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rshively's picture
what do you use for training equipment?

I've always been fascinated by people's genius in developing their own training equipment.

When I was a teenager, my family bought new living room tables (the old ones were from the 1950's). The older furniture had conical table legs. Seeing the similarity with the arms of a mook jong, I scavenged them into my own version of a training dummy.

It's initial design was that of a large "T". It had 3 arms punching out from the shoulders (different from a traditional mook jong) and mid-section. Padding for the chest and head was made from old seat cushions. It had a single forward leg. I secured-tied it to a support beam in our basement. My first dummy was primitive, but I was able to explore the martial arts at a much greater depth than if I had always relied on a training partner.

By the way, I understand that some styles of choy li fut have a large number of training apparatus-training dummies; as many as 40-50+. 

I'm curious if any of you ever allowed your creative juices to flow in a similar direction.


Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

I have a few basic bits of homemade equipment around the place. Currently nothing more complex than some old mats cut up and taped together to form a striking pad, a bit of dowel with a rope and a weight attached to work my forearms, etc.

I did however once make a leg stretching device when I was 15 as part of my school technology exam. It was pretty impressive and got me my one and only A! It had a frame you could hold on to and padded platforms that moved along detachable rails. There was loads of different way to could stretch on it (all of which were shown in the accompanying booklet!). I think it may be in my mother’s attic somewhere?

The book “Does a broken board equal a broken nose?” by Brian Struchtemeyer has some fantastic home made equipment in it. Very clever and innovative. There is even a bit of footage on the old blog (http://blog.iainabernethy.com/?p=85) that shows some test he did to work out the force needed to break boards. Notice the home made rig that holds the board on the bag so it can move back when hit (like people do). All very clever stuff!

All the best,


rshively's picture

I found this video on youtube. A Uechi ryu karate stylist uses a wooden dummy yo help supplement his training.


He looked pretty good, and his dummy is certainly innovative. From what I understand, some of okinawa's early karate men often used homemade versions like the one in the video.

By the way, where can I find the book "Does a broken board equal a broken nose?" is it thru amazon?


GeoffG's picture

A friend and I have made some of the tools described in Mike Clarke's "The Art of Hojo Undo: Power Training for Traditional Karate".


So far we've each built a makiwara, nagiri game, and chi ishi.