This Question came to my Inbox: Did Taekwondo really come from Korea?

The answer to the question is “yes” and “no.” Originally, all martial arts in the Orient came from China, but it wasn’t taekwondo that actually came from China. China began martial arts. Karate is Japanese, but it is also an outgrowth of China. Kung Fu from China was the original, and it had influence on other countries. There are many different styles with Kung Fu, and other styles grew out of them.

Kung Fu is Chinese. Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Kung Fu is a style of fighting with your fists and with kicking from China. It was the original. Most people know about people like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li. They are famous Kung fu masters. There are hundreds of styles of Kung Fu, and they have all different names. Some examples of some of them are: 1) Bahguazhang, a style from 19th century China that grew out of Taoism 2) Kung Fu in modern society has become known as a title for all martial arts, but there are many different styles: shaolin, long fist, eagle claw, monkey style, wing chun, hung gar, and Choy Li Fut. 3) Shuai Jiao, a form forms from teaching the soldiers to fight with the horns on their helmets. 4) Tai chi which emphasizes how you breath and is all about using your fists. The other martial arts in Japan and Korea came after these and were influenced by these, but were original to the Japan and Korea.

Karate is Japanese.//Photo by Haste LeArt V. on Pexels.com

In Japan, they have karate and Judo that were both influenced by Kung Fu. Karate is about fighting with the hands like Kung Fu. Judo is all about throwing one another. Judo originally came from Jujutsu, an older form of Judo. The Japanese also have Aikido another martial art focused on throwing one another.They also have kendo, the Japanese art of sword fighting which has evolved into hitting one another over the head with big sticks and wearing metal masks and heavy armored clothing to protect themselves. They also practice a couple of types of archery. Karate had its early days of influence from Kung Fu.

Taekwando is Korean.//Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

Korea has taekwondo as well as Gumdo. Gumdo is the Korean art of sword fighting that was developed for them to fight on horseback years ago. Now a days, they don’t practice on horseback, and they use wooden swords. They do a series of flips with swords and really put on fancy routines. They also learn to break a stack of boards with their fists. Taekwondo was influenced by Kung Fu from China, but was not developed in China. Taekwondo is Korean. It is the art of fighting through a series of kicks. It has some punches, but it is mostly kicking. Every child in Korea goes to taekwondo lessons at one point, and almost every Korean man can say he has a black belt in taekwondo. Every S. Korean man is considered to be either in the army or in the reserves of the army, and taekwondo is part of their training. It’s beginnings may have been influenced by Kung Fu, but it is totally Korean.

This looks like Taekwondo and Gumdo combined in Korea. Gumdo is sword fighting, and taekwondo is ticking. Photo by Washarapol D BinYo Jundang on Pexels.com

China originated the style of fighting with the fists and kicking in the Orient, but the other countries picked it up and made it their own. Kung Fu, Karate, and Taekwondo may be similar and had similar roots, but the are three distinct martial arts. Kung Fun has so many styles that I am sure I didn’t find all the names to list here. I have never been to China, so I had to look up Chinese martial arts on the computer. I have know for a long time that Kung Fu influenced karate and taekwondo, but karate and taekwondo are unique to the countries the represent. Karate and taekwondo are two distinct fighting styles, but they are similar and have the same roots. My three oldest kids did karate. My youngest one did taekwondo. One of my sons even did Gumdo. I have watched all of them while they were doing their martial arts, and I have watched Japanese do kendo also.

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