ANST - ANST- Ladies Chest Protection

Lady Jotahn Firesteed calypso at
Tue Nov 4 18:39:55 PST 1997

** Reply to note from "Vanora Villon" <vanora at> Tue, 28 Oct 1997 17:21:47 PST
>From my own experiences let me tell you a few things. I began fighting "heavy" while I was
still nursing my 6 mo. old son. My trainers and Dr. and Midwife all told me that the risks
were great for damage to breast tissues while nursing/lactating. Blows to the milk ducts could
bruise, block and permanently damage the milk ducts, this damage could eventually lead to a
CHANCE for breast cancer. However the chances for breast cancer resulting from injuries when
NOT lactating are minimal. Since there has never been medical studies on this specific area,
there aren't any guarantees. I WAS NOT allowed to receive blows as long as I was nursing and
for an additional month after I weaned off my son. So I spent my time practicing techniques,
strenghening my body and learning tactics. When I was ready to start fighting, my trainers
recommended at least a padded gambeson. I worked with that for a while and discovered that all
the extra layers put me at serious risk of heat stroke. The padding worked for the most part,
especially after I cut it short. Tournaments went well for this because It could be removed
between fights and the blows thrown were more controlled. I foound that that the gambeson was
TOO HOT for field/woods battles and that it was often not as effective in these less
controlled battles. I later designed a "chestplate" of a retired conveyer belt of metal links
that flexed if I bent over and was well ventilated, the trade off was the weight. Leather
might have worked also and been lighter. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND USING A GAMBESON ON THE TOURNEY

        For Rapier the best thing to use for breast protection is either the metal domed disks
sold by martial arts shops (if you can find them there. The alternative is very similiar, but
made of leather. Use "heavy" armor weight leather, soak it in water until thoroughly wet, then
find a bowl the closest size to self and tie or rubberband the leather disk to the bowl and
let dry.(NEVER USE DUCT TAPE TO HOLD THE SHAPE-IT WON'T HOLD) When dry you can coat the disk
in several layers of the sealer sold by TAndy leather, or you can leave it as is and it and
allow sweat to keep its shape. Do the disks one at a time. They last indefinitly if allowed to
dry in the open. if you cram them into the armor bag damp they will change shape, just dampen
again and reshape, and let air dry. Make pockets in your armor for the disks, this keeps them
from shifting out of place (and rubbing you raw in your bra.) Large busted women may find that
the disks are not adequate protection for the sides of the breasts. For these ladies I would
recommend a leather band folded in half with triangular pieces removed from the sides  to
allow the sides to meet, then stitch together.Again add a pocket to the inside of your armor.

        I hope this helps, I'll be happy to answer any questions or rebuttals.

In service to the Dream,
Lady Jotahn Firesteed
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