A Makiwara is a piece of sports equipment originating from Japan, which in karate is known mainly as a wooden hitting post. In the past (and partly still today) a makiwara is made of a flexible and non-splintering wooden board. One end of the board is driven vertically into the ground, and the other end in the upper part (approx. 10-20cm) is wrapped with rice straw or today rather with foam and (artificial) leather. This upper part serves as a punching pad or hitting surface.
In the meantime there are also other variants of the Makiwara. One of them is the wall-makiwara , which mostly consists of several thinner layers of boards, which are additionally held apart by an integrated metal spring. The advantage of such wall Makiwara is that they are easy to assemble and require relatively little space. However, they are very noisy when people work on them, so that sound insulation between the wall and the Makiwara is absolutely recommended.
Makiwara 2.0 - Build it yourself - Makiwara meets iPad
Motto: Extending old things with new technology
There are already countless building instructions on the Internet on how to make a Makiwara. My self-built Makiwara is therefore not new, but alternative and above all functional. From there on, building your own Makiwara is fun. (see also my special Arduino-Fitnessboard for self-building/DIY) I tried to do as little work as possible. Therefore I also use (at least for now) wall makiwara which I bought in an online shop. The rest of the components which are needed are available for a few Euros.
A detailed list of materials follows below. By far the most expensive item on the list will be the iPad/iPhone or Android tablet . I plan to use my iPad to extend the Makiwara training. Among other things, it should be used to measure the punch indirectly via the motion sensor. The reaction time should also be trained, e.g. by giving the signal to hit a gyaku zuki and measuring the reaction time until the punch reaches the makiwara. The whole thing should be nicely prepared and evaluated graphically, so that the success of the training can be read in numbers if necessary.
There are a lot of exercises that can be performed on the Makiwara, but in my opinion there was always a certain lack of dynamics in the matter. Who would like to stand in front of a Makiwara every day like the old great masters and strike 10.000 Zukis in front of it? Not that I would have anything against a decent and extensive Makiwara training, but every now and then it may be something different with a little more movement! Apart from that, I like to experiment with new training methods, so that it never gets boring, and to see if a method might bring a better result...As you know, many roads lead to Rome...
Problem 1: The soundscape
I personally (and especially my neighbours) have always been worried that the Makiwara is very loud when you hit it. An insulation was needed, which reduces the noise drastically!
Problem 2: The technology (the iPad/tablet)
The technology of the iPad or any other tablet is more or less sensitive. Therefore it would not be a good idea to put pressure or other physical strain on the device. A solution must be found so that the iPad is close enough to the Makiwara to measure the impact pulse when the fist hits the Makiwara, but it must not be damaged by this!
Basic structure, material and preview - Makiwara 2.0
- 1 Wooden board (ca. 40x60cm)
- 1-2 Wall-Makiwara (if one decides to do so, some screws and hinges from the wall Makiwara can be used.)
- approx. 80cm long wooden strip, approx. 2.5cm wide (e.g. from an old picture frame)
- 2 small metal hinges
- 4 dowels and suitable screws (4,5-6cm long, 1cm diameter)
- 6-8 Wood screws (1cm)
- 6-8 Wood screws (2-2,5cm)
- 12 Wood screws (4cm)
- 12 Felt coasters (which are usually stuck under tables and chairs)
- 1 Roll of window sealant for inside (foam layer on double-sided adhesive tape)
- 1 iPad (iOS)
- Drilling machine and masonry and wood drills
- Cordless screwdriver
- Wood saw or jigsaw
- Folding rule
- Writing utensils (sheet of paper, ballpoint pen/pencil)
First, remove all screws and brackets on the back of the wall makiwara.
Next, we draw the desired positions of the hit areas. This is where the wall Makiwara will be screwed on later. Leave about 10 cm space in the upper area, as the holder for the iPad will be mounted there. When everything is marked, the holes can be drilled.
Now screw the (or the, depending on whether you want to attach one or two hit surfaces) wall makiwara to the carrier board. This is where the felt coasters come into play. Simply screw the screws through the support board, through a felt coaster on the other side, and further into the makiwara so that the wood is separated from the makiwara and the support board by the felt. Screw the whole thing very tight!
Now we are building an iPad holder. First of all, the outline of the iPad is recorded. According to this template, a frame is screwed together from the wooden strip and padded inside with the window seal.
Now the iPad holder can be attached to the carrier board. Make sure that the iPad is well held between the frame and the carrier board. It must be easy to push it into the holder and remove it again, and it must only be held by the foam insulation. Finally, mark the 4-6 attachment points on the wall, drill holes, screw on the carrier board and that's it! 🙂
Makiwara expansion stage 3
First Software-Test - Reaction Training:
Software Beta 3 - reaction, coordination and endurance training
Software Beta 4 - Kumite / Target Exercises
Besides reaction training, target exercises are now also possible. Fists (red pads) are recognized by the software (yellow dot). Feet (blue pads) are recognized (purple dot). The recognition of the skull (green dot) is also no big deal if attack distance is given.
But the problem remains the same -> the front camera of the iPad is simply modest, and the algorithm is also not yet optimal, because 16 frames per second are simply too low, or you would have to execute the techniques more slowly, which makes little sense in terms of the desired training success...I think I mothballed the project, but the coding was always funny. 😉
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