There is not a lot that you will need to start your journey into the martial arts more than an open mind. But we wanted to put together a quick list of things the first time Taekwondo student will need to have for their very first class. First we have covered the essential required items, and then some of the optional items you may or may not want to include. Lastly, we have added a few little tidbits of random things which will make those first few weeks more enjoyable and maybe even fun!
- Taekwondo Uniform
It is best to get the most basic white Taekwondo uniform you can. When you have been in class for a few months and have attended class consistently then you can move up to a higher quality more expensive uniform. So, for starters you will need to thinnest uniform you can get. This generally means less expensive since it is comprised of less cotton since the more cotton a uniform has the more expensive it will be in most cases. You can also get a cotton polyester blend which is usually noted by saying ‘cotton/poly’ or something like 40% Cotton/60% Polyester somewhere in the description.
In most cases you will also want a traditional style wrap jacket. In Taekwondo there is an option to get a V-Neck uniform that is a pullover jacket instead of the traditional wrap around one you normally think of. Wait on the V-Neck until your second or third uniform when you are little more experienced and understand how your school views non-traditional uniforms.
Deodorant is a Must! Make sure if you are in a job where you sweat and stink all day to stop by your house and clean up a bit. Just make sure you don’t have any dirt or oil on your body that can get on your martial arts uniform or even worse someone else. In a lot of drills you will twist, grab, pull, on another students Gi so your hands must be clean. If you stink then make sure to wash your pits and put on some deodorant. There is nothing worse than doing one steps with someone that has horrible body odor. If you sweat a lot just make sure it doesn’t stink!
Last but certainly not least make sure you have your toe nails cut. There is nothing more gross than seeing a beginning student coming in with some gnarly long toe nails. Don’t worry if you have ugly feet! Just make sure you have the toenails are cut so they aren’t digging into the dojo wooden floor or Taekwondo mats.
If you are female or sweat a lot then you will want to have some underneath shirt. This can be any basic plain white shirt with absolutely no markings. Another great option is a rashguard or ‘body armour’ type shirt that will pull the sweat away from your skin. Plain white t-shirts tend to bunch up and become sopping wet during hard drills and classes. With the rash-guard style shirt you won’t have this problem and it won’t bunch up in one place forcing you to re-tuck your uniform every 5 minutes.
Another thing not a lot of places tell you is if you wear glasses get something to hold them on. Although this isn’t a necessity right off the bat it will become one. There is nothing worse than losing your glasses during a sparring session and not getting time out called fast enough. So do yourself and your sparring partners a favor and invest in something to help you keep your glasses on your face.
Little Tidbits to Get Your Ready
Get ready for some blisters. With all the twisting and turning your feet will be doing on the Dojo floor you will eventually develop calluses, but until then you will have blisters! So, make sure you have some band aids and be prepared for a few days of tender feet. However this won’t last long and you won’t have to deal with this again as long as you are consistently attending class.
Don’t try to do the splits the first class. We all have to start somewhere and it ultimately is more important where you end up. So, take this mental approach and work on your flexibility a little each day. It isn’t going to come all at once but with diligent work over time you will be doing those cool kicks over your head. There are several ways to speed up the rate at which you become flexible.
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