Martial Arts

DIY Martial Arts Equipment

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A while back, so I had some different things to hit than just the heavy bag, I built myself a pair of makiwara. One is a hang on the wall version, currently hanging in the garage:

And the other is a portable, fits in the palm of your hand kind of thing that can go with me anywhere:

I love my makiwara and have every intention of putting a full version somewhere at some point, but that may wind up waiting until after we move into the house we plan to retire in, which is a year or two out, at least.

More recently, about two months into COVID precautions and isolation, I made myself a pair of tecchu to see if I could. (I think I’ve written about those before.)

While not even vaguely professional quality, they feel a lot better in my hands practicing than a pair of cut-down chopsticks.

A few weeks later, I decided I needed something to practice kobudo on, not really willing to risk my heavy bag. So I built this:

You can punch and kick it, if you like, but I made it to be able to unload on with staff, sai, and tonfa. It takes the punishment very well and gives me a little feedback on how a variety of techniques actually feel. Plus, no risk of puncturing or tearing my heavy bag. The top of the upper tire is about five and a half feet off the ground, but the chains will let me adjust that upwards almost another two feet if I like. There are a few small drainage holes so I can avoid breeding mosquitoes, too.

Lately, I’m feeling the lack of partner work in my training. It’s been more than four months. And I’ve always wanted a Wing Chun dummy, so I thought maybe I’d stretch my carpentry skills a bit. But space is limited and budgets are tight, so I decided to start with the flat, wall mounted version. Here’s where I’m at so far:

I’d like it to look nicer, so there needs to be some sanding and staining. I’d like to be able to hit it in a couple of spots, so there probably should be some padding, too. But I’m quite happy with it so far.

The ultimate goal in this vein is theoretically something like this:


But I’m a long, long way off from being able to manage that, and I think I should probably work with the one I’ve got for a little while to see if I like it.

I’m thinking about this as a traditional pursuit. Making use of what you have or what you can put together to build your skills and further your training. Plus, it’s fun to stretch myself out of my comfort zones. Added to home and yard improvement projects, I’ve spent more time with tools this year than probably in all the time we’ve been living in this house before this year. You can hardly call me Al, but I can manage more than I thought I could.

And there are definitely still other things I’d like to make.

I do need to reclaim more of the garage, though, and not for the car. The home dojo is slowly taking shape, though I doubt it will ever be completely done.

Stay safe and be well, everyone.

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