It may sound surprising to some, but this is actually a thing. From time to time over the years, my wife has been asked questions about whether having breasts, particularly larger ones, is a problem in martial arts. It’s mostly men asking and commenting about this, but also some women.
I did a short “interview” with my wife on the subject the other day.
So, once and for all, does having breasts pose a problem in martial arts, especially if they are a bit larger?
Well, the short answer is no. You have done some “sparring” with me. Did you get the impression that my boobs posed a problem and made it difficult for me to fight?
(Laughing) I would have to say no.
A summary of how things went when I challenged my wife to see how a clearly bigger and stronger man with no fight training would fare against a smaller woman with advanced martial arts expertise can be found here and here.
(Laughing) There you go then!
But seriously though, you don’t see any potential problems here?
Well, I have heard people invoke back pain and balance problems as thing that could arise from having a bigger chest and practicing martial arts.
First of all, having a bigger chest can cause problems such as back pain. As a woman with a rather big chest myself, I am well aware of that. That kind of back pain can develop over time because of the extra weight placed on your chest as well as a bad posture. But you know, the best way to counter and prevent any potential back pain problems of that sort is strengthening your muscles and also getting a better posture. And practicing martial arts will help you with both!
When it comes to balance, I really have to say that I don’t feel that a woman’s chest poses any problems at all there. In fact, I would say women often have better balance than men because of our lower point of gravity. And in any case, balance is one of the points of focus that you practice heavily in most, if not all, martial arts.
For a professional fighter that competes, a large chest may also be a factor when it comes to weight divisions. As you know, in combat sports, contestants are sorted in divisions by weight and a large chest could potentially put you in a higher weight division and thus facing bigger, stronger and tougher opponents than you otherwise would.
But when it comes to guys/men asking if my chest somehow “gets in the way” or stops me as a woman from performing the techniques correctly, then the answer is definitely that no, it doesn’t.
I guess we, as men, have a hard time imagining what having boobs is like. But you say you have had women worrying that larger breasts would be an obstacle for them while practicing martial arts, right?
Yes that’s true. I can only recommend women who feel this way to try on a good sports bra and then just focus on the exercises. You will soon forget any discomfort that you might initially experience from your breasts. And, as I said, practicing something like martial arts will actually strengthen your body and make it much less likely – not more – that you will suffer from any back pain problems because of your chest.