September 4, 2022

Wing Chun vs Taekwondo: Which One’s Better for You?

Since the dawn of time, a comparison between martial arts has been happening, and Wing Chun and Taekwondo have not been left untouched. Taekwondo has only been used since 1955 and comes from the Korean word “Tae” (meaning foot) plus “Kwon” (meaning fist or to punch) and “Do” (meaning art or a way).

Wing Chun is an old form of Kung fu which uses the opponent’s energy against him without using one’s strength. With the sole purpose to bamboozle and trick, Wing Chun uses a flurry of attacks one after the other to overwhelm the opponent. Taekwondo emphasizes striking the opponent with legs and kicks from various angles to hit the abdomen, collarbone, and head where distance plays an important role.

Tracing the History – Birth and Journey

Taekwondo is a martial arts form that originated in Korea about 2300 years ago, and today it is considered South Korea’s national sport. It was initially developed in a Koguryo kingdom to treat both the mind and body. There are no weapons involved in traditional Taekwondo, though, in recent years, some practitioners began to train with a full staff.

Two men in a gym practicing the martial art of Wing Chun using sticks

Each kick is full of power, designed to weaken the opponent with every strike. The moral philosophy in Taekwondo is about self-improvement, self-discipline, and philanthropy over power and fight. The conduct is for one to build basic principles of integrity, courteousness, self-control, and perseverance and is designed to be used for protection and as a form to make peace with the world.

The history of Wing Chun is, in comparison, a bit blurry. Many trace it back to the Civil War between the dynasties of Ming and Qing. Initially, this was practiced privately, and it was forbidden for anybody to pass it on to others.

The style favors “short arm bridge, narrow stance and stresses speed and regard of external forces.” The most important thing to note is how the art emphasizes the opponent’s response, making it flexible and practical.


Wing Chun focuses more on the hand movement and is at relatively close proximity to the opponent. In contrast, Taekwondo focuses more on the movement of the legs with a fair distance between the opponents.

Wing Chun focuses on the opponent’s center and exposing it to the various soft and hard movements. At some times, Wing Chun follows the peculiarities of animals, especially in the fist movement, and involves the innovative use of footwork skills.

Taekwondo uses a defensive and striking strategy in what is mostly long-range fighting. It is a combination of timely attacks with more focus on kicking. While Taekwondo does seem like it is all about kicking and punching, in reality, that is not the case; it teaches its practitioner the right way of life. Where Taekwondo seeks to defend, Wing Chun seeks to destroy.

Which is More Effective?

A Taekwondo practitioner, if they can keep distance, quickly throw long-range kicks and then get out of range, he/she can hold a severe advantage in a kind of fight that appreciates distance. Though, it becomes a bit of a task for someone learning Taekwondo to defend against Wing Chun’s practitioners.

A person learning Wing-Chun can defeat his opponent by some swift, strong, and fast punches in the vital areas. It’s worse if a person is in close proximity to the other. The continuous punching and kicking bleed the opponent off of his energy, making him weak and defensive. The hand-trapping technique in close combat then proves to be an excellent move.

One of the things closely associated with both Wing Chun and Taekwondo is how the former is suitable for people of all heights while the latter can be mastered by people who have a bigger built physique. 

Although, nothing has a man not been able to master with his sheer will-power, determination, and dedication!

Taekwondo leg training

Which is Better for Street Fighting?

Wing Chun utilizes the fighting concept based on the traditional Chinese style of martial art. Theoretically, this art entails a self-defense style that is focused on defending against high-powered attacks. Wing Chun techniques are beneficial for street fights as they concentrate on preventing an attack from the opponent and completely stripping him of his energy.

Wing Chun uses hand trapping techniques in close-combats. Combined with the technique of “Sticky Hands,” it can be potentially dangerous for the opponent and can turn out to be an excellent street fight move.

Wing Chun techniques intensely focus on destroying the targets and moves of the opponent. The aim is to prevent the opponent from striking freely and control his moves and movements. Moreover, the hand strikes of Wing Chun are developed in a way that it damages the attacker’s eyes and throat. It is nearly impossible to win from a Wing Chun practitioner while not practicing the primary Wing Chun techniques.

