Shotokan VS Kyokushin

Shotokan VS Kyokushin – What’s The Difference

Both types of karate have their origins in Japan.

However, while Kyokushin focuses on external movements, such as punches and kicks, and moves, such as punches and kicks, of most other martial arts, Shotokan focuses on internal techniques.

Upon completing their training in Shotokan, athletes frequently benefit from increased self-confidence and self-esteem.

So, what is the difference between shotokan and kyokushin? Shotokan and kyokushin are two styles of karate that originate from Japan.

Shotokan is most known for its emphasis on power and strength. This is because Shotokan uses powerful kicks and punches.

On the other hand, kyokushin emphasizes flexibility, speed, and agility. Both styles of karate have a lot in common, but they also have their differences.

For example, both styles emphasize self-defense and physical fitness. However, Shotokan emphasizes power and strength more than kyokushin does.

Furthermore, Shotokan also emphasizes kata more than kyokushin does. Overall, Shotokan and kyokushin are both great styles of karate.

What Is Kyokushin Karate?

Kyokushin karate is a very practical combat martial art.

Although it looks intense, Kyokushin karate is safe for beginners to learn. The founder, Masutatsu Oyama, wanted his martial art to be accessible to people of all backgrounds.

For this reason, Kyokushin karate emphasizes practicality over tradition. For example, Kyokushin karate doesn’t use belts or ranks to indicate skill levels.

Instead, it’s based on 3 criteria: kihon techniques, kumite techniques, and self-defense techniques. Kyokushin karate also uses a grading system that emphasizes technique over strength.

Students get graded on kihon and kumite techniques, which are judged on speed and power. Finally, Kyokushin karate emphasizes self-defense techniques, which use techniques for escaping dangerous situations.

Overall, Kyokushin karate is a very practical martial art that anyone can learn.

What Is Shotokan Karate?

Shotokan Karate is a Japanese martial arts style that emphasizes hard kicks and powerful punches.

It’s one of the most popular martial arts in the world, with millions of practitioners around the world. Shotokan Karate was created by Gichin Funakoshi in the early 20th century and is based on the Japanese style of iaido.

The most distinctive feature of Shotokan Karate is its katas, which are choreographed routines that teach students proper technique. Each kata focuses on a specific skill or technique, such as punching, kicking, blocking, or evasion.

There are also kihons, which are drills that teach students how to perform specific moves and movements. Finally, there are kumite, which are sparring matches that allow students to practice fighting and self-defense.

Shotokan Karate has many health benefits, including increased flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular health.

Kyokushin Karate VS Shotokan Karate: Difference and Similarities


Shotokan Karate is from Japan while Kyokushin is from Okinawa.

This is the style created by Gichin Funakoshi.

Masutatsu Oyama subsequently developed this style into a practical and effective martial art for self defense.

He started teaching his own system in the late 1940s after developing this art from shotokai.

The style grew so popular that he named the system after himself “Kyokushin” which means “hard-soft” in Japanese.


Shotokan is primarily a sporting art and uses rules like non-contact fights as well as predetermined rounds unlike kyukin.

The battle is suspended after each strike until the referee counts to three and then continues normally with the next strike until either one fighter falls to the ground or the fight is terminated by the referee giving the winner a point.

Takedowns that are followed immediately by an arm bar submission are ruled as illegal in shotokai.

Kyokushin sparring is very aggressive with no rules at all except to fight fairly and honorably in order to keep fights fair and competitive.

The aim of the game is to knock down your opponent within three exchanges of strikes.

Punches and kicks are legal to all parts of the body except to the groin.


Shotokan sparring has few rules other than not to break hands, feet, ribs, throats and knees during a fight.

Competitors are urged to retract their punches, and are not allowed to hit below the waist or above the head.

The majority of the methods utilized are long-range, with the boxer using the head as the center of his attacks.

Kyokushin sparring is full-contact and no rules are enforced on fighters except for no eye-gouging and no biting of opponents.

Competitors are urged to attack their opponents with all they have; strikes to the face are allowed but not below the belt.

The majority of the battle takes from the clinch position to knock down the opponent or end the fight by submission from chokeholds.


Shotokan emphasizes Kata over Kumite because it focuses on cultivating technical ability through repetitive practice.

