|Iron Gata at the Shinseidokan dojo|
The junbi undo I practise each day begins with several exercises involving my feet (toes and ankles), and only then do I shift my focus higher, to my knees and legs, before involving my hips, torso, arms (shoulders, elbows, wrists, and fingers), and finally my neck.
As much as I have always accepted the advice I was given, that karate begins in the feet; I have come to believe otherwise. For me, karate begins in the mind, and from there makes it's way to the feet and back up again to the brain. It's a cycle that mirrors the symbiotic nature of life, of thought and action, and of action and consequence.
Without a mindful approach to karate training, what you're left with is a physical activity closer to Tae- Bo or Boxer-size, which is fine if that's what you think you're involved in, but if you believe yourself to be a karateka, then you are obliged to train like one.