The makiwara is used by karate practitioners to practice strikes in much the same way as a boxer uses a heavy bag. The makiwara develops one’s striking ability by letting them experience resistance to punches, kicks and other strikes. A poor punch will bounce off the makiwara if the body is not in a position to support the energy generated by the strike. It also develops targeting, and focus, which is the ability to penetrate the target (i.e., opponent) to varying degrees of force.
Rumoured to have been created by Kanga Sakukawa, an 18th-century Okinawan karate proponent.
The five guiding principles, recited at the end of each training session in most styles, intended to frame the practice within an ethical context.