If you've just started Taekwondo and are thinking about getting a uniform (dobok), here's some key information to keep in mind when making that first investment.
What colour collar to have?
One of the most differentiating characteristics of the Taekwondo dobok is its “V” neck. In contrast to other martial arts such as Karate, Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which have uniforms with two pieces folding over each other, the taekwondo uniform has a pullover top.
There are 3 different coloured collars on Taekwondo doboks.
White Collar - For all colour belt grades
Black Collar - For Black Belt holders
Red/Black Collar - For Poom/Junior Black belt holders
Some clubs may have different rules for their students, but traditionally this is the system that is used.
Most people tend to start their taekwondo journey with an inexpensive cotton dobok. Now there is nothing wrong with this, but you will find that during training sessions the cotton uniforms retain all the moisture, and you end up training in a sweat soaked, sticky, smelly uniform.
The next step up is a cotton/polyester mix. These uniforms also tend to have a 'textured' or 'ribbed' pattern. The 'texture' helps to prevent the material from sticking to your skin and the material will wick moisture away better than a plain cotton option.
100% polyester uniforms are better again. These are very effective at wicking moisture away, are usually less than half the weight of a cotton uniform and tend to be more performance orientated. Get one of these uniforms if you train a lot or plan on entering competition.
The top-of-the-line uniforms feature a polyester/spandex/nylon mesh mix. These uniforms are super lightweight and are ergonomically designed to move with your body. They not only wick moisture away but feature additional mesh panels to aid in ventilation. Once you own one of these uniforms, you will never go back to a basic one!
It might be true that thick uniforms can last longer but this isn't generally an issue in taekwondo. The lack of grappling in taekwondo allows the uniform to be thin and light. Doboks in taekwondo can very lightweight compared to other martial arts’ uniforms, most performance options don’t weigh more than 250 grams. This is due to the acrobatic nature of taekwondo which requires speed and agility.
Belts should be sufficiently long to go around the waist twice. Some white collared uniforms often include a white belt. General rule of thumb when choosing a belt length is to measure the circumference of your waist, then multiply that measurement by 3. Choose the belt length closest to this amount.
Polyester and cotton blends shrink less than cotton, but 100% polyester doboks are the ones that shrink the least.
- Wash you dobok after every training session
- Turn your dobok inside out before washing
- Always wash exclusively in cold water
- Do not use bleach to wash your dobok
- Hang your dobok out to dry
- Do not use tumble dryers for your dobok to prevent shrinkage
- Ironing is fine if needed but it is best to be avoided. If done, flip the dobok inside out. Be extra careful with 100% polyester uniforms as they could melt!
If you are still unsure about which dobok is right for you, contact us at:
New Zealand: firstname.lastname@example.org