Dr Jean-Maurice HUARD
In all Karate clubs a visitor is always amazed at the duration of the warm-up. Very often the Karate class begins with a solid gymnastics that fills him with admiration: it is very complete, consistent; it gives muscle, flexibility, good physical condition, it makes all the joints work; and it often hurts, which flatters the old masochistic Jansenist who sleeps in our Western consciences…
“Master” and student
In his little book “Zen in the chivalrous art of archery”,Herrigel1 talks about the three conditions expected of a student in theJapanese tradition: a good education, a deep love of the art she wishes to learn and a veneration of the person she chooses as a master “who excludes all criticism” (sic). In our world this last point is almost scandalous.
Mr. Kamigaïto speaks in his book Wado2 of the double shock that was for him the discovery of what we called karate and what had become of the Japanese masters. Our karate had nothing in common with what he knew and the Japanese masters were quickly asphyxiated by “the lack of oxygen necessary to survive” (sic). What the hell did he mean by that?…
Karate is taught alone, through trial and error; training at Dôjô is only a small part of the work; it is often limited to two-person work because it is the only opportunity to compete in combat; you will only get it out of the fruit if you have prepared it by a patient solitary study.
This is why practitioners of yesteryear have developed methods such as Katas or Makiwara.
You have noticed how solid and massive the blows of the elders and especially the masters are; it is often impossible to parry or even deflect them.
The secret of these blows is among other things in the work at Makiwara that breathes life into your fists.
This article is intended to explain how to manufacture and install your Makiwara.