The major disadvantage with Wing Chun is that the sides of the practitioner remain exposed. This can prove to be fatal in a street fight as the opponent can attack the chin and the chest of Wing Chun practitioners. However, it all comes down to the training and the efficiency of the practitioner. If trained correctly, fighters can defend themselves easily in a street fight.

Taekwondo consists of a wealth of knowledge and skills. If taught correctly, studied diligently, and practiced appropriately, it works very well in a street fight. It should not come as a surprise that Taekwondo is slightly better in street fights than Wing Chun because of the various techniques – such as blocking, dodging, and the impressive footwork that it employs.

With a multitude of open and closed hand-strikes, both in a straight and circular motion and that too from all angles, Taekwondo is very effective in a street fight. Taekwondo consists of a plethora of diverse fighting skills and styles. With more focus on pressure points, a Taekwondo practitioner can easily foil the attacks of the opponent. 

The techniques employed by a Taekwondo practitioner helps in defending and evading against an attack. Therefore, Taekwondo techniques are much more helpful and efficient in winning a street fight as compared to Wing Chun. 

Which is Better for Self Defense?

Taekwondo has a significant advantage over Wing Chun in case of a street fight situation. With more versatile techniques and training especially when it comes to real-life situations involving self-defense, Taekwondo is a better art.

Wing Chun

When it comes to self-defense, the moves of Wing Chun helps in blocking the attacks of the opponent. A Wing Chun practitioner is trained in a way that they can defend and block every move of the attacker, including punches and kicks. 

The technique, combined with agility, can allow the fighter to defend himself comfortably. Although, when confronted with a situation of such magnitude, in some instances, it might be a little challenging. 

It basically means that a Wing Chun fighter is better against someone practicing the same sport. Hence, real-world application, at times, may look a bit hazy. Let’s consider a Wing Chun and a Taekwondo fighter; the former might be left breathless by the latter’s moves.

The training for exclusive “close combats only”, may pose a problem in some situations as you can never guarantee the attacker to be a Wing Chun fighter only. That being said, it is a fact that Wing Chun fighters do struggle in front of an opponent executing freestyle moves.

Therefore, when discussing real-life situations involving self-defense, Wing Chun can never be considered an all-rounder art.


Contrary to Wing Chun, Taekwondo uses freestyle self-defense techniques. Taekwondo fighters are trained in a way that they always fight from a distance. This, in turn, helps them in foreseeing the opponent’s moves and then fight back accordingly. 

Moreover, Taekwondo, being the national sport, has evolved dramatically in the South Korean Military wings. The modern Taekwondo techniques are much agile, responsive, and functional. 

Since a self-defense situation always requires immediate decisions and brisk counter moves, Taekwondo ticks all the boxes in such situations.

Bruce Lee, a world-renowned Wing Chun practitioner, once quoted – as taking the useful parts and discarding the useless. The resulting system helps to cope better with self-defense situations. 

This system has no specific guidelines or hard and fast rules. It teaches the fighters to be prepared for any move and fight back using any technique for self-defense.

Serious teenage boy gesturing stop sing with his hand

What One is Easier to Learn?

When it comes to learning a form of martial arts, the aforesaid helps to get an idea about what different forms of art are all about and the techniques that are involved.

Nonetheless, it all depends and differs from person to person. A person looking to learn some sport should keep in mind his capacity while choosing something of this much perseverance.

Wing Chun is traditional, while Taekwondo is a bit more modern. Wing Chun is technical, while Taekwondo is efficient. Wing Chun is ancient, hence in a sense, a bit laid back while Taekwondo is aggressive and effective.

Taekwondo has undergone a revolution and now utilizes modern-day defensive and attacking strategy; hence it does have the edge over Wing Chun.

If you are looking to choose between the two, keep in mind everything mentioned above and then ask yourself, “Why do you want to learn what you want to learn?” You will have the answer!

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