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Why are martial arts uniforms for women important?

Those that know me, know that I rarely get really candid without making a joke or putting some funny spin on it. However, I want everyone who visits our Facebook page, follows our tweets or comes to our Kickstarter project to know just how important this is and what the goals are for Ddal Gear.

I don’t know if everyone has felt this way, but I’ve been searching for a way I can make a difference and for me Ddal Gear is it. I have another business doing bookkeeping for small companies like Ddal Gear (some symmetry or something in that). I’ve just never found something that consumed me the way a cause or business should. I’ve yearned for it. Clothing might seem like a silly way to make a difference in the world, but it is deeper than just clothes we wear on the mat (or making the clothes, but I’ll talk about that another time).

Think about your favorite outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks. That outfit improves your confidence, makes you more outgoing, and it’s the one you wear when you want to try something new, meet new people or a find yourself in a tough situation.

Now think about your regular every day clothes. You don’t mind being seen in your regular clothes, but they don’t make you feel super awesome and confident. What about the clothes that you hide away in the back of your closet because you hate the way you look in them? You wouldn’t wear those to a job interview, a date or even to the grocery store, unless you were forced.

Now imagine having to put on an outfit two to five times a week that you hide in the back of your closet that makes you feel frumpy and fat. You are afraid that it will expose you in some way at the least opportune time – oh and you also have to perform in front of other people in it. Plus its pretty uncomfortable and you may even step on it when walking. You have no choice but to wear this outfit. Finally, you get to do all of this in front of a wall of mirrors, so you can’t even pretend it’s not that bad. Pretty crummy, right?

Women on the mat deal with this every day. It says a lot about women that we get past it and get our black belts. Many women I’ve talked to sheepishly admit that the uniform played some part in them giving up (or not starting) martial arts. Martial arts is hard, and the uniform makes it harder. We shouldn’t be ashamed to admit it. I’m not delusional, I don’t think that better uniforms will make every woman want to be a black belt or even get involved in martial arts. I do know that it will increase our numbers.

If I can keep more women and girls in martial arts because this uniform makes them feel better on the mat, I will have made a difference. If a few more women start taking martial arts and are able to defend themselves I will have made a difference.

So it’s not just about the clothes, it’s about building confidence, it’s about being able to focus on what’s important. It’s about being accepted on the mat for who we are and where we are, and I think Ddal Gear will foster that.

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.