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


Maryna Moroz and Gekisai

At UFC Saskatoon, undefeated Ukrainian prospect, Maryna Moroz, faced off against Canadian veteran, Valerie Letourneau. Although Moroz is not as well known as Letourneau, she was the favorite going into the fight, due to her snappy, aggressive fighting style and her recent upset of Muay Thai phenom, Joanne Calderwood. As it turned out, Letourneau was able to take the tough […]

Opposing Forces

Karate kata contain many movements that travel in opposite directions. Although it is quite simple, this concept of opposing forces is one of the signature methods of Okinawan karate. It can be seen in kihon practice, as well as in advanced kata, because it is extremely versatile. In application, this concept can defend, attack, clear obstructions, dislocate joints, and increase […]


wrist grab

Wrist Grabs in Karate Training

  Traditional martial arts are often criticized–and rightly so, in many cases–for training against unrealistic attacks. Most often, the attack that gets the most complaints is the infamous straight lunge-punch in a long front stance that comes from 10 feet away, and wouldn’t hit the defender even if they stood still. A close second to that is the wrist grab, […]

Karate Limb Control

When you are attacked, you don’t really want to deal with an attacker that is throwing a barrage of punches at you–you want to stop their attack as quickly as possible. Limb control is one way of accomplishing this, and is a very important aspect of old Okinawan karate but, like many important aspects of old Okinawan karate, it has […]

ulf karlson strike noah


The Magic of Hikite 4

A “traditional karate” example of hikite (pulling hand) while punching Sometimes, I forget that the wider karate world hasn’t moved on from formalized, impractical, block-punch-kick kata applications. I was reminded when, just a month or two ago, a relatively new karateka posted on a martial arts forum that I moderate, asking about hikite (pulling hand). He commented that it didn’t […]