Q&A about Men-masks
Q1: What is a Men-mask?
“Men-mask” is a generic term for a mask used during kendo practice. It is used to prevent droplets spraying from the mouth caused by breathing and kiai. Men-masks should be used whether or not you are wearing a men in kendo practice.
Men-masks can be either hand-made from tenugui or a commercially available mask. Various types of masks are available for sale from kendo-gu manufacturers.
A Men-mask that is fixed to the inside of the men to prevent droplets spraying is called a “shield”. There are one-piece type shields as well as shields that cover the mouth and eyes separately. They are used to prevent droplets coming in from the opponent. It is recommended that elderly practitioners use both a Men-mask and a shield. However, adequate measures should be taken against heat stroke. Please refer to the following.
Q2: Can I use a non-woven mask as a Men-mask?
It is possible, but use with care, as described below.
Non-woven masks are made of fibers that have been chemically or mechanically synthesized. A variety of materials are available on the market, including polypropylene and polyester.
According to an investigation by the All Japan Kendo Federation, some non-woven masks were as effective or more effective than the Men-masks made of tenugui in preventing droplets spraying. However, this investigation did not examine breathing difficulties and breathability. Some non-woven fabrics have lower air permeability than normal cloth materials.
In fact, analysis of the All Japan Kendo Federation’s Heat Stroke Reporting System indicates that there are reports of oxygen deprivation caused by the use of non-woven masks. Therefore, it is necessary to take extra care to avoid oxygen deprivation, especially with non-woven masks.
People’s faces are different shapes, so it is important to choose a Men-mask that you find comfortable. Try to make a space between the Men-mask and your mouth and/or uncover your nose to reduce breathlessness.
Q3: What about using a medical mask as a Men-mask?
Medical masks are mainly worn by people in the medical profession to prevent infections, etc. The mesh of these masks is very fine, which can cause oxygen deprivation when used for kendo practice.
Therefore, the use of medical masks as a Men-mask should be avoided.
＊Please note that this news relates specifically to Japan. Overseas practitioners should follow the rules in their country.