Karate is a discipline that can be taught and practiced without the need for much equipment. However, additional training materials will only benefit you as you continue to study your art. Training equipment is often expensive to purchase, but you can make your own karate tools at home with some basic materials.
Make a punching bag by stuffing a cloth or canvas bag with towels, sweatshirts and other thick, heavy cloth that will provide padding. Avoid bags that have external zippers because the small metal pieces can badly damage your knuckles if you hit them the wrong way. Tie the bag to an overhead rafter or drill a hook into your ceiling that you can hang the bag from, depending on what type of ceiling you have. This helps you improve your striking power and cardiovascular conditioning. You can also use old couch cushions as punching bags.
A speed ball is simply a small rubber ball attached to a string. It works in similar fashion to a punching bag in the sense that you hang it from the ceiling but the goal with the ball is eye-hand coordination and precision instead of power. Push a pin or a thin nail into the ball to create a hole and then insert the stiff end of a shoe string into the resulting opening. The rubber will grip the string and you can then hang the string. This allows you to practice precise striking while also working on head movement and evasion as the ball comes back at you.
Weapons are used in more advanced Karate training but you may not be able to afford legitimate Karate weaponry like bo staffs or rattans initially. Fortunately, you can unscrew a handle from a push broom or break it off near the base, if need be, to give yourself a practice staff to work with. You can also grab a dowel stick from a sliding glass door and practice with that as well. While they will be shorter than a traditional bo, they can still provide useful experience until you have access to a full-length staff.
Strike and Evade Tools
If you have someone helping you train, a wet towel can be beneficial. A trainer can flick the towel at you to simulate incoming strikes and wetting the tip of it results in the towel traveling faster. Use a children's bubble kit to improve punching accuracy. A trainer can blow soap bubbles through the small plastic ring to generate numerous punching targets and then flick the towel at the student as he punches at the bubbles. This trains both offensive and defensive tactics, simultaneously, using simple supplies.
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