Can Athletes Wear Any Color Of Dobok In Taekwondo Olympics?

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As one of the world’s most well-known martial arts, Taekwondo has been an Olympic sport since 2000. Over the years, thousands of athletes from all over the globe have competed for the coveted gold medal in this fast-paced martial art. Like any other sport, Taekwondo has specific rules and regulations that athletes must adhere to, including attire. In this article, we will answer the question: Can athletes wear any color of dobok (uniform) in Taekwondo Olympics?


What is a Dobok in Taekwondo?

Before we dive into the color of doboks in Olympic Taekwondo, let’s first understand what a dobok is. A dobok is the traditional uniform worn by Taekwondo practitioners during training and competitions. The dobok consists of a jacket and pants, both of which are usually white in color. The uniform is designed to be lightweight and allow for maximum movement during training and competition. The dobok is also intended to demonstrate the discipline and humility of Taekwondo practitioners.


What are the Rules for Dobok Colors in Taekwondo?

In Taekwondo, the rules for dobok colors can vary depending on the organization and country. However, there are some common guidelines that are widely followed. Here are the general rules for dobok colors in Taekwondo:

  1. White Dobok: The most common color for a Taekwondo dobok is white. It is usually worn by beginners or practitioners who have not yet attained a black belt. White symbolizes purity and the beginner’s mindset.
  2. Black Dobok: Black doboks are typically worn by practitioners who have attained the rank of black belt. It signifies maturity, expertise, and a high level of proficiency in Taekwondo. Black belt practitioners often serve as instructors or masters within the Taekwondo community.
  3. Color Trim: In some Taekwondo schools or organizations, practitioners may wear doboks with colored trims or stripes on the jacket or pants. These colors can represent various achievements or ranks within the color belt system, which precedes the black belt rank.
  4. Colored Belts: Taekwondo uses a color belt system to signify different levels of skill and progression. The colors of the belts can vary, but they commonly include white, yellow, green, blue, red, and black. The color belt system provides a clear visual representation of a practitioner’s advancement through the ranks.


Why are Doboks Usually White in Taekwondo?

Doboks, the traditional uniforms worn in Taekwondo, are typically white for several reasons. The color white has cultural, historical, and practical significance in the context of Taekwondo. Here are some reasons why doboks are usually white:

  1. Cultural and Historical Significance: White holds symbolic importance in many Eastern cultures, including Korea, where Taekwondo originated. In Korean culture, white represents purity, integrity, and the pursuit of knowledge and perfection. It is associated with the idea of starting with a blank slate and striving for self-improvement and moral development.
  2. Traditional Uniforms: The white dobok is rooted in the historical context of martial arts uniforms in Korea. The original doboks, known as hanboks, were adapted into the modern doboks. Hanboks, which were white, were worn by Korean scholars and aristocrats during the Joseon Dynasty. The use of white in doboks pays homage to this historical connection and the values associated with it.
  3. Practical Considerations: White doboks offer practical benefits in training and competition. The color white is highly visible and allows instructors and judges to easily observe the practitioners’ movements, techniques, and stances. It also helps in distinguishing and assessing the accuracy of kicks and strikes, which is crucial in Taekwondo.
  4. Equality and Unity: Taekwondo promotes equality and unity among its practitioners. By having everyone wear the same color uniform, regardless of age, gender, or skill level, it fosters a sense of equality and unity within the Taekwondo community. It emphasizes that all practitioners are on an equal journey of self-improvement and respect.


Can Athletes Customize Their Doboks in Taekwondo?

In Olympic Taekwondo, athletes are not allowed to make any modifications to their doboks. The uniform must be plain and free from any symbols, logos, or other embellishments. The only exception to this rule is the national emblem, which is allowed on the upper left-hand side of the uniform jacket.

However, some schools and organizations may allow customized doboks for their students or members. These customized uniforms may feature patches, embroidery, or logos relevant to the school or organization.


How Do Athletes Choose Their Dobok Size in Taekwondo?

Choosing the right size dobok is important to ensure maximum comfort and mobility during training and competition. In Taekwondo, doboks are typically sized based on height rather than weight. A general guide for choosing the correct dobok size is to add 10cm (4 inches) to the athlete’s height. For example, if an athlete is 160cm (5’3″) tall, they should choose a dobok that is 170cm (5’7″) in length.

It is also important to consider the fit of the dobok. The uniform should be loose enough to allow for easy movement but not so loose that it interferes with the practitioner’s movements or becomes a hindrance during training or competition.


What are the Different Materials Used in Doboks?

Doboks can be made from a variety of materials, including cotton, polyester, and a blend of both. Cotton doboks are typically more traditional and preferred by many practitioners for their comfort and breathability. Polyester doboks are more lightweight and known for their ability to wick away sweat and moisture, making them a popular choice for high-intensity training and competitions.

Ultimately, the choice of dobok material depends on personal preference and the athlete’s needs for comfort, breathability, and performance.



In conclusion, athletes in Olympic Taekwondo are required to wear either a white or blue uniform during competition. The color of the dobok depends on which side the athlete is competing on. Traditionally, Taekwondo doboks are white in color, symbolizing purity, humility, and discipline. There are rules and regulations regarding dobok customization and size. And finally, doboks can be made from a variety of materials to best fit the athlete’s needs.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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