TAEKWONDO VS BOXING
Martial Arts have always been a traditional, and spiritual form of self defense, and self improvement. Throughout the evolution of any type of Martial Art, the once brutal nature has been slowly modified over time into a more systematic, and safer form of combat. Nowadays through the mainstream platforms on the Internet, and streaming services at televised combat events, Martial Arts has become the pinnacle of sports entertainment for many fight fans across the world. A common question is always surrounding which Martial Art is the best, and since the UFC brought together all disciplines of Martial Arts to test their capabilities, the arts have become more well rounded, and predominantly practiced more often all over the world.
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The UFC was notorious for pitting different styles against each other like boxing vs karate, boxing vs jiu jitsu, wrestling vs kick boxing, and judo vs muay thai. These contests led to an all round version of all of these forms of combat, as it is now prominently known as Mixed Martial Arts. In terms of boxing versus taekwondo, this is a match up that has a range of different diversity, which could go in either athlete's favour. Battling between different styles of Martial Art will always come down to their strengths and their weaknesses, as well as the athletes individual skill set. Most Martial Arts are extremely dynamic, and incorporate a range of different techniques that can inherently win them a fight against a competing Martial Art form.
THE HISTORY OF TAEKWONDO
Taekwondo has only had a relatively short history compared to other Martial Art forms. In 1945, which was only momentarily after the end of the second world war, brand new schools called kwans were opened in Seoul. These were founded by Korean Martial Artists, all of whom had backgrounds in Japanese, and Chinese forms of combat like Taekkyeon. Many of these traditional styles of combat were being forgotten due to the years of decline forced by the Japanese colonial government. These new schools of Martial Arts were all practising their own unique form of Korean art, and even though the term taekwondo was still unspoken, the art form was on its way to becoming more popularised.
In the mid twentieth century the Korean president ordered that this form of Martial Arts was to be used by their military, after watching a demonstration by infantry division soldiers. Tang Soo Do was the official term for Korean Karate, and after discussions between the kwans they decided to create a more unified system of Martial Arts. The unified decision to replace the term soo with kwan is how 'tae kwon do' got its name. This name was also the closest pronunciation to Taekkyeon, which was the view of the Korean president. Taekwondo was then integrated into the South Korean military, which only helped to increase its notoriety within Martial Arts schools across the country.
In 1972 the South Korean government's ministry of culture, sports and tourism founded the Kukkiwon, which was the new nationwide academy for taekwondo. This was how the Korean government would unify the sport of taekwondo, and the following year the kukkiwon supported the establishment of the WTF, the World Taekwondo Federation. This was more recently renamed as simply World Taekwondo, to stop any confusion surrounding the sport. Nowadays taekwondo is often referred to as WT style taekwondo, or Olympic style taekwondo, but the reality is the Martial Art was defined by the Kukkiwon. Taekwondo has now become an extremely popular form of combat, which has infiltrated modern Martial Arts like MMA, and the Olympics.
THE HISTORY OF BOXING
Boxing has ties that go back to the beginnings of man, as ancient depictions found on cave walls show boxing was utilised by many of the first people. Northern Iraqi culture, Ancient Greeks, and the Ancient Indians all practised the art of boxing, and with a brutal nature. The Ancient Greeks would often fight to the death, and this mentality of pride and honour in battle saw many athletes lose their lives. Olympic contests would help to popularise the infamy of the boxing art, and even though the combat had some rules introduced there was still an extensive brutality incorporated. Generations of European and Asian cultures continued to develop, and improve the art of boxing, as notable innovations through Chinese boxing, Indonesian boxing, and Middle Eastern boxing became apparent.
Eventually boxing reached the shores of England and the United States of America, where the brutality of the sport may not have been to the death, but the bare knuckled aspect was extremely unfavorable. Due to the criticism, and the disgust of combat sports, many fighters were forced underground where they would compete in prize fights that were put on by shady casino organisations. This only infuriated civilians, and the authorities, which led to police raids, many arrests, and further discrimination against boxing athletes. Many of these fighters were serious about their athletic skills, and their boxing prowess, as they searched for legitimacy within their sport.
In 1867 The boxing federation introduced the Marquess of Queensberry rule set, which helped boxing become more of a civilised sport, which gave the art less scrutiny, and more good reviews. The Queensberry rule set included timed rounds, the use of boxing gloves, and a square ring surrounded by ropes, which made the fights much more safer for the athletes involved. This led to an influx of lower class boxing athletes trying to make a wage in order to feed their families. Even after this new civilised rule set boxing was still considered a dubious sport, as the act of two men beating each other for sport was still uncivilised to many middle, and upper class citizens. It wasn't until the turn of the century when Jim Corbett defeated John L Sullivan, to become the first ever boxing champion. This is how the sport became extremely popularised among the middle classes, and from this moment on boxing was heading in a direction that led to future Olympic status, as well as becoming a multi billion dollar enterprise.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOTH ART FORMS
There are many differences between boxing and martial arts like taekwondo, as both arts utilise different structures, and different striking techniques. The art of boxing is purely a punching art, which incorporates heavy hands, fast and dynamic movements, coupled with extensive footwork capabilities. A boxer uses pivoting, lateral shuffling, forwards and backwards shuffling, feinting, level changing, ducking, and rolling under punches, in order to execute their techniques. A boxer is an expert at closing the distance, and getting in close, before using rotation of their hips to increase the amount of power they can land inside of a punch. This makes boxers more evasive by nature, and able to withstand rigorous striking from their opponents.
