As serious students within the Art of Karate (and other Martial Arts), we tend to augment our training with various other modes of activity such as weight training, stretching, meditation, cardio work, diet and the like. Any and all of these ideas provide invaluable contributions to the development of a serious student of the Arts in all of their training and do yield results!
The practice of training with ‘Makiwara’ is a largely neglected aspect of a karateka’s training regimen for whatever the reason(s).
Striking with seiken (fist), uraken (back fist), tsumasaki (toe kick), shuto (knife hand), empi (elbow), haito (ridge hand), etc., yields an awareness of your confidence in striking, easily tenfold! One profound aspect of our striking regimen, is the ability to consciously ‘Launch’ our technique into our intended target with good Kime! Regular Makiwara training repetition will do this.
Everyone presents themselves in kata and Makiwara training differently with different musculature, size, weight and understanding but the core fundamentals in enacting our techniques will remain the same - stability, structure, balance, delivery, etc. We can easily exact a convincing move(s) in kata, influenced by our regular Makiwara training with the physical input of ‘Launching!’
By Launching, I mean with our feet stabilizing our good structure into the ground, we press downward and create a resonance that bounces back up through our muscles, ligaments/sinew and especially through the train of joints where, as this internal path of energy reaches our ‘hara’, is now sparked into a turbo boost up and via the remaining joints outward (I’ll use the fist as an example) to the fist, delivering a convincing shockwave-like Kime result. This all happens in nano seconds.
Adjunct maki training with kata practice develops our mindset towards confident striking and therefore adds that dimension of serious study we strive for. Instead of going through the motions of kata practiced with techniques that may suffice in a threatening situation, adopt the mindset of Launching your techniques with a more lethal attitude derived from your Makiwara practice and FEEL the difference your ‘Launch’ makes!
Gary Christensen - Mushin Matsubayashi Karate-do