The ‘Joy of Makiwara’

Sitting like a silent sentinel in many Karate dojos, is an upright wooden board or post about five feet tall, either wrapped or leather covered and just waiting to show us the way! 

It’s the ‘Makiwara’ - meaning ‘straw wrapped’.  This is an old training aid used to condition our hands/fists in developing our kime, atemi or focussed power within the art. 

As part of our list of training aids in the dojo (stretch bar, mats, weights, mirrors, etc.), the Makiwara is (and pardon the pun) a stand alone and unique training tool that develops desired striking confidence. 

With a little guidance and lots of imagination, it really doesn’t take long to develop striking skills confidence with the Makiwara.  

As a start, using a fist in straight or reverse mode starting slowly and paying attention to your own mechanics and feel, before you know it you’re well on your way to expanding your training development at your own pace!  Soon enough, you’re adding footwork and maybe application of penetrating power (kekome) versus snap (Keats) punches as well as knife hand (shuto) and back fist (uraken) also! 

As you can see, the Makiwara is more than willing to enhance your martial arts  training and it just sits there waiting. 

Gary Christensen 🇨🇦