Halifax Kendo Club

Breaking in Your Men

This is a "how-to" guide on how to break in your men. Specifically the Men-dare, or "Men flaps". I'll also show how to attach the Men Himo (Strings), and provide a couple of hints on getting your men fit comfortably.

First lets tackle attaching the Men Himo onto the Men itself.

Method Number 1: Attaching the Himo via the leather straps.

Place the leather strap onto the fourth rung of the men-gane (men grill) as shown.

Hint: If your Men doesn't fit you perfectly, sometimes the chin rest can put unnecessary pressure on your jaw. If this is the case with your men, then you can try putting the leather strap on the fifth rung shown here.

Place the loop of the men himo over the ends of the strap as shown.

Next pull the end of the himo through the slits of the leather strap, then pull the loop tight.

Method Number 2: Attaching the Himo without the leather straps.

Thread the Himo onto the men-gane as shown, then pull the loop tight.

Thread the himo through the top of the men-gane as shown here.

Now, onto breaking in the Men dare. The pictures below are taken with the himo attached in kansai style, but the same procedure can be used for the standard style as well.

Turn the men on its side, and fold the men dare upward.

Then pull them forward as far as possible. The top edge of the men dare should be horizontal. This should bring the crease of the men dare close to where the line of your jaw sits in the men itself. Compress the crease with your other hand ot help it take form. Repeat this MANY MANY times...say a few hundred.

When you store your men, you can tie the himo in such a way to help mold the men dare. This method should be used when you first get your men whenever you store it.

Align the himo as if you were about to put on your men.

Pull the himo as tight as possible so that the sides of the men collapse.