The main difference between Tai Chi vs Karate is the origin. Tai Chi is Chinese, while Karate’s origin is Japan.

Tai Chi is not entirely a martial art.

Most people use it for body exercises since the rhythmic movements stabilises the body and maintain the body shape.

On the other hand, Karate is straight martial arts as its focus is kicking, punching and striking.

DISCLOSURE: is reader supported so if you buy any products featured on this site I may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my full disclosure here.

Understanding Tai Chi

My first encounter with Tai chi was in the early 2000s, just before joining college.

The main reason for joining was self-esteem. I was a soft girl who people could toy with, and I needed to toughen up.

Although the first days were hectic, I braved the storm and completed the beginner’s course.

My focus was the martial arts, but I came out more tolerant, disciplined, and attentive.

However, it didn’t stop me from disciplining some bullies in college.

The Beauty of Tai Chi

The inner concentration brings internal and external calmness that heals mental problems.

Every problem we encounter in life affects our thinking, and such relaxing sessions solves the problem.

The movements are slow and steady, which strengthens the body.

When practising Tai Chi, I mostly rely on my feet for stability, which toughens the leg muscles.

As a form of martial art, Tai Chi develops the whole body.

Comparing it with other martial arts, the strength in a Tai Chi kick is notable.

Limitations of Tai Chi over Karate

You need space and time to practise to practice Tai Chi. The movements are random but calculated, which needs space.

I started purposely for martial arts but ended up into other activities.

It is therefore non-competitive, especially for those who need to keep up their self-esteem.


As opposed to Tai Chi, Karate is modern and engaging.

When joining in, you learn more about self-defence and hitting techniques from the get-go.

The Japanese came up with this hard-hitting martial art as a form of self-defence by incapacitating your opponent.

It has some Kung Fu influence and also incorporates the use of hand weapons.

It has some similarities to Tai Chi, especially on hard-hitting. You use hands, legs and elbows when striking.

Karate Pros

Despite being predominantly a martial art sport, Karate improves your physical and mental strength.

Your judgment and discipline improve significantly.

For those of us who were previously shy, Karate boosts our self-esteem.

Our confidence level shoots up and can engage any person, especially when push comes to shove.

Karate is among the best forms of self-defence. It teaches you how to incapacitate your opponent quickly.

Which is better; Karate and Tai Chi?

Both are martial arts and have the same learning process.

However, their philosophies and reasoning vary.

The Chinese have a distinct way of life, thanks to their traditional social setting. Japanese also have unique social solutions, evident in their way of life.

So, Karate or Tai Chi?

If I have to choose between Karate and Tai Chi, I’ll go with Tai Chi. Tai Chi centres on body and mind wellness and incorporates martial arts at the tail end.

Karate’s primary focus is self-defence. Although it has traces of mind tutoring, its depth is inferior compared to Tai Chi.

Categorized in: