About Suits

Looking after your Taekwondo uniform, and what it means

If you are unsure of anthing, please ask your instructor.

Suit (Dobok)

Your dobok is one of the most crucial parts of your uniform. Coming from the words DO (“correct way”) and Bok (“clothing”); it represents the uniform of a martial artist.

Your dobok should be white to symbolise cleanliness, purity, innocence and readiness to learn.

A traditional dobok should be as plain as possible with a white V-neck collar. At Wabi Sabi, the only extras you should have on your dobok are your BTA and Wabi Sabi badges (see below for information).

Above all, your dobok is a representation not only of your martial art, but also your school (kwang), your training hall (dojang), your instructor and most importantly, yourself. With this in mind, your dobok should always be kept clean and ironed. Imagine you are going for a job interview – would you wear a white shirt with a huge stain on the front? A clean dobok is a mark of respect. When at home, you should hang up your dobok or fold it correctly and store it somewhere safe. When washing your suit, do not use fabric conditioner and do not use a tumble dryer. Otherwise, the suit can lose its ‘snap’ or shrink.

Belt (Dhee)

Your belt is another important aspect of your uniform. Again, your belt is a reflection of your school and yourself, so much like your dobok, it should be kept clean and well-maintained. It should NEVER touch the floor, as a sign of respect.

The belt, much like the dobok, has a much deeper significance than just a piece of cloth. When tied, the knot of the belt rests just below the abdomen. This is to symbolise where your qi (inner-energy) stems from. It should guide our every movement, not just in taekwondo, but in life. The parts of the belt that hang in the centre should be used as a guide for grounding your stances – direct your qi in the same direction the belt hangs.

Each belt has a different meaning, from white belt having the same meaning as the dobok, up to black belt, meaning maturity and invulnerability to darkness and fear. At Wabi-Sabi, we often express the philosophy that black belt is not the end, it is the beginning. You have shown you are now ready to learn. Black is a void, showing an absence of knowledge – now it is time to begin learning. Much like driving a car, you don’t really start learning until after you have passed your test!

Always remember, progressing through the belts is not a race, and should not be seen as an end goal. While the colour of belt denotes rank, it does not always denote skill. Black belt, for example, does not signify that you are an expert at Taekwondo, in the same way that white belt does not necessarily mean you are a total novice. A yellow belt may not be as good at poomsae as a red belt, for example, but may be more of a natural at sparring. You will progress through the belts at your own pace, and continue to learn as you do so.

Tying your belt correctly is equally important. There is a specific way of doing this. The belt is tied right over left, left over right. The idea of the right side going first aligns with the concept that the right side is more dominant in Taekwondo. The belt is tied once around the waist, symbolising:


You will notice two badges on the doboks of all Wabi Sabi students. The first is the Wabi Sabi badge. This goes on the left side, over the heart. Its placement signifies that you should always hold your school close to your heart – its students, teachings, and philosophies. You will come to realise that Taekwondo becomes not just a martial art, but a way of life. The second is the BTA badge, the symbol of our governing body, the British Taekwondo Association. This goes on the right hand side, usually over where you would find the brand logo. You will also notice that your instructors will have a third ‘Instructor’ badge.

Do I have to wear my dobok to every class?

Yes. Unless told otherwise or previously discussed with the instructor, full doboks are mandatory. This will only ever change in summertime/hot weather, or for certain lessons at the instructor’s discretion, when you will be invited to train in half doboks. This consists of your dobok trousers and (preferably) a plain t-shirt, or club t-shirt if you have one.

We also make an exception for women who are experiencing periods. To avoid embarrassment, black dobok pants are permitted alongside the standard white top. Speak to your instructor about how to get these.

How to purchase suits and other kit

Sizing and prices

Our doboks come in a great manner of different sizes, normally ranging from 110cm to 200cm. Any exceptions to these measurements can be accommodated.

Doboks measuring 160cm and below are currently £20.
Doboks measuring 170cm and above are currently £25.

Note: Prices are always subject to change depending on wholesale cost increases.

To measure correctly for your dobok, stand with your back flat against the wall and measure your height. It is then advisable to round up to the next size (eg 173cm=180cm). This gives you plenty of moving room.

For our younger students, it is definitely advisable to get a size up – or maybe more, depending how fast they grow! The sleeves/waistband can always be rolled up while they grow into their suit. This reduces the need to buy a new suit every six months.

Dobok donation

In the spirit of preserving our planet and avoiding unnecessary wastage, we also offer a dobok donation scheme. You can hand in your old dobok when you buy a new one from us, and in turn, receive money off your order. Likewise, should you wish to buy a second-hand dobok, this will be cheaper than a new one. And don’t worry, it will be washed and ironed after being handed back to us!

*We don’t mean to say that you should ignore teachings of other masters. Rather, during your Taekwondo journey you will ‘choose’ a master, whose teaching and philosophy will always serve as a reference point.