My husband, daughters and I are all black belts in the Korean Martial Art of Tae Kwon Do. As a long-time female martial artist, I have always been frustrated with the fit, feel, comfort, and look of traditional martial arts uniforms. They simply are not designed with a woman's (or even a girl's!) body in mind. Heaven forbid you have a bust, hips or tush!
After complaining for several years, exploring different options, and still being dissatisfied with what is (or in this case, is not) available for women martial artists, Ddal Gear was born. Our first prototype was just an altered traditional uniform, but it was met with tremendous enthusiasm from my fellow female martial artists. This initial success gave me the confidence to move forward and create fully re-designed uniforms specifically for women.
With Ddal Gear, we've thrown out the traditional elastic/draw-string waist on the pants and replaced it with a yoga pant style top that doesn't leave judgmental pink teeth on your torso. It will even cover you nearly to the bust if you choose -- great for take downs and rolling when even the best uniform top can get dislodged. Our redesigned uniform tops also ride up less and require less adjustment in between moves than traditional uniforms--so you can skip the pulling and tugging and focus on your next move.
We have three fits, and the Lily Fit is currently in production and will be available in March (approximately 2 to 24). The Blossom (for slimmer gals - approximately 00 to 10) and the Lotus (for curvy ladies - approximately 18 and up) are in the final prototyping stage. We expect to have them in production in May and available in June. Tops and pants are available separately so you can create your perfect uniform in the sizes and fits that work best for you. There is some quite a bit of overlap between the fits and sizes. They are made from awesome fabric so they're super-comfortable while still retaining the traditional look and feel of a martial arts uniform.
All funding received will be used to help Ddal Gear update and revise the Blossom and Lotus fits and market the uniforms to individuals as well as martial arts schools.
Women are not just smaller men. Better uniforms will encourage more female martial artists to start and stay with their training. There are a lot of uniform manufacturers out there, but they don't seem to have same respect for the female martial artist as Ddal Gear. This means the market is potentially wide open for us to create a successful company that meets a consumer demand which won't be going away. I know we can do it and hope you'll consider supporting us!
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge is getting the word out there that there is something different available for women in martial arts. There's never really been anything different for women and what has been offered previously has been lackluster at best. It isn't occurring to women to look for an alternative. That's why marketing is especially important -- and why I have been incredibly pushy with my family and friends to spread the word. I want to use this Kickstarter project to overcome that obstacle.
If you back my project (or even if you don't), you could be instrumental in spreading the word to your friends and family in person, through Facebook and other social media.
We can't predict the future, but my team and I are equipped and ready to put your funding to its best possible use.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)