Sunday, 25 April 2010

Hojo Undo

Hojo undo is the Japanese term for supplementary exercises and the tools used in the martial arts, mainly Traditional Karate. The hojo undo tools are made out of stone (cement), iron, wood and straw.
Traditional hojo undo training develops physical strength, stamina, speed, discipline, muscle coordination, posture and flexibility!
I will go through all the different types of traditional hojo undo tools
Let's start with:

1. The Makiwara - The most well known of hojo undo!
This link explains what it is:
There isn't a modern day equivalent to the makiwara. Unlike the heavy bag, the makiwara more accurately simulates the hardness of the human body, thus making it more effective for training and conditioning our strikes. I personally think that every martial arts warrior should use one, especially if you practice the martial arts for self defence!
Also a padded Muk Yan Jong can help condition your strikes as well!
Please check this link out about why you should use a makiwara:

2. Chi Ishi - Is sort of like a dumbell which is weighted on one side only! It's made out of wood and stone (concrete) and is flexed about in a number of ways to help increase the strength of your fingers, wrists, hands, arms and chest. Also it helps with your posture!
Heavy Indian Clubs used by olden day strongmen and wrestlers also do the same thing!

3. Ishi Sashi - These are hand held weights made out of stone (concrete) and shaped like padlocks. You can use these to practice your punching techniques and also other exercises.
You can also use kettlebells and dumbellls as well but make sure they don't weigh any more than 7kg (15 pounds.)
Remember people hojo undo training is not about getting big muscles (they slow you down.) It's about overall physical maintainence and improvement!

4. Makiage Kigu - Simply a handle (made from anything) with some rope attached to the middle and the end of the rope is some type of weight! All you have to do is twist the handle to raise or lower the weight.
This trains your wrists.

5. Nigiri Game - Ceramic jars that can be filled with water, sand or whatever to increase their weight! You grip them with your fingers around the rim. You can practice blocking techniques and also move about in diffrrent stances to improve your stances and posture. Also by gripping the jars with your fingers it helps increase your finger strength.
They don't have to be ceramic jars, you can use say empty protein powder jars/contai ners as well!

6. Tetsu Geta - are iron sandals which are gripped by the toes! The practictioner moves around and practices certain kicks with them on (mainly the snap kick, low roundhouse kick and the side kick!) This type of training strenghtens the legs and improves kicking speed!

Please don't be tempted use ankle weights. They're dangerous as they grip around the ankles and destroy them over time!

7. Jari Bako - Is simply a large bowl filled with sand, rice, dried beans, gravel or even ballbearings. All you have to do is simply thrust your fingers into the contents of the bowl!

8. Kongoken -A large iron oval shaped ring mainly used by Goju Ryu karateka. you can use it for solo or partner training! Using this tool correctly can strengthen the legs, waist and arms (including the shoulders)

9. Tan - Is just a barbell made out of wood and stone (Cement.) Again I repeat this should not be used in a weightlifting or bench pressing way!
One of the ways you can use it is to roll it down your arms and throwing and catching it with your forearms continuously!
I wouldn't do that exercise with a metal barbell or actually use one in general!

10. Maki Stick - Is basically a wooden paddle which you use to beat yourself with across the arms, legs and torso.

Well that's it ............ I think!?
Here are some links with information about Hojo Undo:

Happy Training!!!

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