One of the most classic training implements of karate is the makiwara. The makiwara seems simple enough on the surface – a piece of wood stuck into the ground which karateka punch over and over again. However, the value and application of makiwara training is hidden away within that simplicity.
The actual construction of makiwara devices is surprisingly diverse (and easy to get wrong, believe it or not). Instructors have been finding ways to hang, post, and secure striking surfaces into their dojo(s) for generations. That being said, there are some ground rules that can separate a good makiwara from a bad one. A good makiwara must have the ability to flex with the strike, ideally in a manner that increases resistance the more force the striker puts into it (hence the value of a wooden post secured to the ground). A good makiwara must also have a striking surface that challenges the practitioner but also helps keep him/her safe (ie: no broken glass ala Kickboxer).
As such, smart makiwara construction avoids punching things on walls and punching surfaces that are too hard.
Adding Makiwara Capabilities to a BOB Bag
With the above guidelines in mind, I was able to convert my BOB bag into a mobile, functional Makiwara that did not sacrifice any of the original functionality of the BOB Bag.
To learn how I did it, watch the following video:
As I mention in the video, this is not a perfect replica of what makiwara training provides, especially in the sense of increased resistance. Nevertheless, the convenience of it has helped me integrate more consistent impact training than ever before.
For quick reference, the items I used are as follows: a compressed cardboard hard cover book, duct tape, rough canvas cloth, two T-shirts, and a BOB bag (optional sub-outs include hard wood instead of a book and a potentially added mousepad).
Odo Seikichi of Okinawa Kenpo was known as one of the finest karateka of his generation; his abilities in kobudo became especially well known over time. His teachers were a collection of many great karate minds, including Nakamura Shigeru, Matayoshi Shinko, Matayoshi Shinpo, Kakazu Mitsuo, etc. He was also a contemporary and friend to many important practitioners, including Toma Shian, Oyata Seiyu, Kise Fusei, and more.
In 1989 Odo Sensei was recognized on Okinawa for his lifelong contribution to the martial arts. A promotion ceremony was arranged, led by Odo Sensei’s colleague Kise Fusei. It was at this ceremony that Odo Sensei was officially recognized as 10th Dan and received a new red belt.
Not all organizations on the island recognized this promotion, which was their right, but in general Odo Sensei was noted as 10th Dan after that point.
Odo Sensei’s senior students in America were quite delighted to hear about this promotion, and expressed their congratulations accordingly. That same year (1989) Odo Sensei visited the United States and was presented with a congratulatory plaque from a number of his senior students. Not feeling satisfied with this effort, the seniors decided to organize something more official for the following year’s gathering.
In 1990, during Odo Sensei’s next trip to the United States, multiple officers of the OKKKF (Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo Federation) and other Okinawa Kenpo seniors constructed and signed a certificate of recognition which was presented to Odo Sensei by Bruce Heilman in Reading, PA.
The following video showcases that ceremony (originally filmed by Mike Kriegisch Sensei, now of Kriegisch Martial Arts):
The certificate presented to Odo Sensei is copied below for posterity and accuracy:
* Richard Gonzalez, Kyoshi. Executive Director/U.S. Representative
* C. Bruce Heilman, Kyoshi. Director International Relations
* Dean Stephens, Kyoshi. West Coast Representative
* Joseph Bunch, Kyoshi
* Victor Coffin, Kyoshi
* John Snyder, Renshi. East Coast Representative
* Paul Ortino, Renshi. Hawaii Representative
The USKA also honored Odo Sensei with the following certificate, signed by James Hawkes, Robert Jordan, and Bruce Heilman:
As Heilman Sensei stated in the video these certificates were not actual promotions conducted by the students, but recognition of the rank given to Odo Sensei and a reconfirmation of Odo as style head. It should also be noted that this ceremony did not involve all Okinawa Kenpo seniors, some of whom were not part of these organizations and had the opportunity to honor Odo Sensei in their own way.
If you’d like to learn more about how 10th Dan works and the history of how it came about, continue reading here.
Once upon a time I featured guest articles from members of IkigaiWay every day for a week. The submissions I received for that week were fantastic and the support from the community was equally fantastic. It was a win-win for me and for readers as we all got to see some fresh perspectives on this crazy sphere we call martial arts.
Due to the high engagement for the first “Reader Week”, I believe it’s time to run it again! I would like to receive submissions from all over the world describing ideas, thoughts, and experiences surrounding your martial arts training.
Click the big button below to submit your article or keep reading to find out how who is eligible to enter, what you get if your submission is selected, deadlines for submission, etc.
Who’s Eligible to Submit an Article?
You are! As you know IkigaiWay is not style-specific, so you can bring whatever experience you have to the table. Whether you’re a 30 year vet or a 2 year newbie, it doesn’t matter. If you have something interesting to contribute, go for it. Since I’ll be acting as your editor and assistant, you needn’t be self conscious about matters such as spelling and grammar.
What Should I Write About?
The door is fairly wide open regarding your topic. However, I can give you some general guidelines that will improve your chances of getting selected:
- Attacks on any specific person or organization you happen to dislike
- Promotional bragging about your organization or school
- Raw training schedules about your workouts or routine
- Self aggrandizing biography
- Weird or unique historical studies
- Important lessons learned throughout your training
- Memorable experiences with instructors
- Specific concept analysis
- Broad scope trends and goings-on in the martial arts world
- Whatever else you can dream up!
How Long Should the Submission Be?
My articles tend to vary wildly in length. However I would suggest not dipping below three paragraphs. If you start to wonder if your submission should be an ebook, you might have gone on too long.
How Do I Submit?
Submission is easy. First, create your article in a file that is friendly with Microsoft Word, Wordpad, or Notepad (if this is impossible for you, let me know. We can probably make arrangements via Google Docs). Include the text of the submission either in the body of the email you send or as a separate attachment.
Once your article is prepared, click here:
If the link above does not work, email submissions to email@example.com or use the form below:
What Are the Benefits of Submitting?
If your submission is selected, you’ll gain exposure on an internationally recognized martial arts platform. You can use that as a writing credit or resume’ builder.
Furthermore, I will feature a small bio snippet of you along with your article which can link back to any blog or school website you happen to be associated with.
You’ll also receive an “IkigaiWay Guest Author” badge to place on your website.
Can I Use An Old Blog Post or Previously Published Article?
Although I ‘m not inflexibly opposed to older work, I prefer an original piece. In general, Google and other search engines don’t care for duplicate content. Duplicate Content tends to work against the reputation of both sites involved; not to mention that if IkigaiWay ranks higher than your original post, you’ll lose traffic for that very same content.
If published, you retain legal rights to your article, but I ask that you do not republish the work in full anywhere on the web for a year after it appears on IkigaiWay.
What If I Have Questions?
If you have any questions about the process or the validity of your submission idea, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be happy to field any concerns you have.
What’s the Deadline For Submission?
I’ll be collecting submissions for the next two weeks. The earlier you submit, the better your chances.
Good luck, and I look forward to hearing from you!