Taekwondo Sparring Gear (Ultimate Guide)

taekwondo gear

Taekwondo, the Korean martial art known for its high kicks and fast-paced movements, requires not only discipline and technique but also the right gear.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner, having the proper taekwondo gear is crucial for both your safety and performance.

In this article, we will explore the essential gear needed for taekwondo training and competition, outlining their importance and providing insights into making informed choices.

And while some are essential, others are considered optional (depending on the taekwondo style you practice).

So, here are some of the essential Taekwondo gear.

Taekwondo Gear

Taekwondo Uniform (Dobok)

The dobok is the traditional uniform worn by taekwondo practitioners. It typically consists of a loose-fitting jacket and pants.

The uniform not only represents the spirit of taekwondo but also allows for comfortable and unrestricted movement during training and competition.

When choosing a dobok, look for one made of durable and breathable fabric that is appropriate for your skill level and organization’s requirements.

Protective Gear


Headgear is essential for protecting the head from impacts during sparring sessions or competitions.

Look for headgear that provides sufficient padding, ventilation, and a secure fit to ensure safety and comfort.


A mouthguard is crucial for protecting the teeth, gums, and jaw during taekwondo sparring.

It helps absorb and disperse the impact of strikes and reduces the risk of dental injuries.

Groin Guard

Designed specifically for male practitioners, a groin guard protects the sensitive groin area during sparring or competition.

Shin Guards

Shin guards shield the shins from impact during training and sparring sessions, reducing the risk of painful injuries and bruises.

Hand and Foot Protectors

Hand and foot protectors, commonly known as gloves and socks, provide cushioning and support during strikes and kicks, minimizing the risk of injury to both the practitioner and their training partner.

Equipment for Training

Focus Mitts and Pads

These training tools are used for practicing various strikes, punches, and kicks.

They provide targets for accuracy, speed, and power training, allowing practitioners to develop techniques and improve their overall performance.

Heavy Bags

Heavy bags are ideal for building strength, power, and endurance.

They provide a target for practicing kicks and punches, simulating real-life combat scenarios, and helping to refine technique.

Skipping Rope

A skipping rope is an essential training tool for improving footwork, agility, and cardiovascular fitness.

It helps develop coordination and timing, critical aspects of taekwondo training.

Wooden Break Boards

Break boards are used to test and demonstrate the power and accuracy of strikes.

They come in different thicknesses and difficulty levels, allowing practitioners to progress as they advance in their training.

Competition Gear

Taekwondo Scoring System

For competitive taekwondo, electronic scoring systems are used to determine points awarded for strikes to valid target areas.

These systems consist of a scoring vest and a sensor-equipped foot protector, ensuring accurate and fair scoring during matches.

Competition Gloves

Specialized taekwondo gloves are worn during competitions to protect the hands and wrists while enabling precise and controlled strikes.

They provide padding and support, safeguarding against potential injuries.

Competition Shoes

Lightweight and flexible taekwondo shoes are designed specifically for competitions.

They offer traction and grip on the mat, allowing practitioners to execute quick movements and kicks without compromising balance or safety.

What Is Taekwondo Sparring Gear Called?

The sparring gear used in Taekwondo is commonly referred to as “protective equipment” or “protective gear.”

It is designed to provide safety and protection for practitioners during sparring sessions and competitions.

The specific gear used in Taekwondo sparring typically includes the following:

Headgear: A padded helmet that covers the head and provides protection for the ears, forehead, and chin.

Chest Protector: A padded vest is worn to protect the chest and abdomen. It helps absorb and distribute the impact of strikes.

Groin Protector: A protective cup is worn by male practitioners to protect the groin area.

Forearm Guards: Padded guards are worn on the forearms to protect against strikes and blocks.

Shin Guards: Protective gear worn on the shins to guard against kicks and blocks.

Hand Guards: Padded gloves or mitts designed to protect the hands and wrists during sparring.

Mouthguard: A mouthpiece that helps protect the teeth and mouth from impact.

It’s important to note that the specific requirements and regulations regarding sparring gear may vary depending on the rules and guidelines of the Taekwondo organization or competition you are participating in.

Benefits of Wearing Taekwondo Gear

There are many benefits to wearing Taekwondo gear. First, it can help to protect you from injury.

The helmet, pads, and mouthguard can all help to prevent serious injuries to the head, hands, feet, and teeth.

Second, Taekwondo gear can help to improve your performance. When you are wearing the right gear, you are less likely to be distracted by pain or discomfort.

This can help you to focus on your training and improve your technique.

Third, Taekwondo gear can help to promote a sense of discipline and respect.

When you are wearing the proper uniform, you are sending a message that you are serious about your training.

This can help you to develop a positive attitude and a strong work ethic.

Where to Buy Taekwondo Gear

Taekwondo gear can be purchased at most sporting goods stores or online retailers.

When purchasing Taekwondo gear, it is important to choose a reputable retailer that sells high-quality products.

How Much Does Taekwondo Gear Cost?

The cost of Taekwondo gear varies depending on the type of gear and the quality of the materials.

In general, you can expect to pay between $50 and $200 for a complete set of Taekwondo gear.

Different Sizes of Taekwondo Gear

Taekwondo gear is available in a variety of sizes to fit people of all ages and sizes.

When purchasing Taekwondo gear, it is important to measure yourself and choose the size that fits you best.

Are There Weapons in Taekwondo?

Yes, there are weapons in Taekwondo. Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that originated in the early 20th century. It is characterized by its emphasis on kicking, but it also teaches the use of weapons.

Taekwondo is traditionally not a weapon-based martial art style as it relies on its bare hands and legs to as its weapons.

However, while the use of weapons is generally not accepted and encouraged in taekwondo, especially in competitions, some taekwondo styles (ATA Martial Arts, formerly known as the American Taekwondo Association) have managed to incorporate it into their program.

The most common weapons used in Taekwondo are the following:

  • Bo staff: The bo staff is a long, wooden staff that is used for striking and blocking.
  • Nunchaku: Nunchaku are two short sticks connected by a chain or rope. They are used for striking and blocking.
  • Sai: Sai are three-pronged weapons that are used for stabbing and blocking.
  • Tanto: Tanto are short swords that are used for stabbing and slashing.

The use of weapons in Taekwondo is not limited to sparring.

Weapons are also used in forms, which are choreographed sequences of movements that demonstrate the techniques of the art.

Forms are an important part of Taekwondo training, as they help to develop muscle memory and improve technique.

See: Does Taekwondo Use Weapons?

How to Care for Taekwondo Gear

Taekwondo gear should be cleaned after each use. To clean your Taekwondo gear, simply hand wash it with mild soap and water.

Be sure to rinse it thoroughly and hang it to dry.

Taekwondo gear should also be stored in a cool, dry place when not in use.

This will help to keep it in good condition and extend its lifespan


Equipping oneself with the right taekwondo gear is essential for both training and competitions.

From the dobok to protective gear, training equipment, and competition-specific gear, each piece serves a specific purpose in enhancing safety, performance, and overall experience.

By investing in high-quality gear and maintaining it properly, taekwondo practitioners can train and compete with confidence, pushing their limits and achieving success in this beautiful martial art.

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