Sunday, August 25, 2013

New Female Taekwondo Uniforms: Sexist or Innovative?

The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) is considering a redesigned dobok to be worn by female competitors.

The model designed by Juanjo PadrĂ³s [director of the Andorra TKD Federation], is a Taekwondo uniform that fits to the body using Lycra fabrics. The other model consists of a dress with a skirt and Lycra pants, giving it a more feminine touch to the Dobok. (Bolding mine)

Some reasons offered for the new look:

  1. All scientific evidence suggests that new fabrics are vital to fit the body and allow a better freedom of movement, creating more definition and clean movements. People will enjoy better definition and movement.
  2. The latest advances in medicine and physiotherapy, as tiping or other techniques, can be applied to Doboks.
  3. The new technologies like blood pressure, heart beat, and temperature control chips can be applied in the new Doboks, and thus show to the world the most modern and innovative martial art and sport.
  4. Sometimes, for amateur spectators, it is difficult to differentiate if it is a female or male combat. With these new models, the categories will be easier to differentiate.
  5. The most important reason is to take a better advantage of our female competitors because they are a treasure. It is important to show that practicing Taekwondo gives good health, helps to stay fit and gives a beautiful body shape. This last issue must be exploited and must be used to promote Taekwondo in this specific moment, after the success in the Olympics and a great World Championship, to attract television and mass media interest.

The martial arts uniform should be utilitarian and tastefully simple. More definition? Control chips? I think this redesign is strictly to pump up male viewership. Again, it's still under consideration.

Hopefully this time, tradition will prevail.

(h/t: reddit/karate)

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