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The Ddal Gear Story

My husband, daughters and I are all black belts in the Korean Martial Art of Tae Kwon Do. My interest in Tae Kwon Do began about 16 years ago while I was working as a litigation paralegal. From the beginning, I fell in love with Tae Kwon Do. Putting on that uniform is a great way to help manage job stress and get really fit. I have always been frustrated with the fit, feel, comfort, and look of traditional martial arts uniforms. They simply are not designed with a woman’s (or even a girl’s!) body in mind. Heaven forbid you have a bust, hips or tush! At the beginning, I just put that frustration down to my own personality quirks because there wasn’t anything else available.

I received by deputy black belt when I was 10 weeks pregnant with my second child. When I became pregnant the uniform became a major frustration. To accommodate my baby bump, I had to wear a larger size with longer arms and legs that got in the way of my training—and it didn’t help my self-esteem that it also made me look MUCH bigger than I really was.

It was then I realized that a well-fitting uniform can make a huge impact on reaching your training goals. And for women, how they think they look can be a great confidence booster. Female gymnasts and figure skaters are good examples. After complaining for several years, exploring different options, and still being dissatisfied with what is (or in this case, is not) available for serious women martial artists, Ddal Gear was born. Since all of our frustrated sisters on the mat are someone’s daughter, we chose the Korean word for daughter, ddal, to name our new breed of uniforms.

Our first prototype was just an altered traditional uniform, but it was met with tremendous enthusiasm from my fellow female martial artists. This initial success gave me the confidence to move forward and create fully re-designed uniforms specifically for women.

Molly T., Peachtree City, GA.

I love it. Seeing myself in a dobok that was actually flattering was amazing. The pants are incredibly comfortable, not having to roll a bulky drawstring elastic waistband is very nice. With the new waist band I can wear the pants at my hips without adding any bulk, tightness, or having to constantly readjust. I am looking forward with great anticipation of having my very own DdalGear dobok.