March 1, 2024

US National Taekwondo Association

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The Taekwondo Uniform by Richard Hackworth

The Taekwondo Uniform by Richard Hackworth

DoBok: The uniform worn by all Korean martial arts students, including Taekwondo, is called a DoBok. This word has a deep meaning to Taekwondo students. The first part of this word is “DO” which describes the martial arts “Way of Life” in Korean. The second part is “BOK” which is the word for traditional Korean clothing. So, in essence, “DOBOK” is the clothing for our way of life. The white color of the beginners DoBok dates back to its meaning in ancient Korean times. The color white represented pureness of thought and deed. Many Grand Masters say that when they were white, they can feel a reverence for life and the importance of living as a good citizen. Wearing a clean uniform in good repair to class shows your understanding of this philosophy. Looking your best, will help you feel your best.

Some experts have the following thoughts on why we wear the traditional uniform.

Instructor R.J. Reitmire – “It makes everyone the same”

GM Jan Brown – “Team building and standardization.”

GM Benjamin Kissling – “Unity. When individuals are required to wear the same uniform as others (or “gi” as it is known in the martial arts world), it makes the person become part of a group. In the martial arts, the unity of students is important to the school and organization as a united body of one.”

GM Henry G Lozano – “Belonging, Tradition, uniformly, military like.”

Black Belt Nathan Lambert – “When i first started class it made me feel like i was starting a new era in my life. And it made me feel like i was part of something. Now i do not focus on that anymore but rather on the training and personal development.”

About the author: Richard Hackworth is a natural medicine and nutritional research specialist. He is the Vice President of the US National Taekwondo Association and owner / operator of the American Dragon Martial Arts Academies in Ocoee, Florida where he personally works with adults, families, and children to improve their lives through the healthy martial arts training lifestyle. Follow us at  Subscribe to our channel at