What Are the Differences Between Judo and Karate?

What Are The Differences Between Judo And Karate?


Judo and karate are two of the most popular go-to fighting styles for newcomers and parents putting their children in martial arts schools. The two couldn’t be more different, but with so many people signing up for classes, people often want to know what sets them apart and which style is best for them.


Karate moves are generally geared more towards the upper body and involve blows dealt to the opponent, while judo is a form of wrestling – expect to spend a lot of time very close to the mat, grappling and wrapping your adversary. Let’s take a closer look at the two fighting styles, their principals and the types of moves you’ll be learning in both.


Karate fundamentals

  • Power is obtained by harnessing energy from the ground up in order to block or attack an opponent.
  • Points are earned through punches, chops and kicks.
  • Karate is about the attack and not the grapple.
  • Karate blocks and attacks are action-packed.


Judo fundamentals

  • Power is drawn away from your opponent, energy is directed back to the ground.
  • Points are earned though grappling and throwing.
  • Judo is about weight balance and defence.
  • In Judo your goal is to obtain leverage to gain the upper hand.


All martial arts are ultimately focused on building mind over matter. While karate takes the more aggressive fighting stance, the ultimate goal is to build stamina and beat your inner demons. Your opponent is also your guide.


Karate’s moves are more action-packed and are better suited to excite an audience watching a martial arts movie. Judo is a way of using your body’s stance to force an adversary into submission.


Both of these contact sports will put your body through its paces with great full on workout routines, both of these styles have their advantages. The one you choose should depend on what you’re looking to achieve. If action is what you’re after karate is for you, on the other hand, if you want to learn rock-solid defence, then choose Judo.


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