When you get to the point in your Taekwondo learning where you can actually start sparring you will need to get a few sparring Taekwondo gear items before you begin. The first tip I give people who ask what sparring equipment and martial arts supplies they should buy is to invest in a good quality Taekwondo uniforms. You probably have a uniform that was provided by your Taekwondo school when you started so take your time and money and invest in a good Dobak.
You will notice the difference right away when you put on a quality Taekwondo uniforms from the cheap ones in that they just feel thicker and they will fit you better even though they are the same size as your cheaper Tae Kwon Do uniform. You will also notice a much better snap on the uniform when you are performing you forms which will add to the appearance of power to the tournament judges if you should decide to compete.
So, back onto the subject of Taekwondo sparring gear. There are items you will need to invest in to begin your sparring training. I broke these up into two categories required which is the sparring gear that you must have to begin and optional which is your choice whether or not to get.
Required Sparring Gear
- Mouth Guard – The most undervalued piece of sparring equipment! You will need to have a good mouthpiece some of the best are from the Shock Dr.
- Sparring Headgear – This will protect your head from ax or drop kicks along with those high round house kicks. Most of the time when someone is kicking to the head they should have total control over their power, but the headgear is there when and if you are sparring an opponent that doesn’t have that control.
- Chest Protector – Make sure you get the correct size so it isn’t moving around on you when you are sparring. Also, make sure it isn’t too small which will leave your chest and lower abdomen wide open to a very hard kick.
- Shin & Foot Protection – This is important to protect your shins and feet. You will clash legs with your sparring opponent several times so the shin pads will keep your shin bone and top of your foot from developing a broken bone.
- Groin Protection – For the guys this is a required for those off target kicks.
Optional Sparring Gear
- Forearm Protection – This will protect your forearms since you will be blocking a variety of kicks. If you should decide to get forearm pads you should expect some serious bruises on your forearms.
- Sparring Gloves – These are not used a lot but can certainly help you avoid knuckle & finger injuries.