Taekwondo on the other hand was created from Korean culture, with the influence of Chinese and Japanese Martial Arts. Taekwondo utilises long range attacks, where fast and highly flexible kicking techniques are executed. A taekwondo fighter will use more of a side on stance, as they will be looking to use jumping kicks, and spinning back kicks, as a way of attacking their opponents. A taekwondo fighter will keep their distance rather than close the distance like a boxer, and this is so they can execute their techniques without the danger of being counter punched. Taekwondo may not be as brutal, and ferocious as the boxing art, but in terms of skill level, taekwondo fighters possess a flexible, and formidable style of combat.
Taekwondo athletes will usually wear a light kimono, and in the Olympic platform head guards, and light shoes are worn to help protect each of these athletes. This type of uniform may be stifling to a taekwondo fighter, but in terms of its tradition, the Korean background has given this art form a highly reputable following. Boxing on the other hand is extremely different, as an athlete will fight bare chested, wearing only shorts, boxing shoes, and a pair of sixteen ounce boxing gloves. This gives a boxer more freedom with their movement, but can also inhibit their punches due to the softening from the boxing gloves. This does not mean their punches are any less brutal, because science has proven that a boxing glove can effectively shake the brain more than a smaller glove, or a bare fist. This makes boxing an extremely brutal form of combat compared to the taekwondo art.
THE DIFFERENCES IN TRAINING REGIMES
There is a significant difference between how both of these combative art forms train to become proficient in each of their styles. A boxing athlete uses a grueling, and intense workout system that will help them build resilience, and a high level of fight conditioning, so they can stay extremely fit and capable during their matches. The nature of a boxer is to be considerably strong, with a higher level of fighting IQ, and this is due to their extensive footwork skills, and evasive movements. Boxing athletes utilise heavy cardio workouts like skipping, running, and shadow boxing to bolster their attacking structures. Their punching capabilities come from an extensive training system that allows them to punch the focus mitts, and hit the heavy bags with purpose, and circular motion. This is so they can evenly distribute their weight into their punches, which makes a boxing athlete an extremely tough proposition for any competitor.
A taekwondo athlete uses a more skillful approach to their training systems, as the strength and conditioning, and cardio workouts are no match for an elite boxer. Taekwondo is similar to Karate in a lot of aspects, as they use shadow boxing techniques to practice their movements, and cartas to move through the belt ranking systems. Although this form may still be effective, and can give athletes a great platform for attacking kick boxing structures, it is nowhere near that of a professional boxer. Taekwondo does use fast, and energetic kicks, but in terms of full contact sparring they will often dim down their training exercise so they can avoid any form of extensive injuries. Even though taekwondo has been watered down because of its status as an Olympic sport, it does still have a high level of flexibility, and if any athlete that trains in taekwondo learns the techniques, and puts in their own grueling strength and conditioning workouts, then their system of Martial Arts can be highly effective inside the ring, or the cage.
STRIKING PRESENCE IN MMA
In Mixed Martial Arts striking plays a pivotal role in many athlete's game styles. No matter what discipline of Martial Arts an athlete is, whether they are a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter, a Judo practitioner, or a high level Wrestler, they all need striking capabilities before they enter the cage. Of course this is the same for a striker, as they will commonly need grappling, and wrestling skills before heading into an MMA fight, but for a grappler, or a wrestler that has no striking ability, they are in real danger of being knocked out, or sustaining serious injuries. Learning to become a striker takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, and finesse, and adding these skills into a Mixed Martial Artists repertoire is critical.
All of the best UFC fighters that have ever come into the octagon have brandished a clinical, and ferocious style of striking Martial Arts. Some of the most successful fighters of all time like Chuck Lidell, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Jon Jones, George St Pierre, Anderson Silva, Daniel Cormier, Mirko CroCop, and Connor McGregor have all utilised a clinical, and definitive style of striking Martial Arts to reach higher levels of Mixed Martial Arts stardom. Becoming a good striker in the octagon is only half of the battle, as all of these athletes need to have extensive skills in takedown defense, and this is because predominantly strikers will want to stay on their feet. This is why takedown defense is critical to the success of an athlete's striking capabilities inside of the cage.
WHO WINS BETWEEN TAEKWONDO AND BOXING
Both of these styles of combat are formidable versions of striking, and weighing up a punching Martial Art versus a kicking Martial Art can be tricky at the best of times. A fight between these two Martial Arts is similar to boxing vs kung fu, and this is because kung fu utilises similar functions to taekwondo. A taekwondo fighter has an advantage with their long range attacks, and their highly energetic form of head kicks, and spinning kicks they can utilise. If a taekwondo fighter can stay out of range from a boxer, and execute their technical striking without hesitation, then they are highly capable of landing a finishing blow to the mid section, or to the head of their opponents. Any form of kick boxing Martial Arts is extremely useful, and can be a highly effective method in winning fights.
In boxing speed vs power is a considerable measuring tool, and this art is all about closing the distance, and using circular motions to execute higher ranges of punching capabilities. Because a boxer uses good head movement, and good weight distribution changes, then they have an extremely successful chance of landing knock out punches on a taekwondo fighter. It can be harder to stay out of range, than it is to close in on the range, which gives a boxer a definitive advantage against a taekwondo fighter. Boxers are also notoriously fit with high levels of strength and conditioning, that goes along with their Martial Art. A boxer also has an extremely high resilience, which also makes them hard to hit, and hard to knock out. So in terms of who would win this battle, a boxer would take the win on more occasions than a taekwondo fighter.
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