This question is about asking views on mentioned objective i.e Pursuing Tae Kwon Do and Kyokushin Karate at same time, hence no research is done prior to asking this question. I wish to pursue Tae Kwon Do and Kyokushin Karate at same time, I like both Martial Arts. So, here are my queries.

1) What physical difficulties may arise from learning both arts at same time ?

2) What are advantages of learning both arts at same time ?

3) Will I be allowed to enroll in respective organisation for both from tournament perspective ?


  • 2
    It's not a good idea. The technical differences between the two will throw you off. There is a high probability the techniques of the two will blend and you will not be able to separate the two in practice. You might actually be better off training two completely different styles if you must train multiple martial arts e.g. Kali and Kyokushin. Otherwise, both of your teachers will yell at you. Mar 10, 2015 at 16:44
  • Okay, I know a very little bit of both. To me they seemed similar style except that Tae Kwon Do is total Kicks and Kyokushin Karate is total body conditioning.
    – user4430
    Mar 10, 2015 at 17:43
  • 2
    They are similar enough that you can get the two confused, but different enough that getting them confused is a problem. If you know what to look for, the kicks of TKD are actually quite different from Kyokushin kicks. A beginner has a high probability of confusing the two. You would stand less of a chance of getting confused if you did, say, TKD and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu because there isn't much technical overlap. Mar 10, 2015 at 17:51
  • What are your opinion about my 3rd question ?
    – user4430
    Mar 10, 2015 at 19:45
  • @TheWudangKid Your comment would make a good answer. Mar 11, 2015 at 12:33

4 Answers 4


I'll second some of the responses here and say that unless you're gifted, you probably won't be able to avoid confusing Kyokushin with Taekwondo. The stances, the techniques, the level of force, what counts as "legal" or "illegal" contact, etc. will all be different enough that it will drive your instructors crazy trying to correct you all the time. You're going to find yourself trying some technique or strategy from the other martial art you're training in, and your instructor will tell you to cut it out.

In some cases, instructors throw students out for training in other martial arts at the same time. I don't agree with that. I think it's silly to essentially ban a student for just trying other martial arts at the same time. The best instructors I've ever encountered have actually encouraged students to go train elsewhere. But that being said, it happens. So you need to ask your prospective instructors how they feel about it before you sign up. Otherwise you might get in trouble later on.

What I recommend is to try a small number of classes in one martial art, then a small number of classes in another martial art. A lot of places give you the first week of classes for free. Or at least you'll get one free introductory class. Then just pick the martial art that you liked the most, and spend all the time you have available on that one martial art. Get good at it. Maybe stay until black belt, which is typically a 4 year endeavor. After that, try other martial arts.

As for advantages to doing multiple martial arts at the same time, it really depends on which martial arts we're talking about. Taking martial arts that are very dissimilar has huge advantages. For example, taking Boxing and Gracie Jiujitsu. Then your brain doesn't get confused, since the techniques and scenarios are so different. And so you can certainly benefit from training in both at the same time, since they cover very different topics.

Also, when you get really good at one martial art, you can add a second martial art fairly easily, without the confusion you would get if you started taking them both at the same time. And this applies to even similar martial arts such as Kyokushin and Taekwondo, or Wrestling and Gracie Jiujitsu. It's because you have gotten so advanced that even the small differences between the two styles seem quite large in your mind. You can instantly see it. It's not confusing.

As for your third question, about tournaments. Yes, let's say you are actively training in both Taekwondo and Kyokushin. You go to a Taekwondo tournament, and you say you're from So-N-So's Taekwondo. No problem. You go to a Kyokushin tournament, and you say you're from Who-Z-Whatsis Kyokushin. No problem. But if you enter an "open" tournament (open to all styles of martial arts), then you have to tell them you're from one, but not both. So register as either Taekwondo or Kyokushin. It doesn't really matter.

I've never seen a tournament that has both a Taekwondo division and a Kyokushin division. But if those exist, then you might be able to register for both divisions at the same time. The only problem you might encounter is if both your Taekwondo and your Kyokushin events are scheduled at the same time. In other words, if there's a time schedule conflict. So you have to pick one or the other at that point. Oh, and you might have to perform a quick change from one gi and belt to another gi and belt. That's because each school has its own uniform, patches, insignias, and belt colors.

One other thing about having rank in multiple styles while entering a tournament: Let's say you have a black belt in Kyokushin karate, and you just started to take Taekwondo. So you have a white belt in Taekwondo. If you then enter a Taekwondo tournament, you will win at sparring in the white belt division, obviously. It's not fair to others. And their instructors will try to have you disqualified, because you're obviously not a novice.

