are the same sport. Sophomore and black belt in Karate, Marissa Dintino, recognizes that some combat sports, “focus more on grappling,” while Karate focuses on “kicks, punches, sparring, and building up endurance.” The Japanese art form varies greatly from Taekwondo. Senior and 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo, Radhika Raja, recognizes that “Taekwondo usually uses your feet in techniques while other martial arts usual focus more on hand techniques.”  The Korean sport’s use of footwork and rare handwork is what qualifies its use in special forces, such as the army and navy, as well as being considered an Olympic sport.

One of the most overshadowed fighting forms in the United States is Krav Maga, an Israeli martial art which is used in training for federal organizations such as the CIA and FBI. All the fight scenes in action movies, such as Captain America, are based off of Krav Maga and hand-to-hand combat. Despite the massive use of  this art form, Krav Maga is often categorized away as Taekwondo or Karate. Sophomore and participant of Krav Maga, Alexandra Cepuchowicz, says that Krav Maga is based on “realistic defense and offense to stop opponents,” which is why it is used so widely across United States industries. However, due to its difficulty level and complexity, it is overshadowed with more popular sports, such as Karate and Taekwondo.

All in all, there are many different forms of hand-to-hand combat such as Karate and Taekwondo, and realizing the differences between them are important when talking to others.