Very few karate trainers will admit that Chinese martial arts inspired their fighting style. Karate is a fighting technique derived from Ryukyuan martial arts with a significant influence from Chinese fighting arts, especially Fujian White Crane.
A remarkable difference between modern day karate and almost all Kung Fu techniques is the lack of individual elements in karate. Japanese people had Katana and Bushido where Chinese people had Kung Fu and a plethora of styles and techniques that were developed to kill an enemy. The significant difference between Kung Fu and karate is the goal of both martial art styles.
People learn Kung Fu for sport or personal satisfaction, but this martial arts style still kept the weapon, throwing and grappling techniques in the learning process. On the other hand, there is karate, a purely hand-to-hand martial arts technique that focuses on punching and kicking. Westernization of this fighting style also excluded knee and elbow strikes, which was also a connection between Chinese and Japanese martial arts schools.
Karate is created to be a purely competitive fighting sport, and thus weapon training isn’t part of it. Grappling and throwing is non-existent in karate and it is against the rules on tournaments to grab the enemy and try to limit their movements. So, comparing karate and Kung Fu is useless as the differences between them mean that they don’t fall in the same group of martial arts.
Equipment used in karate practices and bouts
Competitors in karate tournaments carry a lot of equipment that protects them from sustaining injuries. A karate fighter can be a part of multiple fights in a day so the protective equipment is there to prevent any form of harm that might render them incapable of fighting in the next round.
All of the karate equipment is specially created to absorb the power of the blow and protect the wearer from any effects of the same. The body armor has extremely high shock absorbency rate while gloves, shin guards and other pieces of equipment have low absorbency rate but a slightly better protection from bruises and other types of damage.
Many people choose to train Kung Fu instead of karate because they consider it as a style that has more diversity. Some also do that because they saw several Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies.
And indeed, Kung Fu has more diversity when it comes to some movies over karate because there are dozens of Kung Fu fighting styles. But that isn’t the only reason why many prefer this fighting technique. Another reason for this is the use of various weapons in Kung Fu, and that is something that is non-existent in karate.
Training equipment every Kung Fu student should use
You have noticed Wooden Dummies in every major movie that features Kung Fu or other similar fighting techniques. The most known are the Wing Chun Dummies, and they have three arms, a leg and the body without any additions that are used as cushions. Other types of dummies have a different layout of arms and legs, and it all depends on the style the individual trains.
Many compare boxing bag and wooden models, and that is a mistake as they aren’t used in the same way. There isn’t anything wrong with using boxing bag in Kung Fu training sessions as it is used for attacking exercises. But, if you want to master a Kung Fu technique then you will have to use a wooden dummy. This piece of equipment is excellent for both striking and defense training that can be done at the same time. That is the point of a wooden dummy, to allow the individual to attack and defend at the same time.
Iron skills and Chi Na techniques
A serious Kung Fu student should try to master at least one of the Iron Skills. Some core competencies out of this group are Iron Body, Shaolin Iron Palm, and Tiger Iron Palm. These skills exist so an individual could strengthen certain parts of their body or the whole body in the case of Iron Body. Equipment that Kung Fu students use for the acquirement of these skills includes Bags created specifically for individual Iron Skills. They can also be made in a shed, but that increases the chance of injury.
Chi Na techniques in Kung Fu and other martial arts serve to lock an opponent and control them. Equipment used for training of these techniques includes conical stones and grip bags. Brass forearm rings are also tools that can be utilized by they are quite hard to obtain.
Gloves represent a significant part of the equipment in the combative sports. They are crucial for both the training and matches. They are there to reduce the damage the fighter takes while punching the opponent.
Gloves aren’t created to reduce the damage one person does to another, but they do soften the blows and thus limit the damage that is done in a short-term fashion. But evidence shows that when it comes to long-term harm, gloves increase it as they force the fighter to increase the number of punches that are necessary to take down the opponent.
Boxing gloves- where it all started
Gloves were first introduced into boxing to prolong fights and protect wearers’ knuckles from sustaining injuries during bouts and practice. This piece of equipment act as cushions that reduces the impact through dissipation of the force that is created during the punch. The primary issue that many people address when it comes to boxing gloves is that they allow for more powerful punches without any risk of damaging the hand that delivers the punch.
Boxing gloves do an excellent job in preventing facial injuries as the force of the blow is cushioned and spread over the bigger surface. The issue with this is the increase in the number of punches that fighters used to defeat their opponents. This increased the number of boxers that suffered brain damage and other long-term injuries.
MMA gloves – Versatility over power
Unlike boxing, MMA gloves are small and have openings for fingers which allow for grabbing, which makes a large part of MMA fighting. These gloves are used in all types of mixed martial art fights where fighters can use a broad array of fighting styles to take down their opponents.
The first time these gloves went into use was in Japan at the Shooto promotion. UFC saw how those gloves were useful and they adopted them into all of their promotions. The use of these gloves causes more injuries to fighters, but this is only limited to short-term injuries. The lack of cushioning in the MMA gloves means that the fights are shorter as enemies get easily knocked out by direct punches to the head.