The Beast

This week will be a special post about how to make a traditional piece of training equipment. This is the piece that we hagsaeng naebu have affectionately called “the beast.” It comprises of a bundle of skinny pvc pipes held together at each end with larger pvc caps and adhesive.

Traditionally, this bundle was created out of bamboo lengths and seems to have been used in manly asian martial arts cultures.  While bamboo is more authentically traditional, the materials for such a device would be more expensive to attain in the US, and a the bamboo is not entirely appropriate for inexperienced use since bamboo can crack and split which will cause massive cuts and skin damage in some of the exercises.

With this device, a host of conditioning exercises can be trained in. Holding the bundle vertically, one can piece one’s hand through the shafts up to the forearm and then retract it.  This can be done in a number of fashions including both arms at once.  This builds up pain tolerance in the hands and forearms and strengthens hand and forearm tissue.  Similar strengthening of the tissue can be pursued by slapping or beating the shafts with one’s forearms and hands in an iron-palm-training fashion.  Other parts of the body such as the shins or abdomen can similarly be struck to pursue the build up of pain tolerance and tissue strengthening.The shafts can also be grasped and squeezed together with a single hand to strengthen gripping and wrist strength.

The device that we are using was created by using filling two opposing 3-inch pvc caps with as many 3/4-inch pvc pipes as can be fit in the diameter of the caps. The skinnier pipes should be shoulder height (roughly five foot for the average person).  At each end of the device, the skinnier pipes are connected to the caps and to each other with pvc adhesive.  It is important to carefully follow the instructions of the adhesive that you use.  This design might be strengthened by augmenting the adhesive with some sort of a plastic compatible bonding cement that would saturate the inside of the caps and the ends of the pipes.

Have fun trying out this device.  Good luck out there!


  1. Mr Walsh,
    Although I am only an orange belt I am discovering very quickly the need to build pain tolerance to things. I think it is fascinating how just because a way is “old” does not mean it doesn’t get the job done.

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