What does ‘hogu’ mean in Taekwondo?

In Taekwondo, ‘hogu’ refers to the protective gear worn by Taekwondo fighters during sparring matches.

Different styles of Taekwondo use different 호구 hogu in sparring matches. In World Taekwondo, hogu consists of a head guard, gloves, foot guards, and a torso protector. The International Taekwon-Do Federation uses similar protective gear, except without the torso protector.

In World Taekwondo, hogu is often coloured to make it easier to distinguish the two fighters from one another (as they may move around the sparring area quite fast, and swap sides). One set of gear is coloured red and the other blue. In International Taekwon-Do Federation sparring matches, a coloured tag is often used instead.

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If you'd like to learn more about the Korean terminology used in Taekwondo, consider buying this book: Taekwondo Terminology. It contains an extensive dictionary of terms used in Taekwondo, as well as explanations on how to pronounce Korean words, and aspects of Korean grammar.

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