hojo undo


Why Doesn’t Kata Look Like Fighting?

This question comes up, often, with new karateka, disillusioned karateka, and people who practice (or at least closely follow) combat sports, and they have a fair point–kata does not look much like what most people consider “fighting.” Really, it doesn’t even look like what most karateka consider fighting, which is competition-style kumite (sparring). Kata teach you to use strong, rooted […]

nagamine kusanku

motobu makiwara ipponken

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 […]


Interview with Chris Denwood

Chris Denwood is a karateka, fitness expert, researcher, and the author of “Respecting the Old, Creating the New,” and “Naihanchi (Tekki): The Seed of Shuri Karate Vol. 1.” The latter is easily the most comprehensive book on Naihanchi Shodan fundamentals that I have ever read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who practices Naihanchi kata that can be traced back […]

denwood

Miyagi Chojun overseeing students doing hojo undo

Essential Karate Equipment

These days, karate is often practiced without the aid of any training equipment, but that has not always been the case. Hojo undo (supplementary training) has long been a vital component of martial arts training not just on Okinawa, but also China and India. While it is certainly possible to develop a great deal of knowledge and skill without using […]


An Introduction to Makiwara Training

The makiwara (“wrapped straw”)–or machiwara, as it is called in Uchinaguchi (the native language of Okinawa)–is a traditional hojo undo kigu (supplementary training tool) that is used in Okinawan karate. A makiwara is a wooden post used for striking, and its name comes from the padding that was traditionally used for the striking areas, which was made of bundles of […]

sensei makiwara punch

attrezzi

Improvised Hojo Undo Kigu 2

Hojo undo kigu on display High quality hojo undo kigu–literally “supplementary training tools”–can be hard to come by. Thankfully, you can often improvise, or make your own! Chi-ishi (stone mallets) are the most common tool for people to make, and I’ve actually written about that before. For ishi-sashi (stone locks), most people use kettlebells. For the tan (barbell), most people […]