Want to learn more about Makiwara France? Read our guide for facts and info on this traditional martial arts training device…
Back in the 1700s the French developed their own style of martial arts known as Savate. The makiwara was one of the training devices that the French martial artists used in their training. Although this training device was not developed in France it became an important part in Savate training. The origins of the makiwara are from the birthplace of karate itself that is Okinawa.
Traditionally the kind of makiwara used in France was about 7 to 8 feet tall. The construction material most commonly used for developing this training device was bamboo. In order to provide the trainees with a cushioning when they would strike the long vertical board a thick foam or rubber coating was attached to the top end of the makiwara. The top end where the cushion would be attached would be made thinner as compared to the other end. The thick end of the board had to be planted into the ground firmly so that it could stand on its own and sustain the strikes of the fighter using it for training purposes.
Over the years many different kinds of makiwara boards were developed. They varied in terms of their construction and design and not all of them resemble the original makiwara. Some of them were made using shorter pieces of wood that could be nailed into walls or other areas where they could get some sturdy support. A special high density foam or rubber would be used to cushion one end of the makiwara. This end was then given a leather or canvas quoting that made it more resilient to withstand the abuse that it was going to get. Back in the early days of the makiwara the cushioning was achieved by tightly binding a bundle of straw to the board. The training device actually gets its name from the Japanese language and it means to wrap or roll in straw.
Although the French Savate practitioners made use of the Makiwara it was used all around the world by people involved in karate training. It provided an excellent way of improving your technique and developing your strength while practicing your target. The makiwara was particularly helpful in developing the strength of the knuckles and fists. However one needs expert guidance and instruction when making use of the French makiwara. This is because if used in an unregulated manner it could actually harm the practitioner. This is why a martial artist needs to perfect his punching technique prior to making use of the device. The makiwara in all its versions is readily available in the market. Some Savate practitioners prefer to make the device themselves.
While the makiwara has been very popular in France and other Asian regions the Western karate practitioners refrain from making use of the device. They believe it causes serious damage to the structure of the hand when used over time. However, this is not true. In fact when used with proper guidance training with the makiwara will actually result in enhanced force of delivery punching and it also helps to train the legs and hips to function in a manner so as to generate maximum power.