Which Style Of Karate Is The Most Powerful?

As one of the oldest martial arts in the world, Karate has changed and developed over the years.

This has resulted in a lot of different styles of the art with each style placing a particular emphasis on a different area such as speed, defense or technique.

Which Style Of Karate Is The Most Powerful

However, the style of karate everyone seems to want to learn is the ‘strongest’  – but which style of karate is considered to be the most powerful?

Here, we are going to be looking at the main styles of karate to see which one is often dubbed the strongest or most ‘powerful’ style. This way, you can find the right style of karate for you to learn. 

So, let’s dive straight in! 

The Four Main Styles Of Karate

There are many different styles of karate but there are a total of four main styles that are the most commonly learned all across the world.

Each one is unique and has their own techniques that concentrate on different areas and core values of karate. Therefore, each style is different from the other – but which one is the most ‘powerful’. 

First, let’s take a look at each one and how they work. 


This late style of karate was first established back in 1930 and it combines both hard and soft principles. This means that for students who learn goju-ryu karate, there is a particular emphasis on attacking and strength.

Grappling, sparring, and blocking are just a few of the main focuses of this style of karate, making it a very contact-heavy style with a lot of attention given to counter-striking and offensive positions. 

However, this ‘hardness’ is balanced with a belt of ‘softness’ in the form of concentrating on your breathing, circular blocking and defensive positioning.

This means that despite the emphasis placed on combat,  goju-ryu also concentrates on the internal harmony that comes with learning karate.

Learning this style of karate is not all about blocking and striking – there is plenty of defense to learn too, especially through learning breathing techniques and body awareness. 


Wado-ryu is an offshoot of another type of karate which has grown popular in its own right due to its martial similarities to jiu jitsu. 

Wado-ryu focuses less on contact karate and sparring and instead, tries to teach its students evasive techniques to avoid moves instead.

This is what makes it so different from other styles of karate; while other styles are all about strength, wado-ryu focuses on movement and fluidity through shorter stances. 

This also makes wado-ryu one of the more spiritual styles of karate as it encourages avoidance rather than attacking, allowing you to avoid conflict.

This is very clear in the lessons that wado-ryu teaches. It places emphasis on dodging, self-protecting, maintaining discipline, and not relying on brute strength. 

Many people may dismiss wado-ryu due to its less-confrontational nature, but wado-ryu is actually considered to be one of the best forms of karate to use for self defense.

This is because of how wado-ryu focuses on joints and locks instead of strikes, meaning that it’s effective for quickly taking down an opponent with as little contact as possible. 


This style of karate was developed in 1938 and is well known for its emphasis on learning techniques and lots of various styles.

Perfection is key for shito-ryu as this style focuses on accuracy while teaching its students how to perform strong strikes and stances. 

However, shito-ryu also teaches core lessons about soft blocking, bouncing back, and recoiling from attacks. Therefore, it’s a combination style of karate similar to goju-ryu with more emphasis on force and precision.

Defense is also another important part of learning shito-ryu karate as it teaches the five rules of defense with particular emphasis. 

So, learning shito-ryu requires a lot of strength and speed but this is also balanced out by the spiritual and harmonious side of the style too. 


The fourth and final main style of karate is shotokan-ryu. Established in 1938, shotokan-ryu teaches its students all about speed. Strikes are impressive yet delivered in quick blows, stances are wide and linear with your body’s movements.

As a result, shotokan is considered to be one of the most efficient styles of karate as it teaches its students how to ease each part of their body quickly and with force. 

Along with speed, there is particular emphasis on stability so students can remain in control of their bodies while delivering quick movements including strikes and blocks.

These strikes are also just as powerful as they are quick, and thus this makes shotokan a very dynamic style of karate that shows strength through speed rather than flowing, fluid movements. 

Which Style Of Karate Is The Most Powerful?

Each style of karate has its own strengths which makes it a powerful martial art in its own right, but there’s no denying that some styles put more emphasis on strikes and strength over others. 

Goju-ryu and shito-ryu are considered to be the most ‘powerful’ in terms of how they teach their students to deliver strong strikes and kicks, generally being more offensive styles of karate than defensive.

Shotokan-ryu also teaches strength and power although it also tries to focus on speed as well. 

However, although many would consider wado-ryu to be the less aggressive and thus less ‘powerful’ style of karate, it is also considered the best for street fighting and self defense.

So, if you want to learn a martial art so you can keep yourself safe, many karate masters would recommend wado-ryu as it teaches you that you don’t have to rely on strength and force to take down an opponent. 

Arguably, this means that wado-ryu can also be seen as the most ‘powerful’ style of karate as it allows anyone to take down an opponent with ease. 

So, there’s no real answer to this question – it all comes down to how you view strength and power yourself, so which style of karate is the most powerful comes down to your own opinion.

Christopher Anderson
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