JUNAN TAISO is not only a simple warm-up. Through insistence repetition (not only at the duration of training) it strengthens the body and makes it bendable – flexible.
In NINJUTSU the force is being produced through flexibility. The muscles and the tendons are being trained in a way that they develop their natural flexible quality. JUNAN TAISO creates force, flexibility and health, even in high age. During the exercises one should observe, if and how they are interacting, the movement of body, the breathing and the circulation of the blood. All the exercises are executed with calm and without any hastiness.
Through the process of learning from the results and effects, on the entire body, the student is able to develop conscience of his force and the faculty of controlling his health and his natural situation. The total duration of warm-up is roughly 20 min per day, followed by respiratory exercises that aim to internal warm-up.
Junan Taiso: Tea ashi no furi manashi (waking up of shoulders and hip)
Circular movements of both arms in front direction, back direction and one arm in opposite to the other.
Right and left turn of the hip, the extended arms follow the turn of the body, the legs also turn light allowing to the body to move freely.
Sidelong folding of the upper body part to the left and right of the hip, as a metronome.
Known exercise by the Yoga as Trikonasana (Triangle).
Junan Taiso: Hiza Koshi no kushin (waking up of the vertebral column and the feet)
Forward folding of the body, we touch the toes with the palms, the knees are straight. We rise up, take a wider stand and bend the upper body to back.
We cup the knees and execute circular movements.
With the ankles linked we bring light pressure upon the knees straitening the legs.
We stretch the legs and bring the body weight to one leg going down. The other leg is straight sidelong. Then we bear the weight to the other leg and do the same.
Junan Taiso: Ashi yubi, ashi kubi no taiso (feet – massage)
Sitting with crossed legs, we catch the toes of one leg and with circular movements massage them softly. We repeat also with the toes of the other leg.
Then we keep the one leg extended, we gather the other and place it above the thigh of the extended leg. Once again we execute circular movements, this time in all the leg from the ankle and under. After these we can apply massage in the sole, being careful for likely points of pain. If we locate certain, we massage them light and carefully. Also we bend the toes forward and backward, so as we maintain the flexibility of the foot.
We bend the upper body touching the toes of the extended leg, while we try to touch the knee with the chin. The gaze is levelled forward. Known exercise by the Yoga as Janushirasana (the chin to the knee).
We attempt side folding above the extended leg holding its toes with both hands. We try to look as possible to the ceiling. We change side.
Junan Taiso: Ashi narabe zenkutsu (straining of the vertebral column and leg tendons)
We sit down with back straight and the legs linked and extended. We execute body folding forwards and touch upon the toes of legs with our hands. The chin touches the knees, while the sight extends forward. Known exercise by the Yoga as Pashchimottanasana (Stretch of the back).
Then we roll to behind above our vertebral column until the toes of our extended legs touch the ground. Known exercise by the Yoga as Dhanurasana (Arc).
As our flexibility is growing as time passes by we attempt to bend our knees and put them next to our ears. Known exercise by the Yoga as Karnapidasana (knees next to the ears).
We roll again to front in our start position and execute the exercise again. We repeat sometimes.
After this exercise we can execute seat-up’s with bent legs.
Then we lay with face down bend the legs to above. We stretch out the hands to behind and catch the ankles. Pulling slowly the legs we try to raise the head as high as possible from the ground.
Known exercise by the Yoga as Ushtrasana (Camel).
We remain with the face down, the forehead touches the ground. We lean on palms and elbows and raise slowly the upper body and the head. From waist and under we remain on the ground.
Known exercise by the Yoga as Bhujangasana (Cobra).
Junan Taiso: Joge ni osu (Japanese push-up’s)
We lean on palms with the face to the ground and the legs in extent. The Japanese bendings are not executed only as an “up and down” movement, but contain a simultaneous front and back movement. Thus we can say that we “dive” with the head, we touch the ground with the breast and emerge again with the head above. The body centre of gravity describes an ellipse.
Junan Taiso: Ashi higore zenkutsu (straining of the legs and the back)
We sit down with the back straight and the legs open and extended as possible. We execute folds sidelong above the extended legs and then to the front trying to touch the ground with the chin. Finally we relax the legs.
We gather the legs and we bend the knees while the soles step on the ground. The body leans on the palms, which are found openly behind the back. The hip turns to the left, the left knee touches the right heel, and we extend the left arm to behind increasing the ability of the body to turn. We repeat the same movement the other side, as windmill.
Junan Taiso: Ahi koto awase zenkutsu (straining of the hip-joints)
We sit down, gather the legs together and link the soles keeping these with the hands and pull them. We let the knees moves up and down (like a butterfly). They should if possible reach to the ground. We fold the upper body to the front and try to touch the toes with the chin. Then we swing (seesaw) right – left, where the head is moved at the same time with the knees (like a boat). We repeat the swing, this time however the head is moved on the contrary trying to reach the knee (like a lizard).
We come again in the initial position, roll to a side and leave our weight to lift us again in a circular movement from the other side. (Like a children’s doll that is always rectified from alone her, due to its centre of gravity, independent how we divert it from its balance).
Junan Taiso: Shushi kata manashi (straining of arms-shoulders-hals)
We sit in Seiza No Kamae. We strain the joints of the hands with omote gyaku, ura gyaku, take ori and the fingers separate. We turn the shoulders in circular movements. We relax the head and turn the neck right – left and in complete circle. We move the eyes to the 4 directions and in circle.
We sit in Seiza No Kamae. We try to catch with the one hand the other behind in our back. Known exercise by the Yoga as Gomukhasana (the snout of the cow).
We sit in Seiza No Kamae. We exhale hard from the mouth trying to put out the tongue and the eyes as far as possible, while we extend the fingers. Known exercise by the Yoga as Simhasana (Lion).
Junan Taiso: Kokutsu(straining of the thighs)
We sit in Seiza No Kamae. We catch with the hands our heels and we lift up our body pressing our stomach to outside and inhale deep. Then we seat again and exhaling lean the head to the floor. We repeat 5 – 6 times.
Then we leave slowly the body to lean with the back on the floor, where we remain for few minutes quietening. We finish taking the numbness out of our ankles by stepping successive the soles on the ground and shifting our weight to front. Known exercise by the Yoga as Suptavajrasana (lying diamond).
We sit down, gather one leg with the knee bending and put the other leg above, so that the sole leans on the floor. We turn the head as much as possible to back, while we lean on the palm behind. After a while we repeat the same to the other side. This exercise strains the vertebral column, therefore this is important to keep our back straight.
Known exercise by the Yoga as Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half turning seat).
Junan Taiso:Kata tatsu (wheel, peacock, and candle)
Wheel. Increasing our elasticity and endurance we try to lean only on one hand and if possible on our head. Also we try to raise from the ground the leg diametrical to the leaning hand in order to training still more our balance.
Known exercise by the Yoga as Chakrasana (Wheel).
Then we try to sustain our whole body with our two hands. We lean the internal part of our knees on our elbows and equilibrate. Increasing our elasticity and endurance we try to extend our body always sustain on our elbows. Known exercise by the Yoga as Mayurasana (Peacock).
We close with the Candle. Increasing our elasticity and endurance we sustain only on the nape and keep the hands stuck to our body.
Known exercise by the Yoga as Urdhvasarvangasana (Candle).