in today’s video I want to teach you how to use this thing right here, also know as a makiwara, a traditional conditioning and impact tool from Okinawa the birth-place of Karate the word itself, makiwara, actually consists of two different parts “maki” which means “around” in Japanese and “wara” which is the original name of the straw or the rope that they used to tie around the striking post The purpose of striking a makiwara is not to make your knuckles big and swollen Far from it. The purpose is actually to get bio-kinetic feedback so that when you have that impact, you know that your joints and your body is [sic] properly aligned to deliver kinetic energy into the target. Now here are my 3 favorite exercises. Number: 1 The regular reverse punch Known as “Yakuzuki” in Japanese. Start off with your hand on your hip, this is known as the “Hikite” and your other hand down here so you’re prepared to strike. You will then do a regular reverse punch pulling back your other hand and striking through the makiwara and make sure that you aim slightly behind the makiwara so you can have that penetrating effect like so … [THWACK] [THWACK] [THWACK] You can actually adjust the way you hit depending on your distance from the makiwara. If you’re far away, you can do the regular “Seiken tsuki” in Japanese, but if you’re closer, you can do a 45-degree type of strike, or even this way if you’re super close, known as “Ura tsuki” in Japanese these are different variations of the regular straight punch depending on your distance from the makiwara Now let’s move on the second exercise is a cool one and I actually learned this from a master in Okinawa Here’s what you do You start with a backfist the “uraken” strike like this and then using the momentum from your hips you continue you go through with what’s known as “kagezuki” or a hooking punch in traditional karate putting those together; you go, 1, 2 and then, 1,2! try to do them with the same hip twist 1,2! The first one goes through, the second one bounces back 1, 2! 1, 2! 1, 2! Try to have a good posture and parallel stance without leaning over or compromising this way Now, number #3 This is perhaps one of my favorite ones because I love close-quarters fighting and now we’re gon’na use our elbows Starting from the same position, like before I want you to grab your own fist on the back hand and then aim with the elbow for the center of the makiwara usually people elbow with with their whole arm this way which is not an effective move but it hurts less, I can give you that However, if you want an effective elbow strike I suggest you aim with the tip of your elbow, this way for the center of the makiwara and incorporate your hips as well If you want to move around while striking the makiwara in different ways that’s fine as well the basic way to start with the makiwara is to be standing still but as you progress and get more advanced you can add footwork around and even kicks if you like to And that’s it. These were some of my favorite exercises with the makiwara I hope it gives you some more understanding and insight the how and why to use the makiwara the traditional striking post of oldschool karate Train hard, good luck and have fun.


  1. Thanks Jesse 🙂 can you recommend anyone selling a decent wall mounted (spring loaded) makiwara? I've been trying to buy one on ebay but the seller isn't responding 🙁 http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/291572304176?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
    Any advice would be much appreciated 🙂

  2. İ am able to doing Chi ishi with 12,5 kg with each hand(one hand 12,5 other hand 12,5 kg i am able to stay with there in arm straight position). is it effect makiwara strength?

  3. Thanks Jesse for the tips as my DOJO here in the state does not have Makiwara, but I have one at home for extended training and this video will be very helpfull.

  4. I will have to try the uraken/kagi-tsuki one tonight, I have never seen that before! Thanks for the nice video, Jesse!

  5. I'm reminded of the Chief Grand Master in my style saying that if something's bothering you, pound the makiwara for a while, and you'll forget anything else that's bothering you.

  6. Your board looks very stiff, thicker at the top than others I have seen. Your pad looks thinner,, too. You are trying to make us look weak for using thinner boards and more pad, aren't you? Haha just kidding. Good stuff.

  7. Jesse love your videos, is there a way I could message you about a karate concern I'm having? I sent a message to your main site but I'm not sure if it sent or not.

  8. Thanks for this video, grandmaster. Over 21 years ago, I was reading a little book about "Arte y Práctica del Karate" (Art and Prantice of Karate, if I translate it into English), and there say something about the makiwara, say about is used to improve the impacts of the hits, and recommend to hit the makiwara imagining your punch or kick will shatter it into pieces…

  9. Ive never used the traditional type makiwara, in our dojo we used two bags with sand and pebbles inside for knuckles and shins. but the effect must be different than with the normal makiwara. id love to have one of those for practicing technique.

  10. Thanks for your excellent videos, Sensei Jesse! Could you make a video on how to make a makiwara at home? How do you determine the proper height of the makiwara?

  11. Would this kind of conditioning lead to joint pain later in life? It seems like it would be good in short term, but not much in the long term.

  12. Thank you! Sensei, do you know where I can find The makiwara for buy? Some realiable site, perhaps. I appreciate your help.

  13. Today I just made my own makiwara …. and thank you for these exercises now I can pratice this and actually be good at my punching & striking.I learn teakwondo but I realized I need to work on my punches. Sensei I need some suggestions from you. How can I be good at punching ? just to let you know I am taking some online lessons from master wong (wing chun). and please tell me for how long and how many days I should train 🙏🙏🙏

  14. Such an interesting tool. How is the bottom of the Makiwara constructed and is it fixed to the floor at all? It's something I'd like to give a go on, but I'm not sure about where I could put one. lol

  15. Thank you, Jesse, for sharing your videos, knowledge, insights and journey through life with us. At fist, before even seeing a single video of yours, I was VERY prejudiced and skeptical. But I picked up your rooted humility, honesty and lack of pretense — traits that are crucial for every Karate practitioner.

    I must also admit that witnessing a life fully dedicated to martial arts is very inspiring and I bet it puts many of us viewers, for whom Karate is only a second fiddle to our daytime job, in a dreamlike state…

    I hope life treats you kindly for you deserve it.

  16. Could you add MORE ECHOOOOOOO to the video or that was your maximum? :P(should have precised not to start hitting it with that amount of force if you're a begginner, you would probably injure yourself) .thx for the infos.

  17. I cant seem to find any decent videos on making a makiwara board. Could you do a video on what you would suggest for a beginner board, an intermediate board and a standard board

  18. Practiced with the makiwara yesterday. Never really been too good at it. I can hit it just fine, but it doesn’t seem to move much, which must mean I’m not penetrating. It’s probably just something I have to figure out about it. I’ll just have to improve.

  19. 💪💪💪💪💪💪💪👌👌👌👌👌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌👍👍👍👍👏😇😇😇😇😇😇😇

  20. Oss sensei. Sensei I practice makiwara sometimes. But my parents and others often say that it will coz me problem when I grow old. Is it true sensei? I'm confused. Pls help. Oss sensei.

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