Your Taekwondo Sparring Gear - Your Guide to Choosing the Right Gear and Looking After it.
Taekwondo sparring gear is a big investment!
On this page we guide you to the right gear for you so you don't make expensive mistakes
And once you've made the investment... you need to look after it.
So we also tell you how to wash your tkd gear.
Your chest guard (hogu) is the most expensive part of your sparring gear.
It's designed to protect you from kicks to your trunk. The best chest guards wrap around and protect your kidneys.
Chest protectors are used in WTF (Olympic) taekwondo. In ITF taekwondo you see foot pads used instead.
You can see this competitor is wearing a head guard. Choose a white head guard otherwise you need to buy red and blue.
He's also wearing gloves - these are compulsory now in many tournaments although you won't need them just for basic WTF training. If you do ITF sparring you'll need boxing style gloves.
This competitor will also be wearing a groin guard, mouth guard and shin and arm guards.
And once you have your gear...
try to wash your sparring gear after every training session!
When you train hard... you sweat. And your sweat soaks into your sparring gear.
And if you don't wash the sweat off?...
...2 things happen.
Firstly your gear stinks- and so you stink when you put your gear on. Which is not really fair on your team mates.
And secondly the sweat rots your gear and it falls apart.
The photo shows a hogu damaged by sweat.
...after each training session try to give your taekwondo sparring gear a wash.
For a routine wash we hose our gear off in the garden. And then leave it to dry in a shady spot. Never tumble dry your gear- it will melt the plastic!
Once every couple of months we put our shin, arm, head and groin guards through the washing machine on a gentle, cool wash.
And we wash our chest protectors in a big sink of warm soapy water.
You also need to wash your mouth guard after each use to stop bacteria building up on it.
Then wipe out your taekwondo gear bag and put your dry gear away in your bag for the next training session. When you open your bag at training- it will smell great!