In your opinion what are the advantages and disadvantages of Isshin-ryu karate as compared to Taekwondo?
Isshin-ryu is one of the Okinawan karate styles and is similar to other traditional karate styles:
- Hard, linear style.
- Stresses hand techniques.
- Basic punch uses a vertical fist.
- Kicks are usually to the middle section and uses a snapping motion.
- Uses standard karate katas that stress hand techniques.
- Uses some ground techniques.
- Uses point free-sparring but it is not stressed.
- Uses weapon katas.
- Uses small motion, precise, quick, complicated hand movements.
- Uses simple footwork.
- Uses traditional karate concepts and stresses traditional karate etiquette and procedures.
- While not immensely popular, it is widely practiced.
- Not an Olympic sport.
Taekwondo is one of the Korean karate styles. Since its roots were in Shotokan karate, it is similar to traditional karate styles with some differences:
- Hard, linear style.
- Sport version stresses foot techniques; traditional version stresses hand and foot techniques.
- Basic punch uses a horizontal fist.
- Uses high kicks and a thrusting motion.
- Uses various pattern sets, some of which use standard karate katas.
- Uses little if any ground techniques.
- Stresses free-sparring; traditional version uses non-contact free-sparring while sport version uses full-contact.
- Rarely uses weapons or weapon patterns.
- Uses large motion, powerful, simple hand movements.
- Uses complicated footwork.
- More modern in its concepts with less stress on traditional karate etiquette and procedures, especially in the sport version.
- The most popular and widely practiced style in the world.
- Sport version an Olympic sport
Both styles use widely accepted techniques and concepts, not some weird, secret, mystic techniques and concepts in which only a few gullible people believe. Both styles are suitable for all ages and genders and do not have any religious connection. A basic difference between the two is that Isshin-ryu uses strict traditional values and methods and is more a way of life, while Taekwondo is uses modern training concepts and is more of a sport, especially the sport version.
Which style you choose a personal choice, depending on what is available where you live, how much importance you place on sparring, whether you prefer precise, complicated techniques with little movement or simple, powerful techniques with lots of movement, or whether or not you have Olympic aspirations. If you are interested in a traditional combat martial art that places stress on the “art” and concentrates more on self-defense techniques, choose Isshin-ryu. If you interested in a modern combat sport that may be used for self-defense, choose Taekwondo.