So you might compete in the black belt division for sparring in that case, even though you only have a white belt in Taekwondo. The way you do that is by explaining yourself to your instructor. He or she will then get the tournament officials to agree to it. Your instructor will award you a temporary black belt to wear just for that sparring event. And then he or she will remove it after you're done.

Well it sounds like you're just beginning to figure all of this out. Good for you. I hope you find what you're looking for. Good luck!

  • 1
    I wish I could up vote that answer as correct and suitable to my queries but am lacking reputation points here. Thank You for such detailed opinion.
    – user4430
    Mar 11, 2015 at 8:09

1) What physical difficulties may arise from learning both arts at same time ?

The techniques are different, so you'll confuse your "muscle memory". For instance, TKD's rising block is at a 45 degree angle. Kyukushin has it flat. TKD allows you to punch to the head (not the face though), Kyukushin absolutely does not. You'll be tempted to, which will get you disqualified. Kyukushin teaches a solid, strong stance, TKD teaches fleet-footedness. Learning both at the same time will result in you not being able to do either properly.

2) What are advantages of learning both arts at same time ?

I suggest you start with one (I don't care which) and build a solid foundation first. Then after, say, 2 or 3 years, take up the other one so that you have enough experience to contrast the technical differences in your mind and muscles. The advantage is that you'll learn more techniques and will be able to switch to a totally different fighting style if a fight isn't going your way. WARNING: I once tried to incorporate close-quarters fighting into a TKD fight and got kicked so hard it felt like my face was going to fall off. "different" doesn't always mean "better".

3) Will I be allowed to enroll in respective organisation for both from tournament perspective ?

That's up to the tournament organizers. We were pretty accommodating at TKD South Africa. We had kickboxers, Kyukushin and also WTF (we were ITF) fighters take part in our full contact division. As long as you follow the rules, we didn't care. But that's us, it doesn't mean that other tournaments will be the same. But generally speaking, TKD doesn't care if you also do Kyukushin, as long as on the day, you fight according to TKD rules and have the appropriate belt and membership for the division you're entering.

  • 1
    Thanks for answering taking different aspects into consideration.
    – user4430
    Mar 15, 2015 at 20:49

My son is learning both and is coping well. I should say that he's only 6 years old. So that could be a factor in his ability to absorb and distinguish the two. My son is now at 5th kup in Kukki Taekwondo and recently graded for 10th in Kyokushin. I attended all his training sessions and would say that Kukki and Kyokushin compliment one another. With Kyokushin you'll learn how to take blows and at the same time deliver powerful blows. Kukki is about speed and different types of kicks to KO the opponent. Last year, he won gold in an all schools Taekwondo tournament. When he started in Kyokushin, he was the most powerful kicker in his class. The difference I observed, is that Taekwondo students are scared of getting hit. Whereas, the Kyokushin students cannot kick fast and they're scared of being kicked in the head. I suspect most of the respondents don't actually have experience in both Taekwondo and Kyokushin because if they did, they would say that they compliment one another. You won't get confused or anything as suggested above. You'll be really dumb if you get confused by learning both at the same time. My son does Kyokushin 3 times a week and Taekwondo 2 times a week. Oh, another thing I discovered is that you'll get to black belt faster in Taekwondo and your actual lessons on tornado kicks and fighting skills begin there. Whereas, Kyokushin teaches you to fight from white belt. You won't pass your grading if you can't fight. BTW, the rules are pretty similar. Taekwondo = kicks allowed on body and head but no punching on head. Kyokushin = kicks allowed on body and head but punching allowed only on body.

  • For a child of 6 years old technique will be watered down, compounded by only being 5th kup. The point is that techniques are similar - and that will allow rapid progress whilst getting the moves 'close' to right is fine - later on he will have to perform moves with the correct chamber, body posture and emphasis - which do differ between the two and will be hampered by the fact that in one lesson they are being corrected one way and in the other another. - many of the people here have many (as in decades of) years of martial arts experience - the posts come from that experience
    – Collett89
    Mar 29, 2019 at 9:30

Keep in mind that Tae Kwon Do for all intents and purposes might as well BE Shotokan/JKA. Your proposed plan sounds like a lot of duplication of effort.

P.S. I have seen people with white belts competing in the black belt division. You can BUY a belt, if you absolutely need the right color to compete.

  • Frankly, I disagree with you that they're that similar, and most tournaments that have any sort of rank distinction are also looking for people from registered schools who can back that rank. May 26, 2015 at 18:32

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