Both are essential components of karate training, though most students tend to prefer one or the other.

Kyokushin, on the other hand, is focused more on Kumite because more emphasis is placed on competition than training.

As a result, Kumite practice and Kata are secondary in this style to Kihon and Waza which are more geared toward self-defense.


Karateka in both systems acquire a broad set of kicking and punching techniques for both armed and unarmed combat; however, their focus is quite different.

However, the placement and focus of the punches are different as well.

Valid targets in shotokan include the neck, the abdomen, the stomach, the eyes, the solar plexus, the groin and the fingers; however, kicks are usually limited to the shins, thighs.

All attacks are directed towards the body, but point attacks are more emphasized than block-attacks.

Kyokushin Karate methods target the head, neck, torso, shoulders, knees and legs; however, both punch and kick to the abdomen and genitals are also common.

More focus is put on the kicking techniques of this style because they require greater speed and agility for effective execution.

Shotokan vs Kyokushin: Which Is More Effective for Self-Defense?

Shotokan karate is the world’s most popular karate style, whereas Kyokushin karate is the world’s most powerful karate style.

However, the two styles serve different purposes. Shotokan karate is for self-defense and competition, whereas Kyokushin karate is for fighting and competition.

Shotokan karate emphasizes blocking techniques, whereas Kyokushin karate emphasizes punching techniques. Shotokan karate focuses on self-defense, whereas Kyokushin karate focuses on fighting and competition.

These differences reflect why Shotokan karate is more popular and widespread than Kyokushin karate. However, both Shotokan and Kyokushin karate are effective for self-defense, and both styles have excellent instructors.

Shotokan Karateka VS Kyokushin Karateka: Who Would Win?

Shotokan Karate and Kyokushin Karate are two of the most well-known karate styles in the world.

Both styles have amazing fighting techniques, but who would come out on top in a fight? The answer depends on a lot of things, including technique, speed, strength, and endurance.

However, one thing is for sure: Shotokan Karateka would beat Kyokushin Karateka. Kyokushin Karateka are renowned for their amazing strength, but Shotokan Karateka are fast and powerful too.

They also have great endurance, allowing them to fight for a long time. To top it all off, Shotokan Karateka are more flexible than Kyokushin Karateka.

This gives them an advantage when it comes to fighting on the ground. In the end, Shotokan Karateka would beat Kyokushin Karateka in a fight.

Shotokan vs Kyokushin: Who Wins for Physical Fitness?

Shotokan is Japan’s most well-known style of Karate.

Shotokan Karate focuses on Japanese culture and tradition. It also emphasizes practical self-defense techniques.

In contrast, Kyokushin Karate emphasizes speed and power. Kyokushin Karate was created by Masutatsu Oyama, who is considered the father of modern Karate.

Both Shotokan and Kyokushin Karate have amazing health benefits. However, both styles have unique benefits as well.

Kyokushin Karate trains fighters to be very strong and agile, but Shotokan Karate trains fighters to be quick and powerful. Overall, both styles are amazing for health and fitness.

Shotokan vs Kyokushin: Which is better?

Shotokan and Kyokushin Karate are two of the most popular martial arts in Japan.

Both Shotokan and Kyokushin have practices that are hundreds of years old. Both styles use katas, which are choreographed sets of movements.

However, there are some key differences between these two styles. For example, Kyokushin Karate emphasizes sparring and fighting, while Shotokan Karate emphasizes practice.

Shotokan Karate also emphasizes teaching students to defend themselves against multiple attackers. On the other hand, Kyokushin Karate emphasizes teaching students how to attack and defend themselves.

While Shotokan Karate is more traditional, Kyokushin Karate has more practical applications and is more entertaining to watch.

Also Read: Best Karate Schools in The World

Final Words

Shotokan is a style of karate, and Kyokushin is a style of karate.

However, Shotokan and Kyokushin are not the same thing. There are several key differences between Shotokan and Kyokushin.

First, Kyokushin is a violent style of karate that emphasizes aggression and fighting spirit. In contrast, Shotokan is a peaceful style that emphasizes self-defense techniques.

Second, Kyokushin is typically practiced with heavier bags than Shotokan. Third, Kyokushin has a more strict code of conduct than Shotokan.

Finally, Kyokushin and Shotokan have different training techniques.

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