Junbi Undō 準備 運動

My elaboration of Junbi Undō, Hojo Undō and Seiro Undō

In an Okinawan Karate Dojo, Warm-up exercises are known as Junbi Undō. Within the Goju-ryu tradition of Okinawan Karate, a series of exercises have been handed down since the days of Chojun Miyagi, the tradition’s founder. These exercises are intended to not only Warm-up the body, making it ready for training, but also to engage the particular muscles and tendons used in the various techniques of Karate. They also play an additional role of focusing the mind on a particular part of the body as the routine is worked through, thus giving an early appreciation for some of the postures and feelings you are searching for in your Karate technique. Sosai Masutatsu Oyama adapted these Junbi Undō into the Kyokushin System.

Within many Western Dojo's of Karate today, the Warm-up exercises often have little in common with the mental activity that follows, neither do they always relate particularly well to the physical demands placed upon the specific muscle. In my first period of Kyokushin training (1980's) I have practiced the traditional workouts, learned from my sensei Shihan Henny Ruberg . Nowadays I train with Shihan Jan Vleesenbeek and he often starts his training with this 'old-school' Warm-up and coupling them with some good old fashioned hard work (Stamina training). So I will follow this tradition and want to introduce this way of Warm-up again, not only because it is the best way for my body, but also because it has a lot to do with the Martial (Budo) approach of Kyokushin Karate in the spirit of Sosai Masutatsu Oyama.

So my Kyokushin training always starts with a progressive Warm-up for a smooth transition from rest to vigorous activity, where each individual part of my body is exercised systematically. Then Dynamic Stretching exercises are performed to develop Stamina and strengthen my muscles. Each practice will then be concluded with the same exercises, as my Breathing is regulated and become calm again (Junbi). Before starting with my Kihon, Kata and Kumite training these preliminary exercises are sometimes folowed by supporting exercises to develope physical strength, stamina, muscle coordination, speed, endurance and posture (Hojo). In my opinion this part of the training (Warm-up in general) should be at least 10 to 20 minutes long to prepare the body for the type of Martial Arts that lies ahead.

My Kyokushin workout finally will be concluded with gradually Cool-down exercises to restore normal blood circulation and resting metabolism. This is also a good time for adding a few Static Stretches to finish my workout feeling loose and relaxed (Seiri).

In this chapter I will explain my approach to Junbi, Hojo and Seiri Undō in general, but also take notice of every part of it, so you can train it seperately.

Junbi Undō 準備 運動

Preliminary Exercises

In general, there are two kinds of Junbi Undō. The first stretches the muscles and tendons and loosens up the joints, which helps to promote suppleness and increase the range of motion in the moving parts of the body. This group begins to stir the blood and raise the body’s temperature. The second group of exercises is done to build strength and stamina in the major muscle groups of the body and to increase your mental powers of endurance.

Over time, these two forms of Junbi Undō combined enables the techniques of Karate to be performed well within the range of the Karateka’s mental strength and physical suppleness.

  • My version of Junbi Undō at Budokai Vleesenbeek (in preparation)

Hojo Undō 補助 運動

Supporting Exercises

The supporting exercises are designed to develop physical strength, stamina, muscle coordination, speed, and posture. Although sometimes seen as basic techniques in the martial art, however, it normally refers to the training equipment which are developed in Okinawa. The appearance of this equipment looks primitive and basic, being made from wood, stone and metal.

My 'translation' of Hojo Undō will be on strenght exercises on Nautilus equipment , the agility exercises of the Bodyweight Warrioir Program (Tom Merrick) and the breathing and Ki exercises in my TaiKi-ken training.

  • My version of Hojo Undō at Budokai Vleesenbeek (in preparation)

Seiri Undō 整理 運動

Cooling Down Exercises

Finally, at the end of a training session, after training Kihon, Kata and Kumite, cooling down exercises (Seiri Undō or Seiri Taisō - 整理体操) are done 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.

Seiri Undō is popularly translated as 'cooling down', literally it means 'regulating exercises'. They're exercises to finish the class. Often these will be agility exercises (Junan Undō) or ki-exercises (Kiko Undō) to regulate breathing, muscle tone, ki-housekeeping and other things.

  • My version of Seiri Undō at Budokai Vleesenbeek (in preparation)