Taekwondo sparring can be mentally and physically beneficial, regardless of practising level. That said, it can be dangerous if you’re using the wrong equipment.
Sparring gear should be a necessity for martial artists. What makes WT Style sparring gear great is that the pads are very versatile, allowing you good protection while also allowing you to kick and strike to offer you flexibility.
With this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of the TKD gear you will need to practice WT Style Taekwondo.
What to Look For
Not all WT Style sparring gear is the same, which can make the process of selection difficult. When choosing your sparring gear, here are a few things you need to look for:
Different types of material will hold up at different rates. When your protective gear is subject to hours of sparring, you can imagine the wear and tear involved.
High-grade vinyl and elasticized polyester are durable and great for extra padding. These forearm guards, for example, include EVA foam for extra shock absorption.
Size charts are a big help when choosing WT Style gear, but they can be inaccurate. Oftentimes, manufacturer charts correlate to the average torso size.
The good news is that most companies offer a return policy if your gear doesn’t fit. So when you’re choosing a chestguard, make sure to take your own measurements and do some research.
Choosing a trusted brand to purchase your WT Style sparring gear from can save you time and your bank account.
Some brands offer better quality gear than others, especially when it comes to the materials they offer. You’ll find high-grade vinyl and elasticized polyester often listed in products from better brands.
What You’ll Need
After going over what to look for when purchasing gear, let’s talk about the gear you’ll actually need to buy. Whether you’re an Olympic Taekwondo athlete or a complete beginner, you need the right equipment to make the most of your training.
Head kicks are common in Taekwondo, so headgear protects the entire head, including the ears.
Gel foam lines the inside of your headgear, making it easy to take on and off. Not to mention the added shock absorption from the material.
Mouthguards are mandatory for any contact sport. They prevent you from biting your tongue or losing teeth.
Most mouthguards are “boil and bite.” When you boil your mouthguard, the material will become soft and will mould to your teeth when you bite into it.
Some mouthguards, like this one, even come with a long-lasting flavour!
In Taekwondo, an athlete will score points with punches or kicks to the torso. It is safe to say that it’s important to protect your torso when you’re sparring or in competition.
Forearm guards reduce the impact of punches and kicks. In Taekwondo, a fighter will use their forearms to guard against their opponent.
It’s important to find guards with good shock absorption so that pain doesn’t affect your performance.
With punches to the body now being scored more regularly, many athletes and coaches are now incorporating this striking technique more frequently into their training programs. Having a good sparring glove is necessary, as these will help prevent wrist injury and knuckle abrasion against contact to the chest guard.
Groin Pads and Cup
Mistakes happen when you are sparring, which is why it’s important to be as prepared as possible. It is forbidden to kick in this area in WT Style, but it is better to be prepared.
There are groin protectors for males and females, but only males need a cup. Male Groin guards and Female groin guards are made with vinyl fabric and are traditionally worn on the outside of their uniform pants.
To wear shin guards during competition, they must be approved by World Taekwondo. You don’t want to train with shin guards only to find that you won’t be able to compete with them.
Shin guards help protect from fractures and bruising caused by continuous kicking.
Some athletes prefer to practice barefoot, but some schools may require footwear. When looking for shoes, pay attention to the top material since that is where the impact from kicking will occur.
Your shoes should have a non-slip rubber sole to prevent you from slipping during training. You can choose a lace-up style, like these shoes, that’ll keep your ankles supported and your feet stable.
Not only is additional gear mandatory, but so is your uniform. In Taekwondo, your uniform is called a dobok. It consists of a plain white jacket, pants, and a belt.
Your jacket will have a wide V-neck and can vary in weight. Beginners usually wear a 7-9 ounce poly/cotton uniform. Higher ranking students and Black Belt competitors often search for the most lightest, quick drying and breathable Dobok, These usually weigh anywhere from 5-7ounces and are made with 100% polyester fabric. Check out Daedo Ultra Dobok!
When travelling back and forth from your gym, having a gear bag lets you carry your equipment with ease. Some schools will even require a gear bag to keep your uniform and assets in good condition.
You should consider getting a bag that’s high-quality and durable. Great equipment needs great storage.
Choosing your sparring gear for Taekwondo can be difficult. But do not hesitate in asking your instructor, or higher ranking students, on what is the best suited gear for your current level of training.
If you’re interested in purchasing WT Style Taekwondo sparring gear, check out our store!