Okinawan Goju Ryu is a style of Karate that is characterized among other attributes, for the power of its techniques and the strong foundation that the Goju Ryu practitioners develop through their regular training. This accomplishment is not easy to reach, but with dedication and the proper training of the hojo undo (supplementary equipment) it is possible to do. The traditional set of hojo undo equipment practiced in Goju Ryu was brought to Okinawa in almost its entirety by Kanryo Higaonna Sensei. Higaonna Sensei learned in China from Ryu Ryu Ko Sensei chiishi (stone lever weight), ishi-sashi (stone padlock), sashi-ishi (stone weight), nigiri-game (gripping jars), makiwara (striking post), tan (barbell), jari bako (sand box), tetsu geta (iron sandals), makiage kigu (wrist roller), and tetsuarei (dumbells) training . Later Chojun Miyagi Sensei incorporated the kongoken (oval metal weight) as part of the hojo undo set.
Makiwara: this is one of the most important hojo undo equipment. The practice with makiwara can be done with te waza (hand techniques) as well as with ashi waza (leg techniques). The flat and rigid surface, and the resistance proper of the wood board allows the practitioner to develop focus and penetration in each technique. The practice of waza with the makiwara is very beneficial if it is combined with the practice of the same waza over focus shields and heavy bag. Each piece of equipment adds something important to make that technique much better.
Bushikan Makiwara™: this is the humble contribution that Sanguinetti Sensei has given to the martial arts as a result of his experience in the Budo ways. His Bushikan Makiwara™ is an ideal tool not only to practice regular techniques, but also to practice ude tanren (arm conditioning) and ashi tanren (leg conditioning) without the need of a real partner to be able to do it. The Bushikan Makiwara™ unique pivoting system and the diferent levels of strength available make it an invaluable tool to any martial artist.
Chiishi: the original construction of this tool, as the name indicates, was made from stone. Modern chiishi are made easily with concrete. Supplementary exercises with chiishi helps mainly to strengthen the grip and wrists. Proper training with this hojo undo equipment allows practitioners to understand the concept to develop natural power on hands techniques coming from the elbow, instead of from the biceps or triceps. Practice with chiishi also helps to improve ude tanrem (arm conditioning), muchimi (sticky hands), deep breathing, and proper stances.
Nigiri-game: the original set is made of ceramic, where the outside diameter of the rim is the same size of the grip of the practitioner. The common training begins with empty game (jars); as the karate-ka increases strength, the jars can be filled with sand, water or rocks. As the name implies, this hojo undo equipment mainly helps the practitioner to develop a strong grip. Proper training with nigiri-game will also strengthen feet, legs, hips, shoulders, forearms, and wrists helping to improve balance and posture. The deep breathing that accompanies the different exercises strengthens the internal organs.
Ishi-sashi: this hojo undo equipment was originally built from stone; most common modern constructions are made from metal or concrete. The practice of ishi-sashi is very beneficial for the upper body as well as for the lower body. It strengthens and develops the wrist, forearm, upper arms, shoulders, legs, and feet. Because of the peculiar design of this hojo undo equipment, the ishi-sashi is very important for the development of open hand techniques such as nukite (finger tips strike). The training with ishi-sashi also helps to develop strong stances and better balance.
Kongoken: Miyagi Sensei was introduced to the practice of kongoken in one of his visits to teach in Hawaii. Kongoken is a hojo undo equipment that permits individual training, as well as training with a partner. The form and weight of kongoken is very beneficial to develop a strong body and powerful grappling techniques. Arm conditioning, and leg conditioning are types of training that can be practiced individually. Partners can team up with each other to execute push-ups, sit-ups, and drills to develop better balance.
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