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. Dec 20, 2019 at 8:49
  • Also possibly relevant, youtube.com/watch?v=60lU68oyxK4, since there's nothing restricting this to unarmed combat, particularly youtu.be/60lU68oyxK4?t=523 Jul 1, 2021 at 15:15
  • This has been a subject of discussion since ancient times, where a myth arose that Amazons cut off one breast to be able to shoot bow and arrow better. My sense, however, is that timing, distance, and solid basics, are going to be bigger factors than physiology in this regard. It does create a vulnerability in terms of an accessible strike target with lots of nerves, but, as a coach and fellow student to many woman martial artists, I haven't seen that it affects balance. (I think this trope arises from body-type preferences in arts such as ballet.)
    – DukeZhou
    Jul 8, 2021 at 23:27
  • Many of the women martial artists I studied with in the Chinese arts do extreme balance positions as difficult as anything in gymnastics or ballet. (Some might say even more difficult, because these positions can also involve wielding of a weapons or weapons in both hands, and making parries and strikes from balance positions, which introduces a whole other dimension and set of forces that have to be balanced.)
    – DukeZhou
    Jul 8, 2021 at 23:31

5 Answers 5


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:


Hope that helps.

  • 5
    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, 2019 at 10:31
  • 3
    @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, 2019 at 14:23
  • 1
    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, 2019 at 15:54
  • 2
    @Collett89 I liked your comment so much that I quoted it in my answer. I hope that's okay. Dec 19, 2019 at 20:56
  • 2
    reading this remind me of woman smashing watermelon using her breast including tin can and this one with brick too
    – Li Jun
    Dec 20, 2019 at 3:57

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.


I think there are bunch of ways to handle this kind of 'problem'. I know some girls use elastic band to make their trainings comfortable

  • There have always been women fighters in the Chinese tradition. Wrapping the chest tightly with wound cloth seems to have been so common, it even shows up as a trope in Kung Fu films!
    – DukeZhou
    Jul 8, 2021 at 23:22

Here's my issue, the stance and guard for Muay Thai and for boxing. Guarding my ribs is really weird, cause my chest gets in the way of keeping my elbows tucked close to the body. So I have to choose to protect my head and face more than my torso. Getting punched in the breasts sucks, so do kicks and elbows, but I haven't died yet 🤷🏽‍♀️ I try to make sure that I do chest day before a rest day, because If I have to go running after a chest day, all the bouncing is very painful to all the sore chest muscles. I actually came here hoping to find an answer to keepin a proper guard up while having big boobs, so if anyone has any ideas that would be great. I do Muay Thai and I'm shy to ask my trainer.

  • Welcome! Please take the tour. If you want responses to your question, please ask it as a new question.
    – mattm
    Jul 1, 2021 at 14:32
  • Welcome to MartialArts Stackexchange, @Candice. Please, pay attention, that question page is for answering current question, not asking new (even related!). If you want to ask your own question - you are welcome. But please, do not do place it in answer to another, like now. Jul 2, 2021 at 8:25

Giving an Honest opinion I would say, yes, big boobs will prevent a person from fighting.

Boobs are practically testicles on a female chest. If you hit it hard enough, it will stop a woman entirely. Women who undergo breast modifications have often reported to have increased sensitivity in the area or reduced to none.

As for the balance, they spent their entire life having to balance with extra weight and it would but no different as training with a weighted vest. However, grappling becomes an issue because the person has spent their entire life reaching over to avoid the breasts.

Big boobs reduces fighting capability and becomes an easy target of pain.

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