Kung Fu vs Karate - Which Is The Better Martial Art?
Normally it is not easy to distinguish between Kung Fu vs Karate, by merely watching the body movements, unless you have a fair knowledge about both these martial arts.
Going into the historical back ground, we will find that the Japan’s island of Okinawa and the country of China being situated in close proximity, the people of Okinawa developed their own style of martial art now called Karate, from the original Chinese style.
While Karate and Kung Fu apply similar forms of common technique, Kung Fu system involves more number of techniques than Karate. Japanese seem to have developed various techniques existing in the Chinese system to develop a separate form of art that is now called Karate.
This becomes apparently true, when observing some identical styles of Karate and Kung Fu movements; the former with quick stop-and-go motions, while the latter involves circular techniques, mostly with hands. The circular motion will look more elegant, as if a flow going from person to person.
The Chinese style of Kung Fu involves less number of “stop and go” techniques and hence in countries like America, this system is identified as a ‘soft’ style, while they call Karate and Tae Kwon Do as “hard” style martial arts.
But this is no suggestion that “soft” style is less powerful as the word may mislead, because the power from circular moves always lies in hidden form. Kung Fu styles are generally harder to understand and perform than Karate in which more straight forward techniques are applied.
There is even a particular form of Karate known as Goju involving more circular techniques. A hybrid technique developed from Chinese and Okinawa methods is called Kempo style which involves circular and linear movements.
Kung Fu has a wide variety of styles than Karate and in both these systems the “weaponry” used with empty hand forms is different. The kata with Karate weapons are more straightforward while Kung Fu weapons are in circular forms. The Chinese style involves a lot more weapons than Karate.
The practitioners of Karate wear a traditional white uniform called “gi” which has the look of an overlapping kimono. An instructor has the ranking of a black belt on the uniform.
In the Karate institutions in North America, no strict color code is observed in uniforms. During the training, Karate practitioners are mostly in bare foot.
Kung Fu uniform is a different looking Chinese dress, which can either be black or other colors of lighter fabrics like satin. They usually wear shoes.
Now different bright colored satin cloths are worn in Chinese acrobatic martial art called Wushu. Baggy pants and T-shirts are now used in many Kung Fu schools. The students of different ranks wear uniforms of different colors as a style in America.
But there is no such color distinction for the students in Kung Fu schools in Asia. Comparing to Karate, the Chinese Kung Fu system involves a wide variety of martial styles, techniques weapons and dress codes. But this is no indication to suggest that a particular system is superior to the other.
For an independent observer, Karate and Kung Fu are two different martial arts having their own characteristics and people prefer one of them according to personal choice. Even, there are highly ambitious persons who practice both the systems.
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