There are a lot of fighting styles around the world today. Some of these include karate, judo, krav maga, and many others. The two that we’re going to focus on today are MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and Taekwondo.
We’ll start by looking at each discipline on its own. Then, we’ll compare the two and see which one is better.
What Is Taekwondo?
Taekwondo is a Korean fighting method that uses a lot of kicks. It’s a very foot-heavy offensive style that only allows a few hand strikes.
The origins of modern Taekwondo date back to 1959. A group of Korean martial artist experts made the rules. They worked together to combine all the different Korean fighting styles into one. They called it Taekwondo, which in English means “The Foot and Fist Way.”
The problem with this plan is that the experts didn’t always agree or get along. In 1966, the fighting style split as a result of these disagreements.
World Taekwondo is the most popular form of the sport. The name was World Taekwondo Federation until 2018. This is the version of the sport that Olympic fighters use in competition.
It first appeared during the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, as a demonstration sport. A demonstration sport isn’t an official Olympic sport yet, though. It’s only there as a trial or a test, to see if it should become official later on.
In 2000, Taekwondo became a true Olympic sport. This happened during the Summer Games in Sydney, Australia. It has been an official sport every four years since then.
The winner of an Olympic Taekwondo match is the person with the most points. Spinning kicks and kicks to the head are worth more points than body kicks. Punches to the head are not allowed, only to the chest protector.
What Is MMA?
Another style of fighting is MMA, or Mixed Martial Arts. It combines punches, kicks, mat wrestling, boxing, submission holds, and many other techniques. It is often considered “anything goes,” although there are some moves that are not allowed.
The history of MMA goes back to Ancient Greece. From a young age, children trained in every discipline. MMA also combines techniques and concepts from every other martial art. That is why Mixed Martial Arts can trace its roots back thousands of years.
The sport has grown in popularity a lot since the first UFC event took place in 1993. Stars like Conor McGregor have crossed over into boxing. Ronda Rousey went from UFC to professional wrestling in the WWE. Since MMA is made up of many kinds of martial arts, its techniques can be used in a lot of different areas.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the most well-known MMA company. They take in billions of dollars worth of revenue every year. Former baseball star Alexander Rodriguez owns part of the Professional Fighter’s League.
MMA is not part of the modern Olympics at this time. Some people want to see it there one day and it may happen. The biggest obstacle is MMA relies on knockouts and submissions. If there were a more clear scoring system, it could become an official Olympic sport someday.
In the Ancient Olympics in 648 BC, an event combined Greco-Roman wrestling with boxing. This is considered one of the earliest types of MMA competition. It was called Pankration, which means “all powers.”
The name Martial Arts comes from Latin and means “Art of Mars.” Mars was the Roman god of war and was called Ares in Greece. It is also associated with the phrase “kill or be killed.”
This is why it is strongly rooted in self-defense techniques. MMA can be a brutal sport that can cause serious injury to both fighters. People have also been injured when they’re just practicing or sparring.
What Are The Differences Between MMA And Taekwondo?
The biggest difference is that Taekwondo is 90% about kicks, with a few punches, too. MMA combines punches, kicks, wrestling holds, and many other techniques.
Another major difference is the equipment used by each one. Taekwondo fighters wear head guards, shin guards, and forearm guards. They also wear protective vests and very thin gloves. All MMA fighters wear shorts and the ladies wear t-shirts. Fighters of both genders use four-ounce fingerless gloves, and mouth/groin protectors.
The third main difference is the rules used in each discipline. Taekwondo doesn’t allow kicks to the head, leg punches, wrestling, or other types of moves. MMA allows fighters to use a wider variety of disciplines and techniques. The only banned moves in UFC are ones that could cause a serious injury. These include 12-6 elbow strikes, headbutts, eye-gouging, eye-poking, and other moves like that.
