The makiwara is an training tool, originated in Okinawa, Japan for the purpose of strengthening the fists to rock-hard capacity (there are also sword makiwaras, but that is out of the scope of this article).
The traditional karate practitioners would create their own makiwaras for home and dojo use, with daily practice in order to keep their fists like steel, and ready for combat.
A makiwara is basically just a flexible board that is mounted to the floor and has some kind of striking pad at the top of it.
Traditional punching bag work requires the uses to wear hand wraps or gloves and then you train by punching a heavy padded bag or air-filled speed bag.
Although these types of bags are instrumental to developing speed and technique, they are not much good for toughening the fists for punching power.
In addition, how many street fights are performed with the user wearing gloves?
Therefore, we want you to be equipped with the tools necessary for maximum punching power, and makiwara training is the way that you are going to get it.
Any martial arts practitioner can benefit from makiwara training, even boxers and mma fighters.
Makiwara training increases bone density and callouses the knuckles so that they are prepared to make contact with a hard object. Training is performed, slowly and methodically. New users to a makiwara often split their knuckles open from training too hard, too soon. This is not the idea.
You want to slowly ease yourself into training, by getting your hands used to the feeling of contacting a hard board. As you train for longer periods of time, you will be able to hit the makiwara harder than you ever thought possible, and when faced against an opponent, a makiwara trained fist is like running into a freight train.
Make sure that you make contact with the makiwara and do not deflect your fist off of it. This will cause you to rip open your knuckles. If you injure your hand, wait for it to heal. You will not benefit yourself by repeated punching onto an injured fist.
Train on the makiwara daily or every other day (once you have completed a warm up regimen over a period of 2 weeks for the beginner). Frequent training will allow your fists to gradually get tougher without having to damage them.
Makiwara trained knuckles should be a badge of honor for hard work. Some people may thing they are ugly, but they probably haven't been punched by a freight train either.
Train hard, but be safe and careful. Makiwara training for punching power is never meant for you to destroy your hands.
Joshua Black is an on-line infopreneur, author, and martial artist.
Mr. Black is the developer of the Ultimate Makiwara Creator, a how-to course that can be viewed at: