Okinawa is the birthplace of Karate; it is also where Junbi-4-Life has its roots. Developed by a personal trainer who is a lifelong fitness and martial arts enthusiast, Junbi-4-Life is unique in that it combines many aspects of Okinawan Karate into a fitness program for everyone. The idea of ‘junbi undo’ is from Goju-ryu, many of the movements are from Shorin-ryu, and the addition of dynamic tension is from Uechi-ryu. These ryus, or schools, are major styles of Okinawan Karate. At its most basic level, Junbi-4-Life provides a no-impact, full body warm-up. At its advanced levels, Junbi-4-Life can provide intense cardio, and muscle strengthening workouts. While many of the movements have martial arts applications, Junbi-4-Life is not taught as a combative practice. Instead, Junbi-4-Life focuses on the many health and fitness benefits associated with practicing martial arts.
Improved flexibility, balance, and coordination are some of the more obvious health and fitness benefits of practicing martial arts. Some of the less obvious benefits are cited in the article, “Karate for Health?” (2010, January 19) by Normand J. Laliberte Jr. Among them are better sleep, weight maintenance, improved resistance to infection, lower risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as better brain function. The article lists numerous other benefits of practicing Karate and draws the following conclusion:
The author goes on to state, “Improved ability in Self-defense is really a side effect of karate training or any traditional martial art such as Aikido, Kendo or Judo” (Laliberte Jr., 2010).
Shotokan Karate founder, Master Gichin Funakoshi is quoted as saying, “Karate-do is not only for the young but it is more important for the old to stay young” (Laliberte Jr., 2010).
Junbi-4-Life may be a way for anyone and everyone to glean the health and fitness benefits of martial arts training with a safe, and fun routine.