Aikido Vs Taekwondo: Ultimate Comparison

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Aikido and Taekwondo are two popular martial arts practices that have been around for many years. Though both of them have the ultimate goal of teaching self-defense tactics, they are vastly different from each other. In this article, we will explore the differences between Aikido and Taekwondo and provide insight into their respective techniques, philosophies, histories, and benefits.


What is Aikido?

Aikido is a Japanese martial art created by Morihei Ueshiba in the early 20th century. It mainly focuses on using the energy and momentum of the attacker, redirecting it, and using it to take down the opponent. Aikido does not use any strikes or kicks to incapacitate the opponent, but rather uses joint locks, throws, and pins. The philosophy of Aikido is to use minimal force to stop an attacker without inflicting any significant injuries.


What is Taekwondo?

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that primarily focuses on striking the opponent with various kicks and punches. It is an Olympic sport and is popular for its high-flying kicks. Taekwondo consists of drills that improve speed, power, and precision in techniques. The philosophy of Taekwondo emphasizes self-discipline, respect, and self-control.



Aikido and Taekwondo are both martial arts that have distinct styles and techniques. Here are some key differences between the two in terms of their techniques:

  1. Principles and Philosophy:
    • Aikido: Aikido is a Japanese martial art that focuses on using an opponent’s energy and movements against them. It emphasizes blending and redirecting attacks rather than meeting force with force. The techniques in Aikido are based on circular motions and joint locks.
    • Taekwondo: Taekwondo is a Korean martial art known for its dynamic kicks and fast-paced techniques. It emphasizes speed, agility, and power. Taekwondo practitioners focus on striking techniques, including kicks, punches, and knee strikes.
  2. Striking Techniques:
    • Aikido: Aikido techniques primarily involve joint locks, throws, and immobilizations. While there are some strikes in Aikido, they are often used to set up joint locks or control an opponent’s balance rather than as primary offensive techniques.
    • Taekwondo: Taekwondo places a strong emphasis on kicks. It includes a wide variety of kicks, including front kicks, side kicks, roundhouse kicks, spinning kicks, and jumping kicks. Taekwondo practitioners also use punches, strikes, and knee strikes as part of their offensive repertoire.
  3. Grappling and Ground Techniques:
    • Aikido: Aikido incorporates grappling and ground techniques, such as pins and submissions. These techniques are designed to neutralize an opponent’s attacks and control their movements. Joint locks and throws are common in Aikido, allowing practitioners to control and subdue their opponents.
    • Taekwondo: Taekwondo generally does not focus extensively on grappling or ground techniques. While there may be some basic self-defense maneuvers, the art primarily emphasizes standing techniques and strikes.
  4. Competition and Sparring:
    • Aikido: Aikido is not typically practiced in a competitive or sparring context. The training is often cooperative, with practitioners taking turns as the attacker and defender. The emphasis is on understanding the principles of Aikido rather than winning or scoring points.
    • Taekwondo: Taekwondo has a strong emphasis on sport and competition. Sparring is a fundamental aspect of Taekwondo training, where practitioners engage in controlled bouts, aiming to score points by landing kicks and strikes on their opponents. Taekwondo competitions are held at various levels, including local, national, and international tournaments.



Aikido and Taekwondo also differ in their philosophies. Aikido emphasizes peaceful conflict resolution by using techniques that aim to subdue the opponent without harming or killing them. In other words, the philosophy of Aikido is to redirect and neutralize the attacker’s energy and not use violence.

Taekwondo, on the other hand, highlights the importance of self-discipline, respect for others, and self-control. It is more about defending oneself and overpowering the attacker.



Another significant difference between Aikido and Taekwondo is their history. Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba in the early 20th century in Japan. He was a skilled martial artist who was influenced by shinto, along with other religious beliefs that emphasized the importance of harmony and peace.

Taekwondo, on the contrary, has a shorter history. It was primarily developed in the 1940s and 50s in Korea, after the end of Japanese colonialism. Taekwondo was promoted as a national sport in Korea in the 1950s, and it soon gained international recognition as an Olympic sport.



Both Aikido and Taekwondo offer physical, mental, and emotional benefits to their practitioners. Aikido is an excellent martial art for individuals looking for a non-violent method of self-defense. It helps improve flexibility, balance, and coordination, along with developing self-awareness and mindfulness.

Taekwondo is a high-intensity martial art that is excellent for conditioning the body, improving stamina, strength, and speed. It also helps in developing self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-discipline by emphasizing respect and courtesy towards fellow practitioners.



In conclusion, Aikido and Taekwondo are two distinct martial arts practices that have their respective techniques, philosophies, histories, and benefits. While Aikido emphasizes energy redirection and neutralizing the opponent, Taekwondo focuses on devastating strikes and kicks aimed at overpowering and taking down the attacker. Both martial arts offer physical, mental, emotional benefits and can be a great way to improve one’s physical and mental well-being. Ultimately, the choice between Aikido and Taekwondo depends on individual preference, temperament, and fitness goals.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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