The philosophies behind each technique are also very different. Taekwondo has a set curriculum, which means it’s taught the same way at every dojo. It also abides by the five key tenets of the sport. These are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. MMA is very different in this respect. Training can change a lot depending on which school a fighter uses.
MMA is also about more than just fighting. Sometimes, new MMA fighters can lose sight of this fact. They put more emphasis on the “martial” instead of the “arts.”
Georges Saint-Pierre, one of the greatest UFC fighters, has a legendary quote about MMA. All users should keep this in mind: “There is a difference between a fighter and a martial artist. A fighter is training for a purpose: He has a fight. I’m a martial artist.
“I don’t train for a fight. I train for myself. I’m training all the time. My goal is perfection. But I will never reach perfection.”
MMA Vs Taekwondo – Which Is Better For Self-Defense?
This can be a very difficult question to answer. The techniques are very different, making them hard to compare. That being said, MMA is almost always better than Taekwondo.
Of the two, MMA is much better for self-defense. Mixed martial arts uses a lot of different strategies. These strategies can catch the opponent off-guard. This works especially well when the opponent is untrained.
Taekwondo is more about style and technique. Your opponent will not fight with honor or uphold the five tenets. The kicks used in the sport are very dangerous. These kicks require two fighters to be close. In a street fight, it might be unwise to get that close to your opponent. Also, a roundhouse kick gives too much time for the other fighter to counter.
This is not to say that Taekwondo is not important or good. Its kicking techniques can be very useful to an MMA fighter. MMA experts recommend users learn Taekwondo as a base. MMA uses a much wider variety of techniques, which makes it more useful.
Which MMA Fighters Use Taekwondo?
A lot of UFC fighters and champions use Taekwondo as a starting point. Anderson Silva, one of the greatest champions in UFC history, used it in every fight. Anthony Pettis, another champ, also used it in fights. Add Bas Ruten and Benson Henderson to that list as well.
All of these fighters, and others, had black belts in Taekwondo before joining UFC. Every UFC fighter uses one discipline as a base. Some use boxing, some use Taekwondo and others use wrestling.
Yair Rodriguez is probably the most famous example of a fighter who uses a lot of kicks. He uses several martial arts forms, but Taekwondo is probably the most important.
Who Would Win In A Fight? MMA Or Taekwondo
This is an easy question to answer based on what we’ve discussed. Even the worst MMA fighter has a great chance of beating the average Taekwondo user. Again, this is not an insult against Taekwondo. MMA just uses more techniques and is not as easy to protect against.
Taekwondo users are not trained to defend punches, takedowns, or submissions. Focusing defense on the legs opens up the body and head to attacks. Many YouTube videos show the results of these fights. The MMA fighter wins every single time.
Should You Learn MMA Or Taekwondo?
Only you can know the answer to this question. It depends on what you want to accomplish. Taekwondo is an awesome discipline and can be very important. It teaches users a lot of valuable physical and mental lessons. Unfortunately, it is very much a simulated fight.
Here’s an easy way to think about it. Pro wrestling can look very cool and has a lot of dedicated fans. It makes a great career for people who like it. That said, it is not great for street fights. We do not recommend using The People’s Elbow (one of the most popular wrestling moves) in a real fight.
It might be a good idea to learn Taekwondo first, while you’re still young. Then, you can transition to MMA. This will provide you with a great base for your offense. It also reduces wear and tear on your body. Even just training for MMA fights can be damaging to a fighter’s body.
Recap and Conclusion
We have now looked at some of the biggest differences between Taekwondo and MMA. They use different techniques and have different rules. They use different equipment and different strategies. One has been around for over 50 years; the other has been around since Ancient Greece.
Both are good fighting techniques when used properly. They both can be very useful, depending on the circumstances. Both are good for exercise. Both can be fun and fulfilling to learn.
We can conclude that overall MMA is better than Taekwondo. This is not to say that Taekwondo is useless or bad, though. MMA is more useful in a real fight and has more uses overall.