Saturday, 10 May 2014

Making your own training equipment; "Tire Makiwara"

"Just finished assembling the Tire Makiwara"
In Karate and early Taekwondo the training was usually divided up largely by training and perfecting basics, forms and impact training on the striking post. In the west it is undoubtfully better known as "Makiwara"
which is a Japanese term meaning wrapped straw (take that translation with a grain of salt as it is me writing from memory) while in KMA (Korean Martial Arts) it is known as Kwon Go or Dallyon Joo. The latter term meaning forging post and the former meaning "Fist" and something:p (sorry but I have never seen the Hanja or Hangul for Kwon Go).

Basics and forms have allways been a huge part of my martial education, and impact work has also always been something I have used every oppertunity to do when I had suitable equipment available but my experience with "Makiwara training" has been sporadic to say the least.. In fact the closest thing I have been so far is a half dead tree near the house I grew up in. It provided a small flat surface and the tree had some "give" when I struck it. I used to go to that tree and strike it with my forefist, open hand, knife hand and back fist strikes when I had the time. After moving avay from home as we all do sooner or later I have not seen anything fitting that part of training anymore and I have not had any garden of my own to make a traditional
Bolt nutts and the rings I am talking about. I have two rings
one on the inside and one visible on the outside.
striking post. Likewise a floor bolted one has also been a none issue since I have untill last year been renting places to stay and the houseowners do not take kindly to bolting stuff Down on the floor. Wall mounted striking targets has also been something I could not do as they are likely to damage the wall they are mounted on.

After reading a book on Hojo Undo ("The art of Hojo Undo" by Michael Clarke) I finally saw a design that could be something I could use:-) A tire type Makiwara. It is mounted on a wall, but it is not likely to damage it. It provides the same feedback a traditional Makiwara does because of the tire resisting and acting as a spring. It does not require a lot of room either as it can be mounted straight on the wall and best of all it is damn cheap to make (my Budget was just about 10 bucks).

I will not go into training with it since frankly I do not see myself competent enough yet to provide any advice but I will try to gather some resources in a future post for those interested. I will only provide the instructions on how to make one for your self if you want to do this kind of traditional impact training but like me do not have a large budget or training space etc.

A list of what you will need in materials:

  • A tire (obviously:p )
  • A sturdy wooden board
  • 4 bolts
  • 8 rings
  • 4 nutts
  • hockey or duct tape
  • padding and leather (or other material you want to cover the padding with)
  • some strops or other stuff depending on how you want to mount in on the wall.
  • (optional) 1 eye bolt)
First I got an old tire from an auto repair shop next to my work. There should not be any problem aquiring one since they have to pay to get the tires collected and disposed of so they are often very happy to give away old tires to people who need them. At least that is my own experience:-) Since tires are dirty things the first thing I did was to hose it down and wash it. I then let it dry for a few days.

The next thing I did was to tape it with black duct tape. It was a little time consuming but it is great to do this as you no longer have to worry about getting your white Dobok dirty if you and a partner take turns holding this striking target and hit it. It is not necesary though if you do not mind a little dirt. I covered the outisde of the tire with tape and folded and taped around half of the inside of the tire. Do not tape all the way around the tires profile because that will diminish the "spongy" give that you need for it to work as a Makiwara. Just cover the outside with tape and thats it:-)

Cargo strops make mounting the tire makiwara on a tree easy
After taping it I sawed the board so that it was just a little less than a diameter of the tire. I then preceded with drilling 4 holes in each corner of the board and 4 corresponding holes in the tire. If you are as bad at measuring as me you can simply do like me and place the board on the tire and drill straight through the board and tire. Just be carefull not to move the board as you are drilling because that defeats the purpose of doing it this way:-)

I then fastened the board on the tire using some bolts, rings and nuts. The rings (not sure what you call them) are there in case wear and tear could make the holes bigger and then the bolt and nuts would not keep the Makiwara together.

I personally had a wall type striking post with industrial rubber which I then fastened to the board using 4 wooden screws. You can buy that from e-bay for a few dollars or you can use some other kind of padding. 
Ready for practise at 05:00 AM

I fixed and eye bolt at the top of the tire makiwara to facilitate hanging since I believed I could use it when it was fixed to the wall, but after a few test shots (I smacked it a little around) my neightbours came running

believing that some vandals were tearing down the house. Therefore you should only use this if you have your own house, garage or something similar where neighbours are not around. Personally I now use it by attaching it to a tree using cargo strops:-)

I keep the tiremakiwara in my car and before work I park my car next to a forrest and fix the tire to a tree and start practising:-)Great way to start the work day;)

Here is a video of a guy making the same type of eqipment if you do not get the description I wrote above:

Like I said, I will not go into training in this post, but I will in not the too far future gather some tips, videos and resources. My friend and fellow blogger Colin Wee actually made a 20 minute video for me after I told him I wanted to start with this kind of training, If you read this Colin: Thank you:-) For the rest of you "regular readers" the film can be seen below:

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  1. Wow!! thats A grade stuff!! would like to create one myself some day..

    1. I highly reccomend that you make one Amrullah. I have practised for 14 years now, and I am almost embarrased to say that training a few sessions With this has completly changed the way I view most of Our basic techniques and effective powergeneration. And I have worked a lot on Heavy bags etc over the years.

  2. Good work, Ørjan. I've linked my two posts to this one. Cheers, Colin

    1. Thanks Colin:-) I will provide a link to that partiqular post of Yours when I publish the post on Resources of Makkiwara training in the not too distant future:-)

  3. That is pretty awesome. I wish one day to be able to make makiwaras or kong gos. Would you say A kong go? or just Kong Go without the a?

    I need to hit things. Living in an apartment you cannot hit anything or make loud noises without getting into trouble. I want to live in a house sooo bad.

    1. If you have trees around you can do like I do and strop it to a tree while training and take it home when you dont (or leave it in the car if you have one). I live in a house but as you read I could not use it since the buildings were so Close together.

      As for pronounciation I would say dallyon joo as that is my preffered Korean term for it (I know what it means). I have only seen the "Kwon Go" term in English articles on traditional taekwondo. Kwon is the same as in TaeKWONdo but Go is probably pretty straight forward as it is allready transcribed into English by the articles Authors:-)

  4. Wow, this is awesome! I have to try it! BTW, those rings are called washers ;)

    1. I can not recommend Makkiwara practise enough! It is a complete game changer and will change how you do your art so profoundly that I still have not summoned the Words to Write a blog post about it other than this one :-)

  5. there's some pretty good "back and forth" with a few skeptics. Used tyres 

  6. Hi! Thanks for the great information you havr provided! You have touched on crucuial points!