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#290576 - 10/03/06 11:04 PM Rules of Bunkai
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Given some of the comments on the Unsu bumkai clip, I thought I'd start a new thread on what rules of thumb do people use when evaluating or analysing bunkai.

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#290577 - 10/03/06 11:44 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Rule number 1: Find a good teacher.

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#290578 - 10/03/06 11:58 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
BrianS Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
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Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Realistically usable.
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#290579 - 10/04/06 12:36 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: BrianS]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Very funny guys...

Take a page out of your byline... put up or....

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#290580 - 10/04/06 12:54 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
oldman Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
1. Think real, real, hard.
2. Draw cartoons about them so people think you're an expert.
3. Avoid resisting opponates at all cost.
4. Sell cartoons to true believers and unsuspecting kids.

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#290581 - 10/04/06 01:03 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: oldman]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
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Loc: QLD, Australia
You guys don't know do you?

But when it comes to critique on other's videos, we're all FULL of criticisms aren't we....

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#290582 - 10/04/06 01:29 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Okay try these. Attacks come from all angles, not just the front. To interpret kata look at attacks from different angles and see what you get. Stacked hands imply grappling such as keylocks. Crossed hands imply grappling. Elbow strikes are not always strikes. They can be interpretted as elbow spikes to enter the clinch range. Especially if preceded by a kick or a punch. Crossed legged stances such as kosa dachi implies a knee strike, kick, or tai sabaki, or all three.Many techniques in low stances such as horse stance or front stance are throwing techniques. Many turns in kata are throws or unbalancing techniques. The chambering hand should be holding or trapping something when it chambers. A step can be a kick with the shin to a downed opponent or a knee strike to the thigh. These are just a few and some of it depends on your particular style and kata.

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#290583 - 10/04/06 01:49 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Posts: 6768
well, I'm still learning, thanks to my current instruction which is specifically about what your asking....

basically, these are the first questions to ask:

1. range - what is the distance from opponent you are interpreting? (the Unsu kata clip you mention was sparring range. not likely the range kata addresses.)

2. direction - where is the attack coming from? (the Unsu clip showed the person always turning toward the direction of attack. too slow.)

3. Does it address multiple attacks ie: combos? or are all the incomming attacks a single straight punch? (Unsu clip was with totally complient uke)

4. Where do the sequences start and end? (the clip showed nothing more than the kata being broken up into single block/strike sequences)

there are more, but hey...it's not mine to give away...

refer to these articles written by Giles Hopkins that deal specifically with your question and the hints I put up:

article: "The lost secrets of Okinawan Goju-ryu: What the kata shows," Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Vol 11, #4, 2002.

article: "The shape of kata: The enigma of pattern," Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Vol 13, #1, 2003.

article: "The teaching of Goju-ryu kata: A brief look at methodology and practice," Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Vol 14, #2, 2005.

you can get them here:
http://www.goviamedia.com/journal/issues.html

in general, if I see kata application that is against a long-range attack from 2 perfectly timed opponents striking at the same time in opposite directions, defending with just their arms while not even able to see the other opponent....yep, I'm gonna pick on it.

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#290584 - 10/04/06 01:55 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
oldman Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
If I could articulate it I wouldn't have to draw the cartoons.

I would love to have an instructor that was well informed on the topic but I don't. In fact I have at time been ridiculed for pursuing the practice at all.

I am primarily a visual an kinesthetic learner. I am many time able to "see" and imagine things others have a hard time with. As with any creative or investigative approach in the beginning I had alot more bad/ineffective conclusions than effective approaches. There are books that lay out priorities or rules to consider. I couldn't do them justice.

One rule?

Things are not just what they seem.

A chair is not just a chair. It can be used a step stool, a doorstop or a pony depending on who is looking at it and what their needs are.

to paraphrase Victor, "it's all movement" and I don't know what the heck a fractal is. I'm sure I could learn faster with a great teacher or a different art, but I'm enjoying what I'm doing now and I try not to be too envious of others and their knowledge or arts.

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#290585 - 10/04/06 02:06 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: oldman]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Actually, I believe it is what it seems. It can also be other things as well.

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#290586 - 10/04/06 02:28 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: oldman]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Well, Mark, that's the whole point of my asking the question... so that it may hopefully, be helpful to others. I ask, not for myself, since I have absolutely no interest in kata or bunkai what so ever. I'm merely curious about the knowledge and level of knowledge out there.

Personally, I think angles, range, foot/body/hand positions and purpose thereof are important elements or principles to consider.

As Ed said, if it is anything other than close-range/in-fighting, one should probably question the utility of such movement - although, it may in all likelihood be a valid counter, PROVIDED it is a prelude to or the follow up application results in a closing of the range.

I'm talking about general principles or rules of thumbs with which to understand how to break down kata, or how to apply kata movement to technical application. Yes, it's all movement, but these rules should be applicable to most armed and unarmed kata-based traditions, not just karate per se.

And of course, any movement can be used for anything, but you wouldn't use a screwdriver to hammer a nail, nor would you use a knife to open a can, unless you want to cut yourself open in the process.

