"we teach karate; we don't SELL it!" Since
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Makiwara Training - The Board of Wisdom
Makiwara training is being rediscovered by successful
business people as well as martial arts practitioners. This
ancient oriental training tool originated approximately 400
years ago in Okinawa, and is used to forge the spirit and
focus the mind and body. Honing has revitalized the use of
Makiwara as a valuable tool to help foster creativity and
enthusiasm. Makiwara training teaches each individual to
focus and direct energy in a constructive direction.
Makiwara is a lost and dying art. Even in Japan it is not
frequently used in training. But today, as it was 400 years
ago we know that rank is a matter of knowlege and skill, not
with official menjos displayed on a wall, or notches on a
belt. In order to develop ones skill to the level of the
original Okinawan Masters, you must train like them. Once
you begin training like the Masters, you begin to think as
they thought and to see as they saw from the eyes of the
Frequently today, students are confronted with
conflicting and confusing information about karate. Very
often there are political and/or financial conflicts of
interest from these sources.
In the quest for stronger, better and more effective
martial arts, many students fall under the influence of
well-intentioned karate or martial arts leaders that are
misinformed or misguided. Often students are misdirected or
are misled by a martial arts leader who truly believes that
you can develop the ability to kill with a single blow or
develop the skills of a Samurai warrior without hard
physical training, and without Makiwara training. This type
of theory just doesn't hold water with what we do know to be
BASIC USE OF THE MAKIWARA
For the beginning student of the makiwara, which includes
any rank or dan student who has not had formal, proper
instruction and training under a makiwara trained Sensei,
makiwara use should take place in a gradual continuous
upward towards higher intensity. The beginner always uses a
highly padded board, as the ligaments, joints, nerves and
muscles must be conditioned slowly and damage must be
avoided. At least 90 to 120 days of consistent training on
the makiwara board using all striking surfaces with equal
persistence is necessary to begin the conditioning process.
During the first stage of makiwara training , the
conditioning or strengthening stage, the body goes through
many changes and in conjunction with other training, great
strides in physical fitness are made. The second stage of
training, the toughening stage, begins with the resurfacing
of the board with less padding and adding a layer of fine
gage hemp rope. The purpose here in the second stage is to
move the conditioning of the body into actual toughening of
the tissues and bones of the body and of course with the
addition of the hemp rope, to condition the striking
surfaces of the body. During this stage, if the student
strikes the makiwara with too much zeal, he may find his
knuckles will crack and/or bleed. Not to worry though, these
are only minor flesh abrasions. This stage soon passes, and
with proper care no damage is done. During the third stage,
the hardening stage, the student learns to make fine changes
in the timing and positioning of the technique used on the
makiwara and of course solidifies the body and technique. By
this stage, the student is capable of "burying" the front
board 8 to 10 inches (depending upon body size and mass)
with the striking forms and punches without injury. From
this point onward the student begins to forge more than
merely the physical form. The stages beyond the hardening
stage forge the mind and spirit and hone the body to a fine
edge of precision.
A very important point must be made here regarding
makiwara training. It is recommended that no one under the
age of 18 actively pursue makiwara training, especially not
into the latter stages of hardening or beyond. The reason
for this is that under the age of 15 (older with males,
younger with females) the epiphysis or growth plates of the
bones have not completed the task of bone growth.
1. Converts fantasy to reality and shows what it is
really like to hit something.
2. Strengthens wrists and joint, as well as muscles,
ligaments and the mind.
3. Proper hand and foot positions are developed by practice
on the Makiwara.
4. Builds powerful technique and teaches proper distancing
and hip position to maximize force.
5. Builds stamina and speed. Like the heavy bag, Makiwara
builds stamina and endurance. Unlike the heavy bag, which
will make your kicking and punching sluggish and dull,
Makiwara develops speed and mental activity.
6. "Board of Wisdom" -tells the truth on how strong or weak
your punches and kicks are, as well as the mind.
7. Makiwara develops spirit because at times it takes
courage to continue. Often, it flies in the face of common
sense, but 400 or so years of history have proven it out.
8. Ancient Traditional -This separates paper tigers from
combat-ready warriors. It's easy to talk a good workout, but
when you are doing Makiwara, you don't talk, reminding us
again that karate is a thing of action, not words.
9. Ikken Hissattsu (one blow, one kill) -Makiwara is the
most essential piece of equipment to develop
this ability. Don't fool yourself, heavy bag work won't do
10. Focus (Kime) -The whole purpose is to develop focus.
Focus requires coordination of the mind, body, and breathing
technique. In order to develop focus to the level of a
Master, it requires years of practice with a true Sensei. It
requires years of dedication beyond obvious reward, and it
requires intense levels of work and perspiration over long
periods of time. It always seems that when you never think
you are going to get it, when you quit trying to force it,
and when you least expect it, focus makes its appearance;
not just physical, but mental focus shows itself. You will
then begin to realize what the Masters knew. You now begin
to feel what the Masters felt, and you now begin to see the
world as the Masters saw it.
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At Shorinryu Karate School we Specialize in the perfection of
Authentic Okinawan Karate-do and Kobudo.
1:00 PM & 6:30 to 8:00 PM
You may attend as
many classes as your schedules allows.