Every Taekwondo America student (if you are a Hilliard Taekwondo Academy student, you are a Taekwondo America student) must have the same level of protection to reduce the probability of injury during sparring. If gear does not have the Taekwondo America co-branding on it we can't be sure what it's made of or how it was manufactured. Students with different qualities of sparring gear feel contact differently and will punch/kick other students lighter or harder depending on how their own gear absorbs impact. If we allowed everyone to purchase any gear they wanted, some parents would buy the thickest most expensive gear available and some parents would purchase the cheapest lowest quality gear they could find in order to save money and the student with the much thicker higher quality gear is going to punch and kick harder because their gear absorbs impact better so they think it's okay to hit harder. The national organization has worked hard to find a moderately priced type of sparring gear that offers value and ensures every student has the same level of protection from their sparring gear.