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Karate Power – Makiwara Workout!
George W. Alexander, 10th Dan


  1. Make sure that your wrist is straight.
  2. Make sure that you hit with the first two knuckles only.
  3. It is not necessary to hit it with full power in the beginning.
  4. Makiwara Training takes years to develop. Do not be in a hurry.  Your body and mind will tell you when to go harder.
  5. Make sure the pad whether it be straw or leather does have some padding on it to prevent breaking the skin open.
  6. Make sure that the post is flexible enough to give enough of a cushion when hitting it. This will prevent a shoulder injury.
  7. Remember to use Dit Da Jow, Zen Gu Shui or any other medicine designed for toughening the skin.
  8. Do not lock your elbows out at the end of the punch.
  9. Do not drive the shoulder too far forward when punching.
  10. Lock your back leg solidly upon impact and simultaneously tense the abdominal and chest muscles. The latt and deltoid muscles must also be locked down upon impact.


  1. Remember to train both left and right sides equally.
  2. As a beginner it is a good idea to use a pad on the striking surface and graduate up to hemp rope.
  3. Train a wide variety of techniques not just a punch.
  4. Training with a partner is a good idea as it will motivate you both to keep up with each other.
  5. The goal is not to break the makiwara but rather to condition
    your hands and body so that you technique will be stronger and more effective.
  6. Train after class is over. This way it is a supplement to your training.
  7. Pick a certain number of times you will hit the makiwara every time you use it. In the beginning maybe only 25 times with each technique and graduate up to 50 times.
  8. Remember to stay focused on the makiwara mentally.
  9. Each time you hit the makiwara remember to tense up and focus your body.
  10. Consistency is the best way to develop your skills on the makiwara.

It is always important to loosen up no matter what exercise you are doing. Here’s a few for the makiwara.
1. Jujitsu wrist Exercises
2. Push palm against makiwara
3. Push back of wrist against makiwara
4. Interlace fingers
5. Push fingers together
6. Push ups – knuckle & finger

Makiwara Techniques:
1.  Reverse punch
2.  Tate zuki
3.  Punch tate zuki & turn fist 90
4.  Hook punch shiko dachi
5.  Double punch reverse – first then lead first
6.  Snappy zuki
7.  Reverse w/cat stance
8.  Drop knee
9.  Palm heel (tate & yoku)
10.Koken Uchi (Bent Wrist)
11.Backfist – kiba dachi
12.Backfist – kiba dachi w/footwork
13.Forearm strike
14.Chop (s) – shuto uchi & gyaku shuto uchi
15.Double chop w/ hammerfist (reverse order)
16.Two hammerfists
17.Chop shiko dachi hook punch
18.Elbow strike
19.Forearm strike
20.Strike makiwara with a partner
21.Iron palm Training.

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