The traditional training tools are one of the most prominent and unique features of the “Okinawa Goju Ryu” method. Intensive, continuous training with these tools strengthens and develops the athlete's body and improves the performance and efficiency of both defensive and offensive techniques.
Training with these traditional tools over a long time period, coupled with other elements of the method, also develops and improves the trainee's inner strength. Typically, instructors and students build the various training tools themselves, true to the traditional ways.
The name chishi is composed from two parts; Chi – means energy or power, and Ishi – means stone.
This equipment is intended to strengthen the inner power, the grip and the wrists. The chishi is also good to strengthen, among other parts, the shoulders and forearms. It helps to develop the thrust and some kind of blocks like Hiki Uke.
“Maki” – Means wood, “Wara” – Means straw rope.
The Makiwara is a slightly-flexible padded striking post, its upper end wrapped with a straw rope on which the various attacks are performed.
The Makiwara is one of the basic training devices of the Dento Okinawa Goju Ryu. It is used primarily to strengthen the knuckles and wrists which are used during attacks. The Makiwara is also used to strengthen the different parts of the hands and feet which are used to strike during attacks, such as the lower part of the palm, elbow, hand blades, etc.
The name “Ishi” means “stone” in Japanese. This training tool is designed to strengthen and toughen the hand’s muscles and bones. During practice, various body parts such as the hand blades, back of the hand, forearms and other parts become sturdier, thus allowing the trainee to perform both defensive and offensive moves easily and with reduced self-damage.
The Nigiri Game is used to strengthen the grip. “Nigiri” means grip, and “Game” means vase. Grasping the open-ended side of the vase in a particular way enhances the gripping capability as well as strengthens the shoulders, forearms, wrists, and more.
Further development is achieved by increasing the difficulty of the grasp in various ways, such as adding weight to the vase.
The Ishisahi is typically made of rock, although it can also be made from a variety of other materials such as wood and iron. This device is used to strengthen the forearms and joints. Using the Ishisahi, the student performs offensive and defensive drills, thus improving power, speed and more. The unique structure of this device helps reinforce a variety of muscles and joints which are used in the various exercises.
Tetsu Geta means “Iron Sandals”, and is just that. The trainee wears the iron sandals on his feet and performs a variety of kicks and other exercises to the goal of strengthening all the muscles involved in the various techniques used. This instrument improves the power and velocity of the kicks, etc.
The “Tou” is made of thin bamboo shoots bound together. This training tool is designed to strengthen the fingers and fingertips, and can improve gripping and grasping. The student practices “Nukite” (spear hand) attacks, which are attacks with fingers outstretched while attempting to penetrate the bamboo. Additionally, the trainee will attempt to carry out attacks aimed at seizing and gripping the bamboo shoots with the fingers.
Jeri Bako is a sandbox used primarily to strengthen the fingers. Any container can be used, such as a bucket or a jug / jar made of clay and filled with sand. Attacks are made into the sand with the fingertips. This tool strengthens the knuckles, fingers and wrists. As the fingers become stronger, the sand can be replaced with coarse-grained materials and even small rocks, which will increase the resistance and thereby toughen the fingers and improve the attack strength.
The Kongo Ken is an elliptical weight made of iron. It originated in Hawaii and was brought to Okinawa by Chojun Miyagi Sensei. This device can be practiced alone or with a partner. The exercises performed with the Kongo Ken can develop a wide range of muscles, and are used to increase the body’s strength and resilience, as well as advance the gripping and grasping capabilities.
The Tan is a wooden or iron pole with weights on both sides. This training device is used to strengthen the biceps, forearms and shoulders. Additionally, the Tan is used to reinforce the hand bones during both offensive and defensive drills.
Traditional Training Tools