List of Martial Arts Training Equipment – Traditional & Modern
This section focuses on a wide variety of martial arts training equipment such as Focus Mitts, Nigiri Game (or Gripping Jars) and even Wing Chun Wooden Striking Dummies. They are designed to help martial arts students to improve their punching power and kicking power. Some of these training tools can also help students with grappling techniques, self-defense applications, etc.
This section also provides drills and instructions on how to use these types of equipment. It looks at traditional martial arts training tools (such as the Makiwara and Kongoken) as well as modern martial arts training equipment (such as the Reflex Bag and Rebreakable Boards).
The use of training equipment should be supervised by an experienced martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. For instructions on how perform kicking and punching techniques, please visit the main Kicks and Punches & Strikes sections.
Traditional Okinawan & Japanese Martial Arts Training Equipment – Many of these traditional conditioning tools fall under the category of Hojo Undo (or “Supplementary Exercises” to regular martial arts training).
- Chi Ishi – Stone weighted training tools for upper body conditioning.
- Ishi – A large rock that was carried around in order to build strength and conditioning.
- Ishi Sashi – Stone or concrete hand weights.
- Jari Bako – This Japanese training tool uses a bucket filled with sand to condition fingers and hands.
- Kakite Bikei – Blocking post with movable arm.
- Kongoken – A large heavy iron ring used for full body strength training and conditioning.
- Makiage Kigu (Wrist Roller) – Weighted rope used to build hand, wrist and forearm strength.
- Makiwara – A wooden striking post which provides progressive resistance.
- Nigiri Game (Gripping Jars) – Gripping jars used to develop palm and finger strength.
- Sagi Makiwara – A hanging version of the Makiwara.
- Suburito – Also known as the Suburi Bokken, an extra heavy wooden practice sword for building arm and shoulder strength.
- Sunabukuro – Similar to modern day heavy bags.
- Taketaba – Bundle of bamboo used for finger strikes, etc.
- Tan – Barbell with wooden handle.
- Tanren Bo – The Tanren Bo is a wooden device used ‘solely’ for conditioning the wrists and arms.
- Tetsu Geta (Iron Sandals) – A Karate training tool known as “Iron Sandals” or “Iron Clogs” used to strengthen the legs and develop kicking power.
- Tetsuwa (Iron Bracelets) – These are iron weights that are worn on a student’s wrist to build arm and shoulder strength.
- Ude Makiwara – Round version of the Makiwara striking post.
- Gyeok-Pa or Kyeok-Pa – Taekwondo students use breaking techniques as part of their training.
- Tameshiwari – Some Karate styles (i.e. Kyokushin) also use breaking techniques in order to practice accuracy and power.
Traditional Chinese Martial Arts Training Equipment
- Mei Hua Zhuang (Kung Fu Plum Blossom Poles) – This training technique is known by different Mandarin and Cantonese names including Mui Fa Jong (“Plum Flower Posts”).
- Tiesha Zhang (Iron Palm Bags) – Chinese training tool consisting of bags filled with mung beans, gravel or iron ball bearings.
- Wing Chun Wooden Striking Dummy – Traditional Chinese wooden practice dummy used to practice grabs, strikes and evasions.
Training & Practice Weapons
- Bokken – Wooden practice sword.
- Iaito – Unsharpened metal practice sword.
- Shinai – Bamboo practice sword used in Japanese martial arts such as Kendo. This practice weapon is also used to simulate defense against an opponent armed with a club/bat, etc.
- Foam versions of martial arts training weapons (i.e. Nunchaku). These allow students to train with traditional martial arts weapons without injuring themselves or others. Great for beginners before they advance to the real thing.
- Rubber Batons & Clubs – Rubber batons & clubs are used to practice unarmed self-defense techniques against an attacker armed with a baseball bat, clubs, etc.
- Rubber Guns – Rubber guns are used to practice self-defense techniques by martial arts such as Krav Maga. Students practice how to disarm an attacker armed with a gun.
- Rubber Knives – Rubber knives are used to practice self-defense techniques by martial arts such as Krav Maga.
- For more advanced training blunt metal knives can be used, or the sharkee knife which can be covered in chalk so it is clear if the attacker would have cut you or not.
- Shock Knives – Shock knives are martial arts & self-defense training tools that produce an electric shock if the blade touches your training partner. It is supposed to let a training partner “feel” if they would have been cut in a real-life attack.
Modern Martial Arts Training Equipment
- Body Opponent Bag (BOB)
- Double End Bags
- Focus Mitts – This training tool is also known as Punch Mitts, Punching Mitts, etc.
- Grappling Dummies
- Heavy Bags
- Kicking Bag – This section focuses on kicking bags such as Wavemaster, BOB (Body Opponent Bag), etc.
- Kicking Paddle – A kicking paddle is often used for accuracy training.
- Kicking Shield – This martial arts training tool is used for “power” kicks while on the move.
- Muay Thai Belly Pad – This tool is also known as a MMA Belly Pad.
- Rebreakable Boards – This training tool is used to practice breaking techniques (i.e. with a knife hand strikeor back kick). Over the long-term, they are cheaper than buying numerous wooden boards.
- Reflex Bag – This is a training tool used for punches and strikes. It is often used by boxers.
- Self-Defense Training Suits – Heavily padded suits designed to protect training partners during self-defense practice.
- Speed Bag
- Tennis Ball Double End Bags
- Tennis Ball Punching Bags
- Thai Pads – Forearm pads
- For a complete list, please visit the section focused on modern martial arts training equipment.
Martial Arts Training Equipment Drills – Drills to improve your technique, power and conditioning.
- Focus Mitt Drills
- Heavy Bag Drills
- Kicking Bag Drills
- Medicine Ball Drills
- Reaction Ball Drills
- Speed Bag Dills
Karate’s Hojo Undo
- Ryukyu Martial Arts, A Hojo-Undo Checklist, http://ryukyuma.blogspot.com/2014/04/hojo-undo-checklist.html
- Full Potential Martial Arts, San Diego, Comparison of Makiwara and Heavybag as Training tools — what’s better?, http://www.fullpotentialma.com/punching-bag-and-makiwara-training/
- Full Potential Martial Arts, San Diego, How to Build your own Makiwara (traditional Okinawan Karate striking post), http://www.fullpotentialma.com/how-to-build-a-makiwara/