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


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 […]

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


Turning a Punch into an Elbow Strike

Motobu Choki (left) and Kano Jigoro (right) Kano Jigoro, the founder of judo, once met with Motobu Choki to discuss martial arts. We don’t know a great deal about that conversation, except what Motobu told to his students. According to Motobu, they talked about many things, but “…about karate, he [Kano] asked me what I would do if my punch […]

Throws, Pull-Ups, and Body Conditioning

Last week, a Kyokushin karateka friend of mine mentioned learning a new takedown, and after reading her description, I thought it sounded rather similar to a throw that we work as an application for the morote-tsuki (double punch) in Naihanchi Shodan. As it turned out, she was talking about the “wedge throw” that is very popular in Shotokan–UFC fighter, Lyoto […]



Our Exercise/Makiwara/Bag Station – 56K Warning!

The equipment that Jason built for us has been working out very well, and I’ve decided to call it the EMB Station.  While I was at the dojo today, I decided to take some nicer pictures of it to upload.  This is probably the most pictures I’ve ever put into one post, so hopefully people with slow connections don’t have […]