Martial Arts Product Sites

The following sites are not sponsoring BestTKD, they are simply sites that I believe will assist Taekwon-Do practitioners in finding all the equipment, books, training aids, clothes, jewlery, and much more, that they want and need.

Pine Tree Sang Moo Sa – Sangmoosa equipment, ect.

Century Martial Arts– Martial Arts equipment, ect.

Sharkwear Sports Top Ten Gear– official ITF gear

Adidas Taekwondo– official WTF gear

KarateDepot.com– Martial Arts equipment, ect.

Budovideos.com– Martial Arts books, equipment, ect.

Comdo Pro Shop– The Legacy books, jewlery, ect.

Sparring Gear

Top-Ten gear

Sparring gear is used in sparring competition. The ITF’s official sparring gear is Top-Ten and the WTF uses Adidas, but at the do-jang or at smaller tournaments, the popular Macho gear is often used.  Below is a list of common sparring equipment pieces:

  • Hand Gear/gloves
  • Foot gear
  • Head gear (sometimes optional)
  • Chest protector (optional in ITF, required in WTF)
  • Shin gaurds (optional)
  • Groin cup (male) (often optional)
  • Breast protector (female) (optional)
  • Mouthgaurd (sometimes optional)

Common colors include red, white, black, blue and pink. Other colors include purple, orange, yellow, and silver. In the ITF National Championships, only the colors red and blue are allowed.

Adidas gear

The popular Macho gear

Sparring

 
ITF Sparring

 

ITF Sparring

 

Sparring is the term for practice-fighting in a Taekwon-Do class. It is also the kind of fighting most commonly used at tournaments. The ITF-style Taekwon-Do practitioners practice continuous point-sparring, and the WTF style also does, but in a very different way. Other Taekwon-Do schools or styles will practice one-point sparring; every time a point is scored in competition the match is stopped and it is awarded. Generally ‘light-contact’ is the allowed power in tournaments, but very often ‘light-contact’ means to go nearly as hard as you can! Top-Ten sparring gear is the offical ITF sparring gear, and Adidas is the WTF’s offical equipment brand.

You are not allowed to go to the ground, hit to the back, or kick below the belt in ITF-style sparring, but in competition hitting to the face is allowed. In WTF style, punches rarely count or are even used, and chest protectors are required. Switch kicks are commonly used as the bread-and-butter technique in this Olympic-style sport Taekwondo. Often electric scoring methods are used in the WTF, where each kick will count as a point automatically, no corner-judges required. Honestly, this can become a problem because some good kicks won’t be counted, while other kicks with incorrect technique will be. The ITF sparring points are counted by hand by four corner judges. Any punch is one point. Any standing kick is two points. Any jumping kick to the head is three points. Wins by knockout are not encouraged, but it has been known to happen.

Sparring is different from fighting in the fact that the emphasis is on point-scoring, whereas in a real fight points don’t matter and you can attack to vital spot such as the eyes, philtrum, groin, and solar plexus. Many do-jangs will also teach what you should do in a real fight as opposed to tournament sparring.

This kind of sparring is not to be confused with Pre-Arranged Free Sparring and Step-Sparring, which are pre-arranged self defense sequences and, while effective for teaching techniques and for demonstration, is nothing like actual sparring.

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