Choosing one martial art over the other is one of the hardest things you can do. Numerous martial arts are still available around the world, but some have survived centuries, like Taekwondo and Capoeira. While they might be very different, people do want to know if Capoeira is better than Taekwondo or the other way around.
Is Capoeira better than Taekwondo? Stating that one is better than the other is not that easy, as these two fighting styles have vastly different techniques and origins. Capoeira is focused on rhythmic dancing and does plenty of work from the crouching position. Alternatively, Taekwondo is mostly kicking-based, with a focus on high kicks and stability.
Is it important that we look at some of the similarities and differences between these two sports before saying one is better than the other?
Having seen both in action and the popularity of them in the MMA world, we should look at what sets them apart and what makes them similar to one another on the fighting field.
If you are interested in learning Capoeira, I encourage you to read this article, where I share tips to get better at Capoeira and whether capoeira is hard to learn or not.
Capoeira Vs. Taekwondo: 5 Key Differences Explained
We must start looking at some of the differences first to help you understand how vastly different these two fighting techniques are from one another.
We will break down some of the essential differences between each and help you find out which one is best.
1- Place Of Origin
Capoeira is much older than Taekwondo and comes from the southern tip of the Americas. The martial art was founded in the 16th Century by slaves coming to Brazil from Africa (Source: britannica.com)
Most notably, these slaves came from Angola in Africa. Taekwondo started much later in the 20th Century throughout the Second World War and consisted of three distinct martial art ideas from Japan, China, and Korea (Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI))
While Taekwondo mostly remains the same throughout its inception, Capoeira is constantly evolving and becoming much more complicated and unique. Nowadays, it borrows plenty of techniques from various martial arts, which helps the sport evolve. It is also one of the popular fighting styles used for MMA.
2- Different Fighting Positions
Capoeira is a diverse fighting style that often uses different crouching positions and allows the performer to move up and down from the ground. The focus is to be in constant motion and move with the rhythm of the music often played. It is also performed in a circular motion, which includes numerous other performers.
In Taekwondo, the fighting position does not include fighting from the ground. In fact, Taekwondo is much more stationary than Capoeira in the sense that you would need to stand up and move around while waiting for your opponent to make a move.
Taekwondo can be summed up as being more direct and linear when compared to Capoeira, which is more flowing.
3- Practicing Styles
Much like any form of martial arts, both of these do require constant practice. It can take individuals years to finally reach a point when they are fully skilled and comfortable with the fighting style or technique.
Capoeira is not as dangerous when it comes to practicing. The main purpose of the fighting style is to outwit your opponent with a combination of fighting and dancing movements. In fact, many people doing Capoeira might find situations when they barely touch one another and see a flowing movement, which almost resembles a dance-off.
Taekwondo is slightly more linear and involves similar training to what you would see in Karate and BJJ. These stationary training styles could be painful, and you often have sparring, which also brings people into direct contact with one another.
You will certainly have a few bruises when it comes to performing Taekwondo.
4- How Do Capoeira And Taekwondo Compare To Other Fighting Styles?
Capoeira is one of the unique fighting styles, and many might disagree, but unless you are one of the highly trained practitioners, you might not be able to do much damage to the average kickboxer or even boxer.
Due to their defensive techniques, it is much easier for these various sports to block the movements. However, an advanced practitioner might be able to outwit other martial artists.
Taekwondo would be able to get something done against kickboxers. When trained to the maximum level, martial artists would learn patience, allowing them to wait for the perfect striking opportunity. However, when fighting against something like Muay Thai, the Taekwondo practitioner could find it hard to rely only on the kicks.
In essence, both these fighting styles would be great for the defensive aspect, with Taekwondo focusing heavily on attacking kicks. The downside is that both Capoeira And Taekwondo would lack some balance, which combines using the hands and feet to strike or defend.
Finally, we should look at the purpose of both these fighting styles, and the one thing you would notice is that Capoeira is not as aggressive as Taekwondo. Capoeira is often used for festivals and to entertain many onlookers when it comes to celebrating major events. Yes, it is still dangerous, but the purpose of the fighting style is to have fun.
On the other hand, Taekwondo is more driven toward fighting and attacking. Martial arts like Judo and even Krav Maga are designed as defensive fighting styles. However, Taekwondo is more aggressive and often involves striking first. Since kicks are the predominant method of fighting, it would be one of the better options for attacking and keeping your distance.
You might also enjoy reading: Is Capoeira Effective In MMA? (Yes, and here’s why!)
Which One Is Better For Self-Defense: Taekwondo Vs. Capoeira?
When it comes to self-defense, practicing only these two styles might not be sufficient enough to defend yourself against trained fighters in the world of kickboxing and boxing, or even Muay Thai. These fighting styles are more dormant, with the others being more aggressive and extremely dangerous to defend against.
However, Both Capoeira and Taekwondo should be effective when it comes to defending yourself against the average Joe coming from the streets. A trained fighter will always be able to get the upper hand on an untrained fighter, regardless of their chosen fighting style.
I honestly believe none of these two would be my number one choice if self-defense is the main goal. Both of these fighting styles could supplement some of the more severe and aggressive fighting styles Jiu Jitsu or Muay Thai.
The video below shows a fight between capoeira and taekwondo practitioners.
My main reason for why they are ineffective when it comes to street fighting against other trained athletes would be the focus of these styles. Capoeira and Taekwondo primarily focus on kicks that can be interpreted as unrealistic.
Yes, they would work in an ideal world, but when it comes to fighting on the streets, you generally have some wrestling and even close encounters. It is very hard to pull off a roundhouse kick when your opponent keeps staying within three feet.
Which One Should I Choose Between Taekwondo And Capoeira?
Before you make your decision, there are a few important factors that we recommend keeping in mind. We have listed some considerations that would help you determine which fighting styles will be ideal for your needs.
Here are a few of these considerations to keep in mind:
1- Dojo Quality
If you have no passion for one of the other and you need to choose one, you should do some recon work to check the various Dojos around you.
You should speak to some of the practitioners of each and even the teacher to find out how it is going and how the sport is effectively performed. The Dojo quality would affect how quickly you can learn the martial art.
2- Your Personal Goals
If you have rhythm and want to create flowing movements, which include massive flexibility and mobility while performing, you should consider Capoeira. Capoeira is a flowing motion, which often includes music and dancing movement. These acrobatics would be one hell of a workout and often ensure that you improve and change your body significantly.
Taekwondo is more structured, and when you look at something like Karate, you would find that training and even progression through the ranks are very similar. You will be taught some of the moves from a standing position, which would enable you to compete. The sport is also more focused on kicking.
We have briefly touched on the passion aspect, but it is one of the most important factors to keep in mind when choosing.
You need to have a passion for whatever fighting style you choose. It is important to have this passion, as it would be the inspiration driving you when things get tough.
I understand that this might create controversy among many of the practitioners of both martial arts, but choosing the best one is about personal preference.
If you compare Muay Thai to both of these martial arts, it would be a different situation. Let’s continue the debate in the comment section, and I would love to see some of your arguments.