So, other principles would include...?

How about movements where weight is dropped/sunk, or where movements are rising and floating?

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#290587 - 10/04/06 07:26 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
Quote:

How about movements where weight is dropped/sunk, or where movements are rising and floating?



those, medulanet covered. (or if he didn't, he would have )

drop (as in dropping height from walking stance to horse stance) usually when throwing or taking to ground. also, unbalancing. dropping while already having someone in a precurious position, sometimes is indicative of a break. for what we do, usually means the neck.

sink (as in projecting mass down into target), for off-balancing and shock impact during strike. also sinking can be used to tighten a lock hold.

rising - bash threw into an attack. also, rising then dropping while turning and throwing (like a corkscrew into the ground)...and the throws aren't nice.

floating - anytime when you are using another force to counteract for stabilty - in aikido for instance, they use sophisticated methods of centrifigal force in 3-dimensions. similar thing, but less complex in what we do. but then you listen to wristtwister, and his karate likely has more utilization of this...depends what your art's influences are. I will say this, whatever art people do - drawing principles from other arts will likely awaken hidden principles that you didn't see before in your primary art of choice. ...plus it's more fun. screw tradition. lol Arts aren't meant to be stagnent...when they are, it becomes ritual.

anyone doing a kata-based system, trying to figure out application.... the answer is in Chinese arts, koryu Japanese arts, and non-sport grappling. If each application wouldn't seriously mess someone up, then keep working on it and keep looking.

stepping back, blocking and striking then resetting, is one-dimensional and completely misses the point of kata.

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#290588 - 10/04/06 08:50 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: medulanet]
oldman Offline
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Posts: 5884
Quote:

Things are not (JUST) what they seem.




The opperative word being Just meaning not soley.

There are folks much more advanced than myself in the discussion. My comment are mostly to the folks that are being taught BLOCK... BLOCK... BLOCK...BLOCK...BLOCK....Punch. I say what I do so others can bein to see or imagine what is possible.

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#290589 - 10/04/06 08:54 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: medulanet]
BrianS Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Quote:

Okay try these. Attacks come from all angles, not just the front. To interpret kata look at attacks from different angles and see what you get. Stacked hands imply grappling such as keylocks. Crossed hands imply grappling. Elbow strikes are not always strikes. They can be interpretted as elbow spikes to enter the clinch range. Especially if preceded by a kick or a punch. Crossed legged stances such as kosa dachi implies a knee strike, kick, or tai sabaki, or all three.Many techniques in low stances such as horse stance or front stance are throwing techniques. Many turns in kata are throws or unbalancing techniques. The chambering hand should be holding or trapping something when it chambers. A step can be a kick with the shin to a downed opponent or a knee strike to the thigh. These are just a few and some of it depends on your particular style and kata.




Good stuff!!

Look at the blocks in the kata,the two way action specifically.One hand is pulling/trapping,the other hand is breaking/striking/throwing.
Each movement can have many offensive interpretations.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#290590 - 10/04/06 09:21 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: BrianS]
oldman Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

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#290591 - 10/04/06 09:39 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
oldman Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Eyrie,
Lets look at this example. The usual explaination you see for it is sweeping a punch across your body and striking to the solar plexus with a spear hand. I don't know about Y'all but I'm not sure I could drop anyone let alone a conditioned athelete with a spear hand to their wash board abs. On the other hand I'm pretty sure that I can get to the cleft in the throat just above the clavicle, straighten my arm putting my girth behind it. GEEERK!!! that hurts like a MUG. That approach my give me time to get the heck out of Dodge or call in the calvary or perhaps a little GandP.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

So there is a principle I guess. Greateast force to the weakest target.

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#290592 - 10/04/06 09:43 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
Ronin1966 Offline
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Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Eyrie:

<<what rules of thumb do people use when evaluating or analysing bunkai.

My very first rule of thumb... avoid the foreign terminology (ie bunkai)!

Ok, ok, when looking at someones application sequence, is it simple period?

5, 6, (or more) movements to stop an incoming attacker is either a severely advanced application or 2-3 movements too blessed long! I should not need to hit them 8 times to stop them... Not talking about the one punch kill foolishness, merely being pragmatic.

In terms keeping simplicity my hands should not change grips a lot...

I should not need to kick the attacker more than twice...

The basic application should acknowledge the "sleeping appentage" (the hands/feet not attacking) as a viable threat. How the first hand/foot is handled should largely negate the other appendage entering the equasion effectively

There are lots and lots these help?

Jeff

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#290593 - 10/04/06 10:06 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: Ed_Morris]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Quote:


floating - anytime when you are using another force to counteract for stabilty - in aikido for instance, they use sophisticated methods of centrifigal force in 3-dimensions. similar thing, but less complex in what we do. but then you listen to wristtwister, and his karate likely has more utilization of this...depends what your art's influences are. I will say this, whatever art people do - drawing principles from other arts will likely awaken hidden principles that you didn't see before in your primary art of choice. ...plus it's more fun. screw tradition. lol Arts aren't meant to be stagnent...when they are, it becomes ritual.





