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Boxing, Karate, Martial Arts, and Taekwondo Gears Available Online on Sportsuncle

Combat sports are competitive sports that often involve one on one combat or fights. In combat sports, competitors get physical with each other and whoever is able to take the other party to the ground and hold them down wins.

Types of combat sports include boxing, karate, martial arts and taekwondo. Although these are all combat sports, each sport has its unique differences in rules, uniforms, techniques and settings. 

If you are physically fit and would like to join combat sports, it is important that you understand these differences in order to properly consider them before making a choice. Below is more information on each sport, their uniforms and 7 of their unique differences. 


Boxing is a combat sport that takes place between two people throwing their fists at each other with boxing gloves for a fixed period of time in a boxing ring. Read our article Top 10 Benefits of Boxing Workout.


Karate is a combat sport often between two people which involves using all parts of the body to attack the opponent. Karate is a striking act using knee strikes, kicks, punching and elbow strikes to win over your opponent. 

Martial Arts

Martial Arts involve displaying some techniques and skills which are used to win over an opponent in combat. Martial arts are relatively safer than other combat sports.


Taekwondo is a kind of fighting that involves mostly kicks such as head-high kicks, spinning kicks, jumping kicks and other kicking techniques.

Differences in Boxing, Karate and Martial Arts

1.       Technique
Despite the similarities of each sport, each of these combat sports has unique differences in their techniques. 
-        For boxing, the techniques include stance, punching and defence. 
-        In Karate the techniques are sparring and form.
-        Martial art techniques include kicks, grappling and self-defence. 
-        In Taekwondo, the techniques are divided into three: the scoring technique (kicks to the hogu), the permitted but not scoring techniques (kicks to the arm), and the non-permitted techniques (kicks below the waist).  

2.      Origin:

The four combat sports have different origins. 
-        The origin of boxing began in Minoan Crete in 1500-1400 BC. In an old illustration of boxing taken during that period, the boxers could be seen wearing boxing gloves, hence the sport was well-developed at the time.
-        Karate was developed in the Ryukyu kingdom in during the early 20th century.
-        Martial arts originated in Asia with no specific timestamp to it. The art was introduced in Europe in 1550. 
-        Taekwondo originated in Korea and was developed during the 1940s to 1950s. 

3.      Uniforms:

Each of the combat sports has unique uniforms which are suitable for the sports. 
-        The uniform used for both Karate and Martial Arts is called the karategi. The karategi is a loose ensemble of shirt and pants which is used for Martial Arts. Most of the time this ensemble is in white but there are also other colors such as black and blue. 
-        In boxing, there is no fixed uniform. All boxers need to wear are free boxing pants, tanks, headgears and boxing gloves.
-        A taekwondo uniform is called a dobok. It consists of a loose, plain white, V-necked shirt and pants with elastic waists. 

4.      Rules:

Each sport has its specific rules which are to be followed during play. 
-        In boxing, the boxers are not allowed to take jabs at opponents beneath the belt nor to bite, pinch or take off gloves to harm other players. Points are scored based on how many times a player is knocked to the ground.
-        Unlike boxing, karate gives opponents access to attack other players in any body part with the use of specific techniques. 
-        In Taekwondo, the common point scoring system is 1 point for a kick to the Hogu, 2 points for a turning behind the kick, 3 points for a back kick and 4 points for a spinning head kick. 
-        In Martial Arts, points are awarded based on how impressed the judges are with the contestant’s techniques.

5.      Time Frame:

Each sport has different time frames and rounds for playing. 
-        In boxing, a match consists of a predetermined number of matches from 9-12, with 3 minutes for each round.
-        In taekwondo, each match consists of three rounds with 2 minutes for each. 
-        In Karate competitions, there 2 minutes for sparring and three minutes for form. 

6.      Equipment:

For the sports to be properly played, there is certain equipment that must be available. 
-        Equipment in boxing includes headgear, groin protectors, hand wraps and boxing gloves. Boxing gloves can be lace-ups or Velcro gloves which come in two types of padding. The horsehair padding and the foam padding. The bag gloves are made with features for a punching bag, the sparring gloves are made for boxing practice and the competition gloves are designed for boxing competitions. 
-        Equipment in karate includes karate gloves, shin guards, karate uniforms, karate sticks, elbow guards and chest guards. A karate glove covers most of the hand but leaves the fingers open for grappling. For fights, professionals wear 4-ounce gloves and for sparring, the wear 7-ounce gloves with a 7oz padding weight. 
-        Equipment in taekwondo includes a hogu, headgear, protective gloves and shin guards. Taekwondo gloves are similar to karate gloves which offer fist and palm protection but leave the fingers open.
-        The Martial Arts equipment includes a wrist roller, gripping jars, forearm pads and so on. 

7.       Safety
Combat games are not as safe as other sports such as football, tennis and basketball. In all combat games, both contestants physically attack each other in order to emerge as the winner. Some rules and equipment are given to players in order to keep them as safe as possible during the matches but this does not mean they can finish competitions without getting injured.
-        In boxing, boxing gloves are most fundamental for safety to protect your hands and also to protect your head and face. Mouthpieces, soft sole shoes and headgears are also important for safety.
-        For safety in Taekwondo, safety pad-ups are important such as headgear, mouth guards and groin guards for men. 
-        In karate, physical examinations are important. Headgears, chest protectors, shin guards, hand guards and foot guards are also very necessary for safety.
-        Safety measures in martial arts involve wearing mouthguards and ensuring a person with an existing illness does not get into tough competitions.