View Full Version : Tire stand for ken

2nd June 2001, 19:51
hello all,

I am very forgetful and do not remember the name of the training device. It is a big stand that holds a tire at about waist level and is used to practice cuts in aikiken. I was interested if anyone had some simple plans for building one of these stands. I am very technically stupid so I need something simple to build :smash: .

Any help would be great.


Chris Covington
Daito-ryu study group

Gil Gillespie
3rd June 2001, 03:27
Hi Chris

No need to ever refer to yourself as stupid. There's a vague rumor that I once bested a fencepost in a battle of wits, but it's uncorroborated. So I'm qualified to pitch in.

To the best of my meager knowledge any structure used for suburi (striking) training is called a makiwara. Years ago I crafted one here in Florida for just the practice you describe: striking a tire with bokken or jo. Take two landscape timbers or fenceposts and sink them in the ground crossing as an X. Where they join notch them with several shallow passes with a skillsaw, cleaning out the "cookies" with the claw of a hammer or a chisel if you want to be really swank. Lag or throughbolt the lumber at this joint.

Use a posthole digger to sink your posts and have the upward V of your X at the height you want the tire (waist height is good for generic suburito practice; shoulder height if you want to practice more defined yokomen or kesa cuts). Mounting the tire to the V with hardware allowed too much movement of the tire so I finally lashed it tightly to each side of the V and that did it. Wrap the tire or contact cement/staple carpet to the top of your tire to prevent getting black smears on your weapons. If you want your makiwara to double for jo practice you can staple a large disc of carpet over the tire hole with a 2" circle cut out of the center. Then you can get a really good rhythm going: right yokomen/ watershed/ tsuki/ watershed/ left yokomen/ watershed/ tsuki/ watershed/ shomen, etc. blah-blah. Make your own training katas!

If I did it, you can do it! Enjoy!

3rd June 2001, 06:06
I'll attach a picture of the tire stand thing we have at our dojo below. Hope it helps.

-- Jun

Joe D
4th June 2001, 04:20

The striking device is called a tanren-uchi. We have two in our dojo. The picture Jun attached should be sufficient for you to build one of your own. As a word of advice, use a small tire, it is not necessary to have a super sized tire.

Hope this helps,
take care

Chad Bruttomesso
4th June 2001, 16:06
I have found these devices (our dojo refers to them as makiwara) quite invaluable in my Aikido training. It is one thing to swing a weapon in the air yet quite another to strike an actual object.

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Thank you,

Dennis Hooker
4th June 2001, 20:04
Just remember when using this devise that your cutting with a sword not driving railroad spikes. They are ok for training but can screw up a good swing if you don't take care.

Dennis Hooker

Ellis Amdur
5th June 2001, 01:23
It has been my experience that a bundle of hardwood branches, each about one to two inches in diameter is far superior to a tire. (In some of the aikido books, there are pictures of Ueshiba Morihei using such an arrangement, and it is the central training implement of Rakumaru-ha Jigen Ryu. The reason is that force rebounds from the tire, whereas much more is absorbed by the branches. Tire training can build great musculature in the forearms, but as Dennis Hooker says in his caution, "They are ok for training but can screw up a good swing if you don't take care." Further, a tire is far more likely to screw up your cut than branches because the rebound punishes the joints, particularly the elbows. Without knowing it, you can easily start training to protect your joints against an un-natural object for cutting, as opposed to pure cutting. The bundle of branches will also develop the forearms, BTW, so you are not sacrificing anything that way.


Ellis Amdur

Chad Bruttomesso
5th June 2001, 16:25
What Mr. Hooker and Mr. Amdur said makes perfect sense. I have noticed over the years that when striking a tire the rebound or bounce back has caused me to develop some rather odd habits that were only apparent when I trained with a partner.

Another option is to train with a partner instead of an inanimate object. I have seen this done with shinai and/or kendo bogu. When training with shinai it is still a good idea to be careful to not swing full force at certain targets (ribs, head, wrist) with some of the stiffer shinai. On the other hand with shinai one is able to make more forceful contact than with bokken if that is the goal. Basically, tires don't hit back so if I am trying to get and idea of how well my technique is working I will grab a willing partner and a shinai then give it a shot.

These of course are just my thoughts on another idea for practicing striking/contact with a sword. My ideas and several dollars will get you a cup of coffee these days.

Thank you,

Joe D
6th June 2001, 04:00
Sorry Chad,

I forgot to sign my last name

Joe Diaco

6th June 2001, 13:10
i posted the same question as kendo guy but no one seemed to care when i did.
i'm so jealous.
at any rate, i was pondering the knowledge that Hooker and Amdur have shared, and i thought about the practicality of searching for branches all of the time, and then it hit me (was that a pun?): i could design a form, wood, concrete or otherwise, make it waist height, and instead of a tire or sticks, i could use a few layers of high density foam, about 5-6 inches total thickness. any feedback on this idea?