- After seiza, begin with light aerobic exercise; for example, jogging around the dojo, hopping/skipping, star jumps, squats, push ups, light kata and the like. Mix it up!—don’t stick to one thing!!! The key is not to excessively tire the body but, rather, to get the blood flowing. Indicative of this is a light sweat, increased heartrate and a getting a little puffed. This should take about five minutes but will naturally depend on your training environment (e.g. – if training outside in the cold this section might take up 15 minute by itself).
- Once nice and warm, joint rotations/movements, and the like, should be completed. Use karate stances i.e. – hachiji-dachi for shoulder circles, hip rotations, neck movements; heisoku-dachi for knee circles etc… Don’t do this slowly, move quickly between exercises (working up or down the body) to ‘keep in a state of warmth’. Around one minute and this section will be finished if the instructor is on the ball; i.e. – neck, shoulders, trunk, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles—over...
a. Firstly use the stances to execute passive static stretches; for example, extended zenkutsu-dachi and so forth. Work down to floor stretches and gently hold them all for at least 10 seconds. The variations here are virtually endless, however, the key is relax, not to overstretch, and breath naturally (in essence, this stretching should never be painful; rather, `very comfortable with a light pulling feeling’). After completing these stretches, loosen up the hips again with some rotations for the final phase of preparation. I’d like to add here that there is much debate about using passive static stretches prior to technical practice; nonetheless, from my experience I recommend them to simply loosen up. Please note: if one wishes to work towards more intensive flexibility with deep and long held static stretches; isometric stretches; PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation); and the like, I recommend doing such exercises this at the conclusion of karate-do training; alternatively, as a part of home training or a supplementary strength/fitness/flexibility regime.
b. The final phase of the preparatory exercises in karate-do is dynamic stretching with the legs. The trainees will all have a very good sweat by this stage and feel very ‘elastic’; furthermore, they will be psychologically well into `karate mode’. Essentially this section can include various knee raises; and controlled straight leg swings to the front, side, rear (and both inside and outside crescent actions). It is possible that you only need to do 10 reps with each leg (per exercise); however, the instructor might opt to do a couple of sets with each leg. That concludes the junbi-undo that I personally utilise and advocate. Osu, André.