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Soo... I don't have a big chest. But all the girls I've known with them complain about this or that pain :-/. It's normal to see ladies with remarkable structure going kung-fu crazy and being totally badass in pop culture.

But... would they actually be able to fight? Wouldn't back pain and balance be a problem? You can only wear so many sports bras. Wouldn't they get in the way of certain punches too?

  • The biggest problem I have ever encountered was the oh-so-ill fitting dogi which are either too large if they cover the chest or too small revealing a sport-bra/vest if they fit elsewhere. Not sure that merits its own answer but if you think it does, I shall expend it. – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Dec 20 '19 at 8:49
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I'm not entirely sure this question is serious, but what the heck. :)

I've known female classmates in styles like Taekwondo and Kung-fu. They generally said that getting punched in the breast was annoying, because it's a sensitive part of the body. They did not quit because of it.

Many men, when sparring with women, will deliberately avoid punching or kicking to a woman's breasts, but they can't avoid it completely. I can't say if women do the same.

No, they won't get back pain any more than normal. And no, it won't get in the way of punching, though I suppose that does depend on whether their breasts are freakishly big or not. Haha.

I like what Collett89 wrote in the comments on this subject:

Martial arts are meant to extract the most from YOUR body - so if certain techniques are prohibited by your body - you adjust. I have students with hip problems - they don't kick as much as those without - but their hands are much more honed - everyone will have stuff they excel at - and in a fight that is what you use.

I think all of those kinds of worries would be put aside by simply trying a free class or two somewhere. Then they can see immediately whether or not the "girls" are getting in the way of punching or maybe just not playing well with the uniform, etc. All of those kinds of issues have solutions, though.

My advice is to look for schools with a number of women already attending. Then ask them your questions.

And lastly, they should consider getting a chest protector. They're made out of plastic and cover the nipples. It goes underneath clothing.

For example:

https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Karate-Approved-Protector-Wesing/dp/B01MRXLS5F/

Hope that helps.

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    Also from them getting in the way perspective - martial arts are meant to extract the most from YOUR body - so if certain techniques are prohibited by your body - you adjust. I have students with hip problems - they don't kick as much as those without - but their hands are much more honed - everyone will have stuff they excel at - and in a fight that is what you use. – Collett89 Dec 19 '19 at 10:31
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    @boxxingBetty there are positives and negatives to weight (however distributed) in every art I can think of. In traditional taekwondo where hip twist is prominent that extra mass being above the hip would obviously translate to more power (compared to someone of identical stature but smaller breasts moving at the same speed). But this is true of any technique in which body mass is being utilised - as per F=MA and E=1/2MV^2 having extra mass directly increases the energy/force where speed/acceleration(deceleration) remain constant – Collett89 Dec 19 '19 at 14:23
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    Just as an aside, while it's not as sensitive as the male anatomy, the crotch in a female is also full of nerve ending tissues. They make protective gear for women as well. And as with everything, some women are more sensitive than others. – JohnP Dec 19 '19 at 15:54
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    @Collett89 I liked your comment so much that I quoted it in my answer. I hope that's okay. – Steve Weigand Dec 19 '19 at 20:56
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    reading this remind me of woman smashing watermelon using her breast including tin can and this one with brick too – Li Jun Dec 20 '19 at 3:57
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would they actually be able to fight?

What is going to stop them? Among other things, fighters can be male, female, young, old, short, fat, skinny, tall, missing limbs, or blind. You cannot tell who can fight just by looking at someone's body.

Wouldn't back pain and balance be a problem?

Two things:

  1. Back pain and balance are problems in the same way that having inflexible legs is a problem. Sure, you would prefer things to be different, but these are surmountable obstacles.

  2. Learning martial arts is a way both to improve your body and learn to use it better. You learn better balance by learning to fight; this is not something you are expected to have before showing up for training.

Wouldn't they get in the way of certain punches too?

Yes, it hurts to get hit in the breast, more so than a man getting hit in the chest. However, normally you train to not get hit, so having large breasts is not going to adversely affect fighting strategy.

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