One aspect of Karate training is one we don’t talk about much is Hojo Undo (Supplementary Exercises). In Okinawa it was, and still is, a major part of daily training. Sensei Michael Clarke wrote a book on Hojo Undo, and in doing so he talks about using tools to fortify your karate resolve, both mentally and physically. After all, training your body trains your mind.
We’ve all heard of the Makiwara, but what about the Chi-Ishi, Tetsu Geta, Jari Bako or the Ishi Sashi?
Pictured here is a Chi-Ishi I recently made. Its essentially a weight with a handle that I use to target specific muscle groups used in Karate techniques. In using this, the practitioner strongly grips to the end of the wooden pole (opposite the weight which was originally concrete), and moves his or her wrist and arms in motions used in techniques normally used in Kata or against opponents. This weighted training helps strengthens the fingers, hands, arms, and chest.
In a few minutes at home, a little Junbi Undo, Hojo Undo and a few Kata are enough to make you sweat a little, and more importantly, to make you think karate – aka, clearing your head…