DIY Wall Mounted Makiwara

Sometime ago I decided to improve my punches and strengthen my knuckles at the same time.  After a quick look online I found out that I need a Makiwara – a padded wooden board mostly used in Karate. Original Makiwara is a large wooden board buried in the ground but i found some room versions of them as well for sale. I could not find exactly what i needed – they were either too small or too large and required floor mounting – so I’ve decided  to build one myself:

DIY Wall Mounted Makiwara

DIY Wall Mounted Makiwara

The construction is very simple, required almost no tools and materials were off the shelf from local Home Depot. The board is mounted to the wall and extends from it only 5 inches yet allows board to bend in when punched. It produces good solid sound when hit. The tension can be adjusted by varying the length of the large piece or by hitting it higher or lower. The padding is cheap rope wrapped around the board and is quite rough – I am still using a towel hanging over it, but I hope that with regular practice I will be able to hit it bare handed.

Materials list:

  • 5×1 by 12 ft pine board
  • 50 ft of 3/8 in sisal rope (or any other padding material)
  • long screws, wood glue, long staples

Construction:

  • Cut the board in the following lengths: 4 ft, 3 ft, 2 ft, 1 ft x 3. You can get it done right in Home Depot
  • Wrap the rope around one end of 4 ft board. Use staples at the start and the end of the rope.
  • Align boards and pre-drill for the screws
  • Glue the 4′ board to the 2′ board for better stiffness
  • Screw 3′ board to the wall on a stud. The 3′ board should disperse load on the sheet rock and prevent damage
  • Screw the rest of the boards. you might need to do this in several steps depending on the screw lengths
Makiwara - dimensions

Makiwara - dimensions

Makiwara - bottom

Makiwara - bottom

Here are the details of the punching area. Click on the image to enlarge:

Makiwara - top (1) Makiwara - top (1) Makiwara - top (1)

Makiwara - top

So that’s all there’s to it. Few words of warning: make sure you know what you are doing and start easy as you can injure your hand very easy – I was so excited when I built it I was hitting it with all I got until the skin came of off my knuckle. Now it wasn’t anything bad but it prevented me from doing anymore punches until it healed up which took about 3 weeks. So be forewarned.

I hope you find this info useful.

Aleksey

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17 Responses to “DIY Wall Mounted Makiwara”

  1. Punching accelerometers - Hack a Day Says:

    [...] after finishing his Makiwara punching bag, [Abieneman] wired and programmed an Arduino to an accelerometer to find out just how much [...]

  2. Punching accelerometers | Hacking Blog - hack game - hack window - hack cellphone - hack iphone - Like it - Share our Passion Says:

    [...] after finishing his Makiwara punching bag, [Abieneman] wired and programmed an Arduino to an accelerometer to find out just how much [...]

  3. Procopio Says:

    Do you live at a house or apartment? I’m wondering how would my neighbors react to the sound generated by this thing. Does bend to the point where it hits the wall?

    • abieneman Says:

      The board does not touch the wall when i punch it (you might be stronger than me). It did originally when it had only one short board in the middle so i added two more. I will try to get some meaurements on the noise levels shortly. I live in the house and this is an internal wall – it’s actually mounted on the side of the closet, so there’s even more space and walls between the board and the living space.

  4. How Can I strengthen My Knuckles Correctly WIthout It Resulting In Arthritis? Says:

    [...] DIY Wall Mounted Makiwara « ABieneman's Blog [...]

  5. Andrew Timan Says:

    I trained with a Japanese JKA Instructor and he had a similar arrangement bolted to the dojo floor. The makiwaras had canvas covered pads on them from a karate supply store. I think the sisal rope is too severe. The board is a training device not an ego toy. It’s purpose is to improve stance, body connection, focus on target and a lot of other things along the way. It is meant to be a slow…. steady process. Concentrate on correct form and just barely hitting the board. Try to be aware of your body when you strike the board,making sure all —parts are tense on impact,arms, legs, hips, both hands, etc. Slowly over months all these areas will be stronger and more co-ordinated and the punches will become stronger as a side benefit.

  6. abieneman Says:

    Update:

    After about 3 months of on and off training i’ve finally been able to hit the board with no towel padding. Sisal rope is indeed very rough but on the other hand it provides a clear indicator and satisfaction that my skin and knuckles have strengthened.

    Also, the bottom of the board started to peel of the wall when being hit, so extra few screws on the bottom would be beneficial.

  7. Jonnie Says:

    Hello,
    I’m curious about the makiwara. Is it still hanging on the wall? Is it stable enough or does break away from the wall even with extra screws at the bottom. I made my first one but it snapped in the ground. I planning to copy yours (thanks for idea) but put 5 degree taper board 1″ thick so that extends towards you as your train with it.
    What you have any suggestions/improvements if you were to make another one.

    All the Best
    Jonnie

    • abieneman Says:

      Hi Jonnie,

      Makiwara is still hanging. I didn’t put any extra scows yet since it comes away from the wall less than quarter of an inch. Interesting idea about putting the board at the incline – are you trying to make the top of the board extend farther from the wall or is there another reason? I am still not hitting my board hard since it still hurts so ip don’t think io will break may board any time soon. Also, from what i read makiwara training is not about the force but rather form, concentration and strengthening of wrist and I still have long way to go.

      Let me know how your project works out.

  8. David McCarty Says:

    I really like this Makiwara project.

    also, Florida Karate Accademy

  9. abieneman Says:

    Brian Dubberley emailed me recently his take on this project:

    http://abieneman.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/re-my-take-on-your-mak-board/

  10. Alan Monroy Says:

    Hi,Ive been practicing karate for about 7 months and am now an orange belt.My Teacher Reccomended getting a makiwara but i couldnt find one to put in my room and at my schoool workshop class i have to make something,so i asked the teacher if i could make this,showed him the page and everything and then i made it and got an A,so thanks,i passed my class and i have a gret makiwara for my room

  11. Back in the Gi » Blog Archive » DIY training equipment collection. Says:

    [...] Fighter) * Build your own makiwara (24 Fighting Chickens) * Building a makiwara (Mike Oliveri) * DIY Wall Mounted Makiwara (Bieneman’s Blog) * Kicking contraption (Ron Kowsakowski) * How To: Make Your Own Kakiya [...]

  12. Mingoche Says:

    I’ve just built one using this model and works great. A couple of changes: since I’m in the Caribbean I used treated wood. I installed it in a roofed terrace but still is outside. I also had to use concrete screws since I was anchoring it to a cement wall. Works great!

  13. Alex Says:

    Hello,
    Like this idea so much I made my own one today out of an old sturdy pallet. Had to scale it down slightly as longest planks were a little short of 4ft. I installed it in my garage and it works a treat. Thank you for posting this!

  14. Olpapaw Says:

    Consider wrapping hands and going for speed, bruise between knuckles takes LONG time to heal. Respectfully submitted

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