Traditional Exercises

All students are taught "warm up" exercises at the beginning of every lesson. These exercises are designed to warm up and loosen all of the muscle groups in the body and can be done at home as well as in the dojo and are vital to any form of physical exercise and especially the martial arts.

Supplimentary training is also a part of the Goju Ryu karate way using traditional Okinawan training devices.

Chishi (stone lever weights)

The chishi is a concrete or stone weight at the end of a wooden handle. It is mainly used to strengthen the grip, as well as the joints of the elbows, wrists and shoulders. The exercises develop the muscles used in blocking, striking and grappling techniques. It also strengthens the arms, shoulders, abdomen and stance for a variety of techniques. The Chishi is based on the principle of leverage. The leverage of the stone weight at one end of the shaft concentrates the force upon the wrists and isolates the muscles, tendons and joints used in the specific exercise.

Nigiri-Game (gripping jars)

These are gripping jars, usually made of clay with a rim around the top to grip with the fingers. Sand can be added to increase the weight of the jars. Gripping these jars increases the strength of the fingers for gripping and tearing applications. Stepping forwards and backwards in stances is practised with the emphasis on the shoulders being properly down and pulled back.

Makiwara (striking posts)

A makiwara, the most central tool of Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate Do, is a striking post, with a straw, cloth or rubber clad on the contact area. It is constructed of either a combination of 2x4 s or a 4x4 tapered off at the top. It is used to condition the striking surfaces of the body and perfect striking techniques and kime. It is a common misconception to regard the Makiwara as a tool or device for producing enlarged knuckles and callouses on the fists. The callouses are merely an external indication that makiwara training is taking place, The real value is to the wrists and elbow joints and the fixator muscle of the armpit, chest and back. The makiwara is best made of indigenous Okinawa wood called "shi-ja" or of Japanese red oak.

Ichisashi (stone padlocks)

This is a stone padlock resembling the shape of an old-fashioned clothes iron. It s is used for strengthening the arms and wrists and developing powerful punches. The Ishisashi is particularly beneficial to the Goju Ryu Sanchin kata training.

Tan (barbell)

This resembles a barbell, usually made of wood with weights on the ends. It is usually rolled over the forearms and back, or twisted over the hips. It strengthens and conditions the affected areas. The Tan is also used for conventional weight training exercises.

Tou (cane or bamboo bundles)

This is a bundle of bamboo sticks taped together at the ends. Before kicking bags were introduced to Okinawa the To fulfilled many of the requirements of the kicking bag. Full power hand and feet techniques are unleashed upon the Tou from static or mobile postures.

Kongoken (oval metal weights)

This is a very heavy rectangular hoop, used alone or with a partner. It is used to strengthen the body and condition it for contact. This instrument was developed by Sensei Myagi. It weighs around 70kg. This ring is twisted and pressed around in solo or two man forms and it is intended to give the feeling of handling the weight of a man so that the offensive balance is understood.


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