Karate: junbi undo


The warm-up and conditioning exercises, junbi undo, (as systemised by the great Karate Master Chojun Miyagi in the 1920's) are the result of over 1000 years of ongoing development in China and a great deal of consideration to the dual, compatible goals of developing both optimal health, and a physique suited to performing martial arts techniques. As there is no substitute for long term development by trial and error these exercises are consistent with today's knowledge of human physiology and biomechanics. Nevertheless Kancho Nenad has reviewed and modified these exercises slightly in order to bring them in line with the very latest in Sport Science knowledge and to suit the needs of the Western Lifestyle (refer to Nenad's bio for his sports science degree and other qualifications).

A brief description

These junbi undo exercises follow a logical order beginning with 'range of movement' exercises (ROM) for the toes and feet, then continue with the ankles, followed by the legs, torso, upper limbs and finally finish with ROM exercises for the neck. They are thus designed to put all of the joints through their full range of movement, exercising all parts of the body in a balanced way with a view to limbering up the joints, increasing circulation and warming up the body in preparation for hard training. Many of these exercises are essentially martial arts techniques performed slowly and combined with a specific type of breathing so that they not only improve cardiovascular health but assist in the learning and 'grooving' of practical techniques. They also serve an important function in mentally preparing you for a hard training by starting slowly so that training intensity builds in step with your level of physical arousal. Thus even on those days when you don't really feel like training by the end of the warm-up phase you're glad you came along!

In addition to warming-up the body these exercises function as conditioning exercises to improve flexibility. In fact many of the stretching exercises practised in the Academy are derived from Yoga (but have been modified and adapted for maximum efficacy and safety with the application of modern Sports Science knowledge). Finally, cooling down exercises are done at the end of a training session with a view to restoring heart-rate, breathing and circulation to normal rates and to relax and stretch the muscles to minimise post-exercise stiffness and soreness.

Members can proceed to the junbi undo materials page for further information.