New in bogu and strikes are painful?

by Karla

Hi, just a quick question I guess - I'm coming to a point in Kendo where I'm starting to get into bogu (like, try on club stuff for practise). However I'm quite short, and I'm really worried about being hit in the men.

When I tried on bogu it wasn't that bad but as the night went on and I received more and more hits it begun to feel weird, like I was scared of getting hit in the head and scared of the shocks/not sure if it was actually painful or if it was in my head.

Is this normal for someone new? How can I overcome this? I'm going to get a men pad when I order my bogu but I'm wondering if it's something more psychological. I find kote strikes really painful but even they don't bother me as much as the men strikes do.
Answer: Thanks for your post. It should be a bit painful even though you have armour on. However, if it is painful like your bone will be broken if you continue, then you should take a rest a bit.

Now bōgu should fit your body. That is the first thing you have to check. If it is too loose it will hurt you and if it is too tight it hurts you as well.

Now when it starts hurting, psychologically or physically, you will start lowering your head and lifting your shoulders up when receiving men strikes. I think this is human nature.

This will hurt you more.

When it hurts, don’t be afraid. Stand up straight and keep the back of your neck straight. This will prevents you from getting hit on the top of your head.

Tsutsu (the wrist part up not the first part) should not be too tight. If it is too tight, you will receive the impact of the kote strike directly in your arm.

You can buy a protector you can wear on your wrist under kote, so if you do not like the pain on your kote, you can always put one on.

Of course, the strikers should know how to strike as well. They have to practice and study tenouchi . This is an ongoing task :)

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