Is it normal to get really bad bruising after bogu practice?

by Charlene

Is it normal to get really bad bruising after receiving men and kote strikes? If I get these, is it because I'm not receiving men and kote properly?

I graded just recently and am now 5th kyu. I've also just recently started training in bogu but last night was the first time I learned/got to be motodachi. My sensei was the kakarite and is a lot taller than me; after receiving men, kote and dou for about three hours, my wrist had swollen to twice the size of my other wrist and turned purple, and part of my head is also bruised bad enough it is painful to chew my food properly... We are using club bogu but I found a set that fits me.

I want to know if these are supposed to be normal occurrences or will they get better as I improve at being motodachi. My parents are worried about my health and want to ban me from doing kendo because of my injuries and I want to reassure them (and myself) that kendo is safe.

A follow up question would be, how do you receive men and kote from taller opponent’s cases like these?

Answer: Thank you for sharing your experience. Quite often, we get bruises. It is normal but receiving or being motodachi for 3 hours straight at your level is not normal. Please clarify this. You teacher hit you constantly for 3 hours? I do not think it is normal. But please do clarify.

Now you can change angles of your kote but then if you receive for 3 hours, probably it won’t do any good. You will get bruises unless your partner strikes you lightly.

There are a lot of ways to teach and instruct and I believe your sensei has his own philosophy/concept when teaching so it is not my place to stick my nose.

I would not strike people with kyu ranks very hard because I do not want to scare them away. Also they need time to get used to the idea of getting hit. But it is me and I am not saying your teacher is wrong.


Now you need to protect yourself. So take a break from training. Go and watch until bruises are gone. You do not want to get hurt yourself like that.

Now you can purchase a wrist protector and head protector too. Since you are in Tronto, Nine Circles USA is close to you…maybe…

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Feb 20, 2014
To clarify...
by: Anonymous

Hi, thanks so much for answering my concerns.

To clarify, my teacher did not hit me for three hours straight; we were practicing being motodachi for roughly the first two hours. For the last hour, we did keiko with the sempai and the other sensei at the dojo (we have three sensei). Since I don't really know exactly what to do in keiko or how to look for openings yet, I ended up being hit for most of it, and I counted this into the total three hour practice. My wrist was already a bit swollen by then and my head already hurt quite a bit before we started the keiko though.

The sensei I was paired with for practice did hit me constantly; everytime I did not receive well, I would have to do it again. If I received well, I would have to receive a different strike and the same pattern repeats. We cycled through the strikes constantly.

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