I've been kinda torn when it comes to makawara training - I love the feel of it. And I'm not being masochistic. I'm just talking about the feedback it gives me on power, speed and technique. I like that I can spend a full hour on the makawara and still be working on improving my punch. There's also something almost meditative about those long sessions... But, as a female I'm still kind of attached to the idea of having nice hands. Calluses might be little badges of honour for most karate-ka but for us gels, scabs and band-aids really aren't such a great look.
Outside the dojo I'd sometimes be told "makawara – girls no" when people caught sight of my hands. And maybe they're right, though the comment would usually make me want to head straight to the dojo for another session.
As a rule, I've stayed away from ishi-hand pounding, Sensei's rock and the smudges on the walls, but this last year has still taken its toll. I know I should probably back off for a bit but I'm not quite ready to give up on my favourite wooden training partner. And despite what people say, it's just not the same with gloves.
I guess I'm hoping that in time these hands of mine will return to normal or I'll be able to pumice them back to life. But, in the meantime if anyone has any pearls for reviving or preventing uglie man-hands, please share.