Difference between Judo and Kung Fu

Key difference: Judo is a gentle form of Japanese modern martial art and combat sport, whereas Kung Fu is a vast and dedicated form of Chinese martial arts.

Judo is a traditional as well as a flourished modern Japanese martial art form; it was generally practiced by the samurai and feudal warrior class for over hundreds of years. It became a part of wide spread form of sport in Olympics in 1964. The martial art from is a blend of wonderful system of physical, intellectual, and moral education. Judo is known to follows the principles of gentleness.

The word Judo consists of two Japanese characters:


Do- "the way"

Judo relates to a derived martial art form. Its techniques were designed from the early hurting and killing maim actions. Today, these techniques have neutralized into soft forms in order to adapt and cause less injury to the opponent. It is much more than the mere learning and application of combat techniques. It has its own culture, systems, heritage, customs, and traditions. Its actions and basics are totally based upon the art of gentleness and calmness. Judo’s techniques are often considered to be complex as they require time, effort and energy, which are obtained by rigorous physical and mental training. A code of ethics, a way of living and way of being are the ethics associated with the martial art trainings. Today the martial art is practiced by more than 20 million individuals; it has also become one of the most famous forms of Martial Arts in the world. Judo applies these techniques safely and without hurting opponents:

  • Judo does not involve kicking, punching, or striking techniques of any kind.
  • Judo does not involve the application of pressure against the joints to throw an opponent.
  • Judo involves no equipment or weapons of any sort.

Kung Fu refers to the Chinese Martial Art Forms. These are traditional art forms practiced right from the 4th centuries. Their origin was traced the Zhou dynasty (1111–255 BC) period. Today, this tradition is gaining great importance and privilege in different corners of the world. They are dedicated and concentrated form of associative actions generally adapted from the animal moves and styles.

The term ‘Kung Fu’ (generally, originates from ‘Gong Fu’) means:

Kung fu – (gong) "work" or "achievement

Fu- intensity

Kung Fu refers to the type of skills and actions which are engaged with deep concentration and involvement. These are defensive and dangerous form of actions, generally implemented with an aim to kill the opponent. It is an open martial art, which means, its styles can be adapted only by those practitioners who are perfect in their actions. Kung Fu is a science in itself, which trains an individual’s body to move in a continuous circular motion and turn. It is the most ancient form of martial arts practiced in China. The body in the art form is regulated according to the principles of physics. From the early periods of development, it has now become a healthy and potentially rich form of self-defense as it accepted worldwide and practiced form of martial art form. The initiated form of five basic foot positions is positioned in normal and upright posture. The most followed stances are called as the dragon, frog, horse riding, and snake kung fu.  

Comparison between Judo and Kung Fu:



Kung Fu

Short description

Judo is a sport of unarmed combat derived from Ju-Jitsu and intended to train the body and mind.

Kung Fu is a primary unarmed Chinese martial art.

They are

It is martial art as well as a renowned combat sport.

It comprises of traditional martial art forms.

Fighting style

In Judo, the opponent has to lay down with some close combat tactics.

In Kung Fu, the power and technique re so defensive, that they may injure the opponent due to its multiple fighting style.




Comprises of

It involves using holds and leverage to unbalance the opponent.

It involves various types and styles of martial art forms.

Participants in Olympics

It is included in Olympics

It is not included in Olympics

Weapons included

There is no involvement of any weapon or arm forms in Judo.

There are involvement of weapons and arms in Kung Fu martial art Form.


Judo practitioner is called a Judoka.

Kung Fu teacher is known as a Sifu.


It is a gentle kind of martial art and a combat sport form.

It is a defensive and aggressive type of martial art form.

Uniforms and clothing known as


The clothes and uniforms varies by style and school, but often includes kung fu pants (a loose fitting, elastic band cloth garment), kung fu shoes and a belt.


There are lots of grapples and throws.

There are floating and circular movements associated with the animal moves and styles.

Associations and federations

  • International Judo Federation(IJF)
  • World Judo Federation
  • International Kung Fu Federation (IKF)
  • International Wushu Federation (IWUF)

Image Courtesy: jagoadvisor.com, zimbio.com

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