Taekwondo is from Korea, and is generally thought of as a lower-body martial art, with 60% of techniques being kicks and 40% being upper body. Karate, from Japan, is the reverse, with 60% of the techniques being upper body, 40% lower. Taekwondo tends more towards application, in the sport and real life, with streamlined, powerful techniques. Karate is generally flashier, with more flips, deeper stances, and other demonstration techniques. As an Olympic sport, Taekwondo is practiced in over 160 countries and is internationally certified. This means that no matter where you go in the world, you should be able to find a school to continue your training in. This is not necessarily true for Karate, as there is no recognized international system for certification. Overall, they are both martial arts, and if taught by gifted instructors they can change the lives of their students. The important thing is to find a school that matches your goals and values. You can find guidelines for choosing a martial arts studio in our “Shopping Around?” side bar.