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women and do

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  • women and do

    Ok, if the boys could discuss "freedom kendo" on this forum, then I don't see why I can't bring up this subject as well (although I realize I'm setting myself up for some potentially chugakksei-like responses).

    I'm, er, fairly well endowed on top, unlike most Japanese women and definitely unlike most kendoka. I was just at a college gasshuku for a few days, and I noticed that none of the girls there even wore a bra under their keikogi. There is no way I could do that! My problem therefore is that my do doesn't fit quite right -- it sticks out a bit more than it should. I think this affects my kamai. I've had a number of sensei try to correct my kamai, but it's really difficult for me to get my arms in the right place because my do is in the way. Does anyone else have this problem or know a solution (other than breast reduction surgery -- though believe me I've considered it)?


  • #2
    heya reicheru.....

    hmmm that is a new topic to think about.... no offence in anyway.... of course to us ( the guys ) we dont have that problem.
    just a suggestion, since I have dont know what it feels like, but have you consider that the do might be tied abit tight? or even maybe getting a larger do?

    hehhehe.. just wondering.. I wonder what club would that be.... most girls dont wear bra.. hmmm interesting.. hehhehe.. j/k j/k..... :P

    But yes.. maybe try loosing the do himo a little more so it has abit of room to move or try a larger do....



    • #3
      Hi there Rachel,

      You see, obviously the Do isn't designed for the use of female kendoka (er, with ...bigger chest). This is something worth considering if they'd ever try modernizing the Bogu.

      In the changing room I've heard numerous complain on some male kendoka, who had made some thrusts on their Do's Mune (probably not intentionally, but)... From what they've described... It hurts.

      Because unlike Western Fencing, female players don't have the coconut-shape chest protection gear, there is nothing you can do. Just like the case of Freedom Kendo, a piece of cloth on a bra wouldn't help much. Other sportswomen wear the athletic-type bra for support. But it may or may not be necessary.

      As for the Do effecting Kamae...I don't think it's the Do's fault. You've to adjust the Himo properly. Especially those on your shoulders because you can choose to tie them higher or lower to fit your chest. For the Himo around my waist I tend to tie it tight, so that the Do wouldn't move around so much.

      Well, the only active female user of the forum left is Confound, who would provide other useful advice....


      • #4
        That is not entirely true... I am female and have recently become active too...

        I haven't experienced the problems with the do getting in the way of my camae but I have on the other hand had a sempai who hit very high do-cuts... he had done som iaido and thought that the cut should end high, problem is that's where my breasts are.... Specially since the do presses them out to the side a bit. That is pain!
        Have anyone else experienced this?


        • #5

          Not only girls get this pain. Once during Jigeiko my opponent tried a Do cut but it was high and clipped my nipple between his shinai and my mune/chestguard. Arrrggghhh....

          At my dojo for the beginners we do a tsuki thrust to the chest instead of throat. Usually its Tsuki-men



          • #6
            This summer i participated in the "World University Student Kendo Gathering" in Tokyo. There we had the opportunity to meet a highly skilled Bogu manufacturer. He described the differences between male and female bogu, gi and hakama. The differences was actually quite big allthough I cannot remember them all now. One problem is that this mans bogu was super expencive, like 20.000 dollars and more. There must be cheaper stuff though.


            • #7
              Well, for all the women here, I am basically the biggest in the chest that you can get and still buy bras in a normal store. I find it very difficult for my do to fit. However, what I have been doing is once I bought my own bogu, I bend the do just a little where the leather meets the actual striking area of the do, this gives a little bit of a curve and therefore bends around my breasts just a little better.

              As for female bogu. I can't seem to find anywhere online (and therefore accessible to me) that sells female bogu. The only way that I can see so far is to try and get your measurements almost exact and ask the maker to try and be more generous in the top portion of the do.


              • #8
       sells female bogu, at least they have one in the clearence section which should mean that they actually have female bogu's for sale....

                They are still a bit expensive for me though


                • #9
                  My wife told me that when she was in the school ( all female student ) , her teacher ( in sports , also a female ) said using a very long cloth ( over 3 meter long and around 30 cm wide ) to wrap around the top tightly during exercise for a few girls who's , er , well endowed on top.


                  • #10
                    I've found a sportsbra -- "SportsJock" (made in US, but available in Europe) -- that straps you down and is certainly much more comfortable than wrapping a cloth around your chest.

                    I've also noticed that strapping down does seem to make those high Do cuts hurt a bit less...


                    • #11
                      I would image that is does... I am a poor student so i haven't had the money to buy a proper sportsbra just yet... I could have bought a cheap bad one, but I don't think it would have done me any good... right now I use a tightfitting tanktop instead, it works for stability but not for the high hitting do cuts


                      • #12
                        I have several nice sports bras that hold me in as much as possible; the one I like the best is made by Moving Comfort and specially designed for "full breasted" women. But you could put me in the best sports bra available or wrap me in as much cloth as you want and I'd still be shaped much differently than most of my kendo peers, male or female. As for the pain from do cuts, yeah it hurts like hell sometimes and I've even had bruises on my breasts before, but then again I've had lots of other bruises too so that part doesn't usually bother me too much -- I'm more concerned with my kamae at the moment. I've tried adjusting the himo, but whether I ties it higher or lower it still never fits right. I guess I'll try bending it a bit as kendo-chick suggested, and just suck it up and wait until they start making do "specially designed for full breasted women" as well as sports bras!



                        • #13
                          About bruises, I realised now that the new term has begun that I am more resistant to bruises than I was before... The one time i got full hit on the breast with the missed do cut I had only trained for a few weeks... the drawback was that I almost got scared of opening up to a do cut when we where training basics...
                          Tha same guy that did that cut was later so afraid of doing the same thing again that he hit me on the hip instead, and gave me another painful bruise


                          • #14
                            This was a topic of quite a lot of discussion at our seminar in the UK a couple of weeks ago. Without wanting to scare-monger being hit too often on the breast is actually dangerous, as it causes a changing of the fibre of the breast tissue - and increases the risk of breast cancer.

                            I am not medical, but I have started looking into this recently after being on the receiving end of some extremely painful do cuts (actually almost all by the same person - but thats a new topic altogether ) The danger is actually the same for the men - but generally the target is much smaller. (although you do get the odd bloke who could probably do with a sports bra....)

                            I have been looking into different types of Sports Bras, and have found them to be a very worthwhile investment - the Berlei shock absorber range being particularly good. I have found trying to flatten the target as much as possible to be the best option for me - and it also helps the do fit better. kendo chicks Do bending suggestion is also a good one.

                            The problem with protective equipment (ie 'coconuts') is that you could end up with a lot of damage during tai-atari, and they could do more harm than good.

                            I am going to have an experiment with padding round the sides (although this is not condusive to reducing the target - it's big enough already....!) the other idea I have had is to use the flexible plastic type stuff that is on wrist and elbow guards.

                            I'll let you know how I get on.

                            At the end of the day, for the moment we need to educate people to the dangers of striking wildly at do - especially when they are fighting women, and do our best as a group to find the best protection - be it a change in the do, or some type of personal armour.

                            Hope I haven't scared anyone too much - perhaps the best response if a guy gets you in the tits is to offer to whack him in his sensitive area if he does it again - they'll soon get the message!!!!




                            • #15
                              I experienced the pain of some very high do... but they all excused themselves and now their do is better (even if they hit very low/too low for now). I tried different sizes of Do, and with a bigger one, I have some problems doing kamae properly. Now I have a small one (it's the last small one that I didn't break a himo on it, and I hope it will last...) and it's a lot more easier with it. for the bra problem, I use a very elastic/stretching one, like the ones for young teenagers, and it fits me well. I have no problems with them, and they are cheaper than the sport ones.
                              I'd like to ask you some questions: how many girls/women are practising kendo in your dojo (like someone who has practice a while with a bogu and experienced the pain with it)? Do you have a female sensei? And do you have a junior team or something like that? I'm the only one under 15 (the maximum age for the junior category in Canada... I think so...)...