There’s two new blocks of concrete hanging around the Dojo right now. Actually, there is going to be quite a few over the next few months as I build by hand each piece of training equipment for Hojo undō. Hojo undō (補助運動) is a Japanese term, translated as “supplementary exercises”, that refers to the conditioning exercises specifically used in Kobudō, the old arts of olden times. Hojo undō training was designed to develop ambidextrous physical strength, stamina, muscle coordination, speed, and posture. This style of training uses simple, traditional devices, made from wood and stone.
The first of the completed items is called the maki-agi kigu, translated as “wrist roller’. Its is a weight hanging by a rope from a wooden handle. The practitioner grasps the handle with the weight hanging in the middle, and twists the handle to wrap the rope around the handle. The handle is raised and lowered throughout the twisting to strengthen the wrists. While the Karate-ka traditionally uses this training to build strength in their wrists and fore-arms with roughly 9 pound weights, I have chosen to make larger weights of 14 and a hefty 18 pounds.
Please feel free to use this training equipment on your own at the Dojo prior to class, following class or on your own. The next item I will be making is called a Tou which is simply a bundle of bamboo tied together either at both the top and bottom or tied in the middle. The tou is used to condition fingers and hands while doing circular motion striking.