View Full Version : Backyard dojos & boxing gyms

Bustillo, A.
29th May 2002, 00:28
Last week, a friend toured me through several hardcore boxing gyms. The next day I trained at a backyard old school type dojo. And,it reinforced how similiar, in format, some of the old-school karate training is to boxing.

For the sake of some who try to interpret, but instead misinterpret, I will clarify.

As I mentioned in a previous thread, --Lowry--, where, in one of my posts, I was talking about overall emphasis of training and not about the minutia of specific styles or individual techniques, I do the same here.-- we can go that route, but the intention is not to single out any one style, so...--
In this case, although the backyard dojo does have a good 120 lbs + heavy bag, I am not talking about individual drills, technique or apparatus.
I do mean the 'overall' training format of not having a structured class with dozens of people doing drills in a file.

29th May 2002, 14:38
We do both...the clubs I was taught in did the line up drills but if only 3 or 4 people show up it is not a good class so I let them choose what they want to work on (or direct them) and they have individual routines according to their goals.

I believe in flexibility of mind!

Goju Man
30th May 2002, 00:08
Antonio, some of the best training I've done has been in backyard type dojos. Teaching others as well as being taught, I like the unstructured format. It's a little more personalized than in a "class" line structure. Even in the dojo years back, we would have to train down to someone else's level. It's All Good was conceived in a backyard dojo.

Harry Cook
30th May 2002, 14:30
Backyard dojo/boxing gym - some people working on impact...bags, makiwara etc; others working on strength and stamina...weights, sit ups, push ups etc; others working on sparring...free, pre-arranged etc; others working on kata, shadow boxing etc; others stretching; the coach/instructor helping, guiding individuals as they need it; seems to resemble the photographs and descriptions of Chojun Miyagi's (and others) "backyard" dojo (s) on Okinawa.
Harry Cook

30th May 2002, 15:20


Goju Man
30th May 2002, 20:34
Harry, I was just commenting on that same point with a freind of mine earlier today. You posted my thoughts, great demonstration of chi.:D
Ed, great photos.

Harry Cook
1st June 2002, 11:17
Thank you Manny, but of course I already knew you would say that!:D . It is just one of my limitless talents, walking on water next!!
Back to the real world. Talking of boxing and so on I was wondering if anyone could help me find a supplier of the Title Face Protector Training Headgear with integral mouth/jaw bar/protector, or the Reyes version of the same equipment; it looks a s if it would be useful for randori-type contact sparring, while preserving my good looks for those moments when my chi might not be quite up to scratch! I have e-mailed the company without much success in Lenexa, KS, maybe they don't deal with the UK and this design of headgear is not available over here. I would be very grateful for any assistance.
Harry Cook

Bustillo, A.
1st June 2002, 13:48
Sochin, Manny, Ed and harry,

Everyone described exactly what I meant; the similarities between Boxing gyms and old style karate training.

So, it seems that the overall training format between both arts have a lot in common.

1st June 2002, 15:07
Sensei Cook:

If you are not having luck with Title getting their gear,
try Fightgear. they carry the Reyes Headgear you mention.


just use the drop-down menu at the top of the page.

I have not used their gear but have ordered from Ringside.
Ringside does not maufacture headgear any more, and
recommends this company. Good luck.


Paul Thoresen

Goju Man
1st June 2002, 18:25
Good sit Paul, I have orderd my equipment from Ringside, but that was some years back. I trained for many years in the "line" type structured karate and found much more in the "boxing" type gym. One thing you have in that type of atmosphere is the willingness to try something new. In any traditional type school, it would be unheard of. That may be the reason the old masters were constantly making changes in their styles. Just a thought.

Harry Cook
1st June 2002, 21:20
Dear Mr. Thoresen, thank you very much for your help; it looks as if I shall be able to buy the headgear I want from the company you recommended.
Harry Cook

2nd June 2002, 02:35
On the subject of backyard dojos/training, anybody have any cool makeshift devices they use to train? I saw a whole book on this once, though the name escapes me. It had many pictures of using a lot of weird stuff for training, and while some of the stuff was rather silly, a lot of it was real good. I'm getting ready to move my wavemaster outside for the summer, but I might put together a little practice area for me and my friends who train with me. Any suggestions/tips/intricate schematics/whatnot?

2nd June 2002, 15:50
Originally posted by shadow42
I'm getting ready to move my wavemaster outside for the summer, but I might put together a little practice area for me and my friends who train with me. Any suggestions/tips/intricate schematics/whatnot?

Good question, how do you keep your wavemaster from flying all over the back yard? Mine is on a cement slab and I am considering filling it all the way to the top so no one has to hold onto it. Maybe super-glue it to the ground!?

My first 13 years of training was in garages and backyards. Many fond memories. Currently I train with others on Friday nights in my backyard. The area is ringed with tiki torches and citronella candles. We prefer this over the dojo on hot summer nights, much cooler.

Steve Beale

Harry Cook
2nd June 2002, 19:53
Dear Mr. O'Donnell, one interesting and challenging/annoying piece of equipment I use for hand/eye co-ordination, timing, etc. is a tennis ball fastened to my head with a length of elastic or rubber. The ball should hand to about your wrist with your head up normally. Flick the ball in the air and then start punching it; it will fly around and come back towards your face so you can duck, slip, block or simply hit the damn thing as it whizzes around. Now I admit it looks really strange, but it simulates in some ways the unpredictable movements of a tricky opponent.
I was shown this method by a professional lightweight boxer who in tuen took it from a Russian boxer he saw training. many well experienced British karateka have smiled in a superior way when I showed them this idea until they tried to do it and found that they couldn't hit the ball more than once without missing or losing the rhythmn. I find that four or five minutes hitting the tennis ball is a useful way to warm up.
Harry Cook

3rd June 2002, 03:35
Hmm the tennis ball device sounds very interesting, I will have to build one and try it out. Thanks!

Bustillo, A.
3rd June 2002, 12:43
Four to five minutes of trying to hit the tennis ball, sounds frustrating. Pounding the heavy bag would be the next drill, eh...

A piece of equipment that seems to be forgotten is the belt. It can be used for a variety of drills. Especially when doing solo drills in the backyard dojo.

Harry Cook
3rd June 2002, 15:30
I usually do a little skipping and then start on the bag with elbows, knees, shin kicks etc ire close in techniques, gradually extending the range to punches, roundhouse kicks, side kicks, back kicks etc.
I use a belt tied to the top of my bag which I grab and then punch, kick or whatever - it partly simulates an opponents dogi, arm, hair or anything else I can get my hands on.
Harry Cook

Bustillo, A.
3rd June 2002, 21:14
Mr. Cook's suggestion about wrapping the belt --and it doesn't matter if you wash the damn thing ot not...-- around the heavy bag...excellent drill.

Goju Man
3rd June 2002, 23:16
A good warm up drill, great for bobbing and weaving is a rope (or an obi) tied at two ends about nose high. You start at one end bobbing and weaving and work your way back. Then go forwards, backwards, incorporate punches and even some kicks to get a little creative. It's great for the legs and great for defensive skills.

Bustillo, A.
4th June 2002, 13:48
The rope for bobbing and weaving is a simple piece of equipment. And, it may not sound like any big deal, however, every boxing gym I visited had it.