Recently, I was asked what is the difference between Karate, Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do.  I was a little amused at this question because as a martial arts enthusiast,  It is easy to forget that for most people when they hear these terms they just think of uniformed individuals, lined up counting out punches in unison- not considering the difference between them.  In hopes of awakening a curiosity in your mind about the world of traditional martial arts, I figured I’d take this opportunity to provide my definition of each.

Karate is a system of fighting that comes from Japan.  Karate is translated as “empty hand” and most techniques involve the use of the hands to defend and attack. Kicks are also used.   Students develop power using forms that get more complex as they advance.  Forms training develops focus, balance and power using stances, and arm movements.

Tae Kwon Do can be translated as “Foot Fist Way”.  It  is a Korean martial art, famed for its high kicking techniques.  Tae Kwon Do practitioners develop their kicking abilities through form training, and stretching techniques.   In the beginning, students keep opponents at long range.

Kung Fu refers to many of the martial arts styles from China.  Kung Fu, translated as “Hard work”,  is commonly used in reference to different styles- Wushu, Shaolin, and Wing Tsun to name a few.  Each has its own qualities that makes it unique.

From Aikido to Zulu stick fighting, there are hundreds of unique martial arts, each with its own traditions, and ideals. The definitions I provided above are a generalized, and barely scratch the surface of what each martial art is really about.  I encourage you to get involved in a martial art yourself so that you can experience the many benefits they have to offer.

March was a super month for Wing Tsun despite having a week off for spring break.  I traveled to Dublin Ireland for vacation.  While there, I was able to drop in on Master Aiden Canavan’s Wing Tsun class.  The class session was 2 hours long, and we worked on form training, padded drills, form application and chi sau.  It was interesting to see how others branches do things a little different, there were some elements that I felt a little awkward with at first, but Sifu Canavan and his friendly students helped me to get my confidence.  I learned some interesting applications and footwork.  Thank you all at Wing Tsun Dublin for the hospitality!

Wing Tsun at Dublin City Centre


Master Canavan is a 5th level master grade instructor in the  Irish European Wing Tsun Organization (IEWTO).  The European Wing Tsun Organization was founded by Grand Master Keith Kenrnspect, a student of  Grand Master Leung Ting.

Master Adams Lop-sau with Frank.

March ended with our Seminar with Master Mike Adams, of Dynamic Martial Arts in Illinois.  We did a 4 hour seminar on Saturday, March 25 with students both the Gilbert and Scottsdale location in attendance.  The special event was held at the Scottsdale Martial Arts Center and we got a chance to learn Wing Tsun from a new perspective.  I learned some new material and I know that attendees enjoyed themselves too.

In addition to the seminar, I was able to do a couple private lessons focusing on Wooden Dummy, and Biu Tze Chi Sau sections.  Thank you Master Adams for visiting us!