Great post! My emphasis added. All martial arts are based around the same principles - if not similar. Any differences are largely stylistic variations or differences in philosophy.

I just wanted to add that there are many subtleties in throwing arts that you aren't likely to experience in ritualized training methods - even within throwing arts that use some form of paired kata-based training methods.

I'm not so sure that centrifugal force is really all that involved in what we do... I might have thought that at one stage, but I see more and more of what we (I?) do, as simple linear forces, perhaps using rotational torque to augment linear forces.

Whilst I've found karate techniques "simple", but brutally effective, (whilst training with Patrick McCarthy) many of the techniques are very similar, if not virtually identical to what I've experienced in jujitsu and aikido.

Quite often, something will present itself from time to time, and I "see" karate techniques appear in many aikido techniques.

Quote:


stepping back, blocking and striking then resetting, is one-dimensional and completely misses the point of kata.




Perhaps a necessary evil when first learning, but it is important to look beyond. Omote vs Ura.

BTW, Mark, great visual descriptions. The second sequence is EXACTLY how it's done in jujitsu - perhaps also from a front double handed choke (why anyone would dumb enough to do that... who knows). And the spear hand can also be a press to the sternal notch. The first sequence I've seen many other variations based on similar movements.

My point being, many arts share common techniques and/or technical applications. So why should kata be any different?

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#290594 - 10/04/06 10:41 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: oldman]
student_of_life Offline
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Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
never stop drawing oldman, and i love the little extras like plumber but on your attackers, your illustrations have always made my day!

any hints on where i could get my hands, or eyes on some more of your work?
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its not supposed to make sense

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#290595 - 10/04/06 10:42 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
student_of_life Offline
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Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
is anyone willing to man up and post some vids of what your ideas of solid bunkai wold look like??

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its not supposed to make sense

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#290596 - 10/04/06 10:55 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
oldman Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Eyrie,
This illustration shows a bit of what you are reffering too. It builds off the spear hand and then locks the wrist and uses the turn for a throw. Going back to the idea of movement... I don't think it is so much that arts should not be stagnant but more that people should not be. At some stages of development people are very concrete and it is appropriate. When they begin to see grays instead of blacks and whites the are becoming more able to think abstractly. I think part of the challenge of teaching the whole individual is helping to usher them into a greater ability for abstraction and flexibility in thinking. Part of the task is biological and part is cognative. When the brain is ready the teacher and the techniques appear.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Other principles...

Hard weapon, soft target. Hard weapon soft target.

Blocks can lock.

Turns to throw.

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#290597 - 10/04/06 10:58 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: student_of_life]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Since you replied to me, I'll answer the question....

I don't do karate... I did some a long time ago with Patrick McCarthy - and some Shorinji Kempo - enough to grasp the general principles and similarities of what is essentially a simple (yet complex), but brutally effective system. Different flavours of karate I would put down as stylistic or philosophical differences.

So the answer to your question is... NO. You're not going to see any effective bunkai from me, any time soon....

I'm only posing the question here for discussion. Maybe someone will have an epiphany, maybe not. In any case, the general principles are similar in every other art - lines, angles, foot/body/hand positioning, using the weight to augment locks and throws, stepping to enter, using both hands to apply technique, hidden sweeps and throws in turns and pivots, hidden kicks, leverage, breaking balance, etc. etc. etc.

It's all in the basics.... hidden in plain sight as it were.... hopefully this thread might spur others to look deeper (beneath the surface) at their own practice, and apply some of the principles discussed in their own interpretation of kata.

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#290598 - 10/04/06 11:10 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: oldman]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Quote:

Eyrie,
This illustration shows a bit of what you are reffering too. It builds off the spear hand and then locks the wrist and uses the turn for a throw.





Nice. Looks like a variation of kote-gaeshi/irimi nage. I'm not too concerned about the "technical" name of the technique, but out of curiousity, which kata is this out of? The reason being, there are many techniques I may conjure up on the spur of the moment, depending on how uke is positioned rlative to me, and as long as I work the principles correctly, the technique always invariably manifests itself.

Quote:


Going back to the idea of movement... I don't think it is so much that arts should not be stagnant but more that people should not be. At some stages of development people are very concrete and it is appropriate. When they begin to see grays instead of blacks and whites the are becoming more able to think abstractly. I think part of the challenge of teaching the whole individual is helping to usher them into a greater ability for abstraction and flexibility in thinking. Part of the task is biological and part is cognative. When the brain is ready the teacher and the techniques appear.





Good point. The corollary to that being, not being fixated on fixed "forms" - a dis-ease all too common even in aikido circles. Unfortunately, forms provide the initiate with an initial learning structure or paradigm. It's knowing when to exit the form and enter the realm of "formless form" that delineates the initiate from the exponent. Shu-Ha-Ri....

Quote:


Other principles...

Hard weapon, soft target. Hard weapon soft target.

Blocks can lock.

Turns to throw.




I