The Exciting History of Taekwondo Uniforms
At Otomix, we’re fascinated by the history of the taekwondo uniforms. While the modern uniform is a bit different from the traditional military uniforms of old, the two still share some similar elements.
Today, Taekwondo is considered a martial art and a sport and is widely practiced all over the world. However, both Taekwondo, and taekwondo uniforms have their roots in ancient Korea.
Three Kingdom Warriors
Like many Korean martial arts, the predecessors of Taekwondo have roots in the war arts developed in the three kingdoms of Goguryeo, Bakeje and Silla. Each kingdom developed their own style of martial arts, which often branched out into other styles. In the 1950s, however, there was a call to unify all these arts. The result was Taekwondo.
Because Taekwondo’s ancestor styles were commonly used in war, it was necessary to have a uniform with appropriate markings to separate yourself from the enemy soldiers. Although the warriors of ancient Korea may have worn light armor for protection, they also had to ensure that their movements were free and unrestricted to allow them to go to war effectively. This practical consideration would later influence modern taekwondo uniforms.
Hanbok to Dobok
In many ways, the traditional Korean hanbok or dress provided some of this functionality. The hanbok was loose and comfortable, allowing for a good range of motion. The military uniform, called the gugunbok, followed similar stylings.
The dongdari or the inner layer was fitted to the shoulders but slightly billowed out at the chest and sleeves. Over this, they wore a jeonbok or a long sleeveless vest. While loose, the hanbok was general be made of heavy fabric, and included a variety of layers, which could be quite cumbersome on the battlefield.
Modern-day taekwondo uniforms are called dobok. The dobok available in our store are designed to retain the good qualities of gugunbok but, at the same time, introduce modern-day style and practicality.
Other Modern Options
While a number of taekwondo practitioners prefer to wear the dobok as a nod to the history of the martial art, some mixed martial arts practitioners prefer to use modern designs that are more comfortable, but still respectful of the traditional garb worn by Taekwondo’s founders. .
Along with a good uniform, it’s also important to get good martial arts shoes and gear. Our shoes here at Otomix provide the very same sensibility as uniforms. They’re functional and lightweight, ensuring that you can shift stances and kicks without a lot of extra weight. They’re also comfortable and durable, making them a perfect investment for the years to come.