Welcome to the second part of our blog series about different martial arts styles! In our last post, we broke down Taekwondo, Jiu-Jitsu, and Krav Maga to examine the various differences that set these martial arts apart.

In this blog post, we will continue our analysis with some more popular martial arts styles that are practiced worldwide. At Thrive Martial Arts, we teach Taekwondo to people in the Fort Collins and Windsor areas, but we have a deep respect for other disciplines. There is something to learn from every form of martial arts! Let’s take a look at the things you can learn from other disciplines.

Kung Fu

Kung Fu is an interesting one because it doesn’t describe one martial arts style so much as it describes an entire variety of Chinese fighting styles. In fact, the term “Kung Fu” doesn’t technically refer to martial arts at all — it can actually refer to any discipline that has been mastered through tremendous amounts of practice and study.

Of course, like many words, Kung Fu started to become associated with one thing so much that it eventually transformed into the definitive word, and in today’s age, everyone knows Kung Fu as the Chinese fighting style, popularized in the west by famous figures such as Bruce Lee.

Today, you don’t have to search hard to find Kung Fu dojos. However, they might not be consistent in what type of Kung Fu is taught. They will undoubtedly share similarities, but there are so many styles and nuances in Kung Fu that you’re unlikely to get an identical experience from dojo to dojo.


When talking about Karate, in the west, you often have to distinguish whether you’re talking about Karate the martial arts discipline, or Karate as a catch-all term that refers to martial arts in general. While Karate is, in fact, its own style of self-defense, it became so popular in the west that it has become synonymous with martial arts in general, which is one reason why many Taekwondo dojos such as ours are often referred to as Karate studios.

Karate originated in Japan during a time where weapons were invaded, and people eventually mastered the art of unarmed combat.

Karate shares a lot of similarities to Taekwondo, which is another reason why the two are also associated with each other. Like Taekwondo, it’s a fairly well-rounded discipline that puts emphasis on kicks, punches, and blocks, and it is also focused on self-defense.

Unlike Taekwondo, Karate is more strike oriented. Despite the fact that there are a lot of kicks, you’ll be using your palm and fist more often in Karate, and it’s designed around quick and powerful blows. Taekwondo, on the other hand, generally favors kicks.


Did you know that it’s possible in these modern days to be trained in the ways of the ninja? That’s right, Ninjutsu, for all intents and purposes, is a Japanese martial arts style that dates all the way back to the sixth century, originating with shinobi warriors — more commonly known in the modern lexicon as ninjas.

Before you get too excited, it’s important to note that many of the perceptions we have about ninjas are mostly modern day concoctions. Much like pirates, the real ninjas of history were quite different than what we see in TV shows and movies, so if you’re expecting to learn how to run up walls and throw ninja stars while doing flashy backflips, you might want to dial back your expectations.

Unlike martial arts such as Taekwondo and Karate, Ninjutsu doesn’t have a singular governing body or official organization. In fact, many Ninjutsu schools claim that they are the sole heirs of the “true” technique. Much like Kung Fu, the nature of Ninjutsu will vary from dojo to dojo, but most of the core concepts will be the same.

In terms of self-defense, Ninjutsu is mostly based around the principles of the Japanese method of self-defense referred to as Taijutsu, which is all about unarmed combat that’s focused on defensive counterattacks. While Ninjutsu isn’t the most ubiquitous martial art out there, it’s certainly one of the most interesting!

Colorado Taekwondo Lessons

We love learning about all styles of martial arts because there is wisdom in each one, and it’s interesting to see how each discipline was formed. Taekwondo is by far one of the most popular and well-known martial arts styles, and we are happy to teach it to our students in our Windsor and Fort Collins locations.

Are you unsure whether martial arts are right for you? Try signing up for our free trial! Taekwondo has a variety of physical and mental health benefits, and we hope you’ll give it a try. Contact us today!