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Here are some materials that you can find around your house, or at a building supply store that will allow you to pad the striking surface of your home-made makiwara, without having to spend a bunch of money:
1. A spare mouse pad is just the right thickness (the neoprene kind, not the flat ones). Over time they may flatten out and might need to be replaced, but they provide just the right amount of padding to give your knuckles a good workout without injuring your hand.
2. Hemp rope from the hardware store- this is similar to the old rice rope that the Okinawans used to wrap their makiwaras with. This can be very rough and should be used with caution. If you are looking for a very traditional makiwara, this is the way to go.
3. Rags and duct tape- this method can look pretty ugly, but is a great makiwara pad if you are just starting out. Simply wrap your makiwara post with part of and old cotton shirt and cover the whole thing with duct tape. This will probably need to be replaced often as the tape erodes from punching it so much.
4. Scrap leather- this is the most long-lasting of all methods and can be used if you really plan on training regularly with your makiwara. If you have an old leather coat, or you might find a cheap piece of leather at a craft store. put a small piece of cloth behind the leather and either tie it around the post, or wrap the corners and staple it with a heavy carpet stapler behind the makiwara board.
Makiwara training can be very fulfilling especially after you had the large callouses on your knuckles as a badge to show your fellow martial artists. Be careful with your training and never overdo it. The makiwara is meant to toughen the hands but not to injure them or cause bleeding. If you hurt your hands, make sure that you stop training immediately until your hands are allowed to heal.
write by derrick williams