This? Or That?

This?  Or That?
02 Oct 2020

This? Or That?

Ajay’s Karate, or Ajay’s Taekwondo?  Well both … read on!

In 1981 a young man of 25 years of age decided to share his love and passion for martial arts with the Sacramento region.  He was a fourth-degree black belt in Taekwondo and already well known in his hometown of Sacramento as a tournament champion.  He opened his first school:  Ajay’s Tae Kwon Do.

Unfortunately, Taekwondo was not a well known martial art at the time, but everyone knew what Karate was.  So being a smart businessman even at that young age, he decided to change the name of his business to Ajay’s Karate, but he teaches Taekwondo!  As the art of Taekwondo became popularized, and schools began to spring up all around him, the brand had been created and people identified his school by the name Ajay’s Karate, he decided to keep it.  But it does cause a bit of confusion that we have to clear up when people call to inquire about our school.  Hence this blog!

Let’s clear up a few other things.  Karate is a Japanese form of martial art, and Taekwondo is a Korean form of martial art.  While they share some of the same kicks, the style is similar in some ways but vastly different.  The following is a portion of an article taken from along with a simple graph.

Karate vs. Taekwondo: What’s the Difference?

Karate and taekwondo are two common and widely practiced forms of martial arts. They’re so popular, in fact, that both are now Olympic Sports. Karate will be at the 2020 games in Tokyo, and taekwondo was added in 2000.

The words used are also different and it is a common mistake to use the Japanese verbiage in our Taekwondo studio.  For instance:


Sensei instead of Sa bum

Gi instead of dobak

Dojo instead of dojang

All of the commands are in Korean in most Taekwondo schools.

What’s the difference between Taekwondo and Tae Kwon Do?

In most cases, the hyphenated version of “Taekwon-Do” refers to the spelling General Hong-Hi Choi used when he wrote his first book translated to English (1965) on the subject of the newly organized and still developing Korean Martial Art.

The single word version of “Taekwondo” is the way the Korean government, and the official world Taekwondo Headquarters (Kukkiwon) chose to translate the Korean written Hangeul of 태권도.

I think the three-syllable version is the American spelling when the art first came to the United States.  At any rate, most people spell it as one continuous word now.

Further Clarification

Some people know Grand Master Michael Ajay from Taekwondo, some know him as Master Michael Ajay from Tang Soo Do.  He is both.  His roots are from Taekwondo beginning in 1966.  Later he trained and taught Tang Soo Do.  In 2010 he returned to Taekwondo.

I hope this helps distinguish the two arts of Karate and Taekwondo, the reason for our name, and a little about the history of Grand Master Michael Ajay and our studio AJAY’S KARATE.

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Call us today to get started (916) 686-3478. We have a two week introductory special so you can see for yourself why we have been so successful all these years.

Our studio, Ajay’s Karate, is a traditional martial arts school teaching the very best in technique along with values that our students will carry with them throughout their lifetime. We are family-owned, serving the Sacramento and Elk Grove areas since 1980.

By Lydia Ajay, 4th Degree Black Belt and Co-Owner of Ajay’s Karate, Elk Grove, California.

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