I have issues with my nasal breathing; I had an operation, which didn't work.

I have been experimenting with nasal dilators for running and cycling and find them to be quite helpful.


Would it be safe to use them in sparring? They are very soft rubber. I doubt getting punched while wearing one would be any different from being punched without.

Would they be legal in kickboxing competitions?

  • FWIW, I've done some light research on this and I haven't found anything about this other than people discussing the nasal strips for BJJ (and saying that the adhesive tends to fail when they start sweating) and a few comments about people being worried about losing them inside sinus cavities if one was not careful. Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 15:29
  • Yeah nasal strips are good for running as well.... for 5 minutes before they sweat off. Useless for fighting. It is nonsensical that one could be lost in a sinus. The two halves are joined externally over the nasal septum - that would have to break in order for one of the halves to be shoved up further than usual. Even then... should still be easy to extract.
    – doccy
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 16:12
  • Comments are not for discussion, please use Martial Arts Chat for that. Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 9:44

1 Answer 1


You will need to get medical clearance from your doctor, and, since you mentioned competition, you will need to get clearance from the competition's directors, who will only clear you once your doctor does so.

The reason you need that secondary tournament clearance is because it could be seen as cheating if used for other than medically-necessary purposes. Think steroids. As you enter your bouts, be sure you or your coach has the signed forms from the medical staff to show the referees who may ask and might not be aware of your situation.

  • My doctor could state that i have a deviated nasal septum - but no way are they going to state that it is safe or appropriate for a martial art usage... they would (quite rightly) say it is not their job / not within their expertise to make a judgement like that.
    – doccy
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 16:14
  • A DS is no assurance of not being able to compete, since ~80% of US population does not have a straight nasal passage. A doctor will consider whether your condition (or your prosthetic) will exacerbate your condition, or create a different injury risk to you. Tourny organizers know that DS can increase incidence of bloody nose, a risk to your competitor and all who step on a mat, and may be hesitant to allow you to compete - or they could simply be prepared ahead of time. Either way, have a convo with doc and see where that leads. medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318262.php
    – Andrew Jay
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 18:05
  • 2
    Additionally, it could be an insurance issue for the tournament organizers that they may not be willing to risk. I.e. you enter competition wearing non approved items, get hurt due to that, and sue the organizer for not preventing you from wearing it. It's happened before.
    – JohnP
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 19:55
  • 1
    Yes, and there could also be regulatory issues as well - not unlike issues with concussions. For example, in soccer, my players can wear glasses - but they must meet ASTM specifications. Any kind of prosthetic might be regulated for performance where specifications are intended to reduce injury to player, opponents, mitigate abuse, or mitigate performance enhancement. Tourny organizers have lawyers and medical staff to deal with this very thing.
    – Andrew Jay
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 21:15

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