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.