|Using the forearm to attack in|
Saifa and Seiunchin katas.
|Using the knee to attack the head|
in Seiunchin kata.
The iron geta can be used to develop leg strength for knee kicks, but some sort of horizontal kicking post would also be good. I've sometimes also used a medicine ball held in two hands for working on knee kicks--gruesome thought, but a fairly good approximation of the opponent's head in many of the techniques/bunkai we see in Goju classical subjects.
|Using the grip to pull the opponent|
down in Saifa kata.
The kongoken is another useful hojo undo tool. Legend has it that Miyagi Chojun sensei saw it being used by wrestlers on a visit to Haiwaii and decided that it would be a good addition to the arsenal of Okinawan training equipment. It's a large, metal, elongated oval. It's heavy and perhaps a bit ungainly looking, but it would be a good way to train the use of the arms and hands in applying mawashi techniques--most of the mawashi techniques that we see in the classical katas are not for blocking, but rather twisting the head and neck of the opponent.
|Using the grip and twisting strength|
of the arms against an opponent's
head/neck in Seipai kata.
Another tool one could use in a similar way is the sashi-ishi--a large, round stone or concrete ball with a wooden handle through it. Since there is also significant weight here and the grip can be alternated, it can provide excellent resistance training for the mawashi movements so important in Goju-ryu finishing techniques.
Hojo undo training is important, but one should remember to keep it functional. Despite the appearance of techniques in kata--and one should always remember that the appearance of techniques in kata may be quite different from their actual applications--Goju-ryu is largely comprised of forearm blocks, grabbing, grappling, forearm attacks, knee kicks, and head/neck twisting techniques. This is what we want to develop with hojo undo training--that is, it's not simply to develop strength per se. In fact, a reliance on physical strength often makes one's Goju-ryu too "Go"--often appearing to hard and rigid--and gets in the way of truly understanding what is meant by "hard and soft."