Technique of the Week (April 8th, 2007)
David Tamir, Shihan,
Suntree-Viera Ueshiro Dojo
Kata Training with Makiwara
Kata training can be enhanced by applying any kata to a makiwara. The makiwara can be as simple as a wall or a tree, or a punching bag, or a traditional makiwara as described on pages 249-250 in Master Nagamine's Book, The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do.
Perform your entire kata on the makiwara by re-positioning yourself correctly relative to the makiwara, prior to each kata move. This challenges one's understanding of the kata (form), the mai (distance), and the technique's bunkai (application). Do not focus yourself on the target's surface, but rather focus on "blowing" through the target's core. Research and practice stepping first into a solid foundation, and then correctly contact the makiwara to penetrate the target effectively with your strike, kick, block, etc. This can be practiced both in slow motion and with speed and power. Depending on the type of makiwara, take special care in the application of full power, so as not to injure yourself, preventing your continued training.
Normal kata practice (without a makiwara) with invisible opponents, provides the ultimate quality of training and the ability to practice maximum speed and power without injury. Incorporation of makiwara into kata training provides additional benefits; however, it is not a substitute for normal kata practice.
Domo Arigato Gozaimasu, Hanshi,