Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ishi Sashi

I'm always experimenting with different training implements, so when I finally had some money to burn I got a pair of ten pound kettlebells to play with.

I usually make most of the stuff I use for training. My dummy/ striking post is always a work in progress, but I made it by hand from a large branch that fell off a tree in my property. I hacked it up and used the big chunks for projects and smaller branches became kindling.

The ishi sashi are something a little different. Unlike the chishi, which can be made with a stick, a plastic bowl, a couple of nails and a bag of quick setting concrete, the ishi sashi are a little more complicated. Not only do they need a handle, but they need to be small enough not to hamper too much movement, but heavy enough to give a reasonable amount of resistance. Steel/ iron is the only good way to get the weight up and the size down. A 10 pound bag of beans is as large as a pillow while 10 pounds of iron will almost fit in your hand.

I'm using these to supplement my normal strength training routine. Besides doing a few dedicated ishi sashi exercises I've also been holding the weights in my hands while I practice kata. All the movements are done slowly and deliberately because otherwise I'll tear my joints apart.

My initial thoughts so far is that they are interesting and torturous at the same time. Half way through the kata your shoulders start to burn and your forearms get tired and start to burn. It becomes very tempting to slack off on the movements. Based on this little bit of experience I'm guessing that these will work my shoulders and wrists more than any other muscle.

So I'll be updating the site with more findings, thoughts as they come. Happy training.