Makiwara Exercises for Skills and Variety

The makiwara, or machiwara in Uchinaguchi (lit. “Okinawa mouth,” the native language of Okinawa), is a popularly referenced, albeit often misunderstood, traditional karate training tool. It has fallen out of favor with many karateka, either because they feel it is antiquated and less-useful than modern equipment, or simply because it is uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes boring to work with. As […]

motobu makiwara ipponken

Kihon-geiko in front of the Shuri Castle, led by Gusukuma (Shiroma) Shinpan

Practicing Basic Uke-Waza

Kihon-geiko (basic/foundational training) is meant to isolate karate movements so they can be individually focused on during practice. Karateka from nearly any style will be familiar with a variety of methods for this purpose–punches while standing in shiko-dachi (sumo/horse stance), kicks with the hands on the hips, walking across the mat in a stance, etc. Whatever the technique may be, […]

Naihanchi Kata Footwork Training Exercises

An enbusen (performance line) diagram for Isshin-Ryu Naihanchi footwork variations When doing kata training, it is not generally accepted to modify any part of the kata, including the footwork. That said, it is not completely unheard of. Oyata Sensei of RyuTe was known to change the footwork of his kata from time to time, to better illustrate the applications. More […]



Naihanchi Bunkai Follow-Up 2

I had a couple minutes after class this Saturday before I had to head home, so I recorded an ugly, quick-and-dirty demo of a broken-down bunkai drill I like for the beginning of Naihanchi Shodan. This video includes the application I described in my last post, Naihanchi Bunkai and Randori. I would have preferred better angles, close-ups of some parts, […]

Karate Padwork 2

A valuable training tool that many traditional karateka choose to abstain from is the punching mitts, or focus mitts. These come in many different styles, from very basic to high-tech, but all of them facilitate the same thing–a way to turn a training partner into a mobile, modular platform for practicing full-speed striking combinations to various targets without injuring that […]



Kumite as a Training Method vs. Kumite as a Goal 3

There are many different ways to spar, but almost everyone who spars does so to become better at sparring.  When sparring is the goal of a person’s training, then what you are training is a combat sport, but not necessarily a martial art.  MMA fighters, boxers, submission grapplers–all of them train and spar to get better at sparring so that […]

Multiple Attacker and Bodyguard Drills

Last night in class we worked a lot of multiple attacker drills and a bodyguard drill, and I thought they were all very fun and useful.  Before we started those drills, though, we wore ourselves out with jogging, calisthenics, bagwork and kicking pads (normally we don’t do running or calisthenics in the adult class so between that and being out […]


Class Photo-Report 12/15/10 2

Brandon tried to grab onto me when I grabbed him during a multiple attacker drill So I threw him with harai goshi (sweeping hip throw).  Sorry for the hard landing, dude. He didn’t really want to be in the middle of the attacker circle anyway 😛 He did pretty well, though Don’t worry, he did throw me back eventually Crowd […]