Martial Arts Blog

WTF Taekwondo: Sparring Kit Required

 by pad-up on 24 May 2013 |
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WTF Taekwondo sparring padsKit Required for WTF Taekwondo

Taekwondo is becoming an increasingly popular activity, and is privileged to be the only martial art that is an Olympic sport. It is ideal for building and sustaining a fantastic level of fitness, improving confidence, and developing motivation and self-pride. Adults and children are equally respected and catered for in the fast-paced taekwondo community.

Whether you are planning to advance to sparring classes or perhaps looking at competing at organised events, there is a designated kit required by all participants. All sparring equipment needs to have been approved by the World Taekwondo Federation (labels will state WTF approved) in order to conform to the British Taekwondo Control Board’s regulations - otherwise the competitor in question will be disqualified.

1. The dobok

The dobok is the Korean name given to the white, pyjama-style suit that is worn by all participants. There are several different brands of suit available, and two main styles – one with a white v-neck which is suitable for anyone to wear, and one with a black v-neck which is only allowed to be worn by someone who has gained a black-belt in the sport.

2. The coloured belt

The coloured belt needs to be worn during a sparring match in order to display the level of accomplishment that the fighter has achieved.

3. Body armour

WTF body armour is a reversible body protector designed to cover the chest, stomach and shoulders, and ties at the back. It is red on one side and blue on the other side so only one is required. The body armour has two main purposes. Firstly, it acts as a target for an opponent to strike and subsequently score points. Secondly, it protects the body by absorbing some of the power and energy from a kick.

4. Head guard

Head guards are also required, one red and one blue. They are used for the same purpose as the body armour – to kick in order to accumulate points and, importantly, to protect the head.

5. Arm guards and shin guards

Arm and shin guards are thick pads worn over the hard, bony areas of the arm, elbow and the shin in order to protect the opponent’s feet. Taekwondo is performed bare-foot so a strike to any of these areas could be extremely painful and dangerous to the feet.

6. Groin guard

A groin guard is a necessity to both male and female competitors. A kick to this area, although not allowed, can often occur accidently so protection is vital.

7. Gum shield

A gum shield is moulded to fit perfectly inside the individual’s mouth to give a comfortable feel. This is worn purely to protect the wearer’s teeth and gums from injury.

8. Sweat towel

The sweat towel does not give the impression of being an important accessory, but it is vital. Obviously, this item does not need to be approved by the WTF- any old towel will suffice - but the purpose remains the same. During a match the competitor’s coach holds on to the towel in preparation for an occasion when the match may need to be ended quickly, such as the occurrence of an injury or fear of an impending injury. In this circumstance the towel is thrown into the ring in order to end the match immediately.

The accumulation of this equipment can initially appear to be rather costly, but it is all hardwearing and will not need changing or updating regularly. After the purchase of all this equipment, many training sessions and lots of dedication, you can consider yourself a true professional at this wonderful sport.

Head Guards | Sparring Kicks | Sparring Punches | Chest Guards | Groin Guards | Gum Shields | Shin Protectors | Sparring Kits


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