For parents who are interested to send their kids to a martial arts class, it is confusing to first decide what kind of martial arts class to sign up for. The three most common ones that are available are karate, judo, and taekwondo. This article will discuss the differences among the three.

Originated in Japan. This is the most physical type of martial arts among the three, as there is a lot of body contact, even during practice. It is most similar to Greco-Roman wrestling. There is no kicking in Judo. Judo is an Olympic sport.

Orginiated in Japan. There is little contact between combatants. The distribution between arm and leg actions are about even. Karate is not an Olympic sport.

Originated in Korea. There is little contact between combatants. Taekwondo is much heavier towards leg action — 80% leg vs 20% arm. Taekwondo is an Olympic sport.

Which one you want to go after is entirely dependent on your preference. For example, if you have Olympic aspirations for your kids, Judo and Taekwondo would be your choices. If you don’t want your children to have too much physical contact with the instructor and other students during class, Karate and Taekwondo would be the way to go.


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