Resembling a stone padlock, this piece of equipment is one of the most versatile of the hojo undo training tools. Used mainly in pairs the modern versions are often made of steel and vary in weight from 8-15lbs (4-7 kgs). Ishi Sashi drills often feature circular motions, and may duplicate techniques found in the kata.

Due to the combination of circular and linear motions used with the Ishi Sashi a greater range of continual resistance is placed on several muscle groups throughout the exercises. The development of the body using this equipment is important for all round strength as well as the protection against training and combat injuries. The Ishi Sashi trains all the small important inter-connecting muscles and tendon groups as well as the larger muscles.

Anyone who uses the Ishi Sashi for the first time, whether a novice or experienced martial artist or weight trainer, might at first think that the actual weight of the equipment is light and fairly unimpressive, however when shown the specific exercises created by Okinawan karate practioners, you soon realise how effective they are. With continuous tension placed on the muscles through circular motions a deep muscle burn is felt throughout the shoulders, back and arm muscles. As with other training equipment and exercises these routines contain synchronised breathing patterns emulating martial art techniques.     

Examples of the various exercises performed with the Ishi Sashi can be found in the book 'Fighting Strength - Effective Power Training for Combat' available from Mona Books at: