30405 - Makiwara Wooden Conditioning Post
The makiwara is used by karate practitioners to practice strikes in much the same way as a boxer uses a heavy bag. The makiwara develops ones' striking ability by letting them experience resistance to punches, kicks and other strikes.
A poor punch will bounce off the makiwara if the body is not in a position to support the energy generated by the strike. It also develops targeting, and focus, which is the ability to penetrate the target (i.e., opponent) to varying degrees of force.
The makiwara is very versatile, and can accommodate practice of open/closed hand strikes, kicks, knee strikes and elbow strikes. Okinawan methods emphasize striking from different angles. Most sources recommend a regimen of hitting the makiwara 50-100 times per day, with each hand.
It is especially important to train the weaker side of the body as hard as, or harder than the dominant side. It is important to note that one should not use the makiwara so much that it causes them harm. Like all good training, there should be no lasting damage.
A round elongated makiwara, traditionally made from rice straw bound with rope, is used by practitioners of Kyudo, Japanese archery. This makiwara is placed on a stand so that it is near shoulder height, and is used for close range practice from about 5-8 feet away. The archer is practically unable to miss the target from that range, affording the Kyudo practitioner the opportunity to practice his form, without thought for the target.