Hojo-undo: Karate training apparatus

THE SECRET DOJO: DAY 2 – Finding new uses for old rubbish

There’s a certain charm to training in these re-appropriated places. This morning I practised some kata and then jotted down some notes. 

I got to looking at various bits of rubbish that I’d cleared from the charred and overgrown ground – pondering how I could re-use some to help with training.

Immediately I could see the use of the old roof beam (oak) as a makiwara, a large galacial rock for similar and the remains of solid paint tins that made me think of chishi.

I then sketched a large clay jar for developing gripping strength, but I’d only ever seen cracked and broken ones around here.

Until this afternoon, I went exploring in an old house I’ve not braved before. In the workshop downstairs I found a perfectly intact jar! (It has some fat or sap in it I need to work out what to do with first).

“In Okinawa these are nigiri-game and are used to be made to order to fit the karate-ka’s hand span. With the fingertips just sealing over the rim the vessel could be gradually weighted with sand or pebbles.”

Not sure what to do with all these old iron rings though. They were for oak wine barrels but of course any wooden barrels here have burnt away.

Do the karate-ka amongst you have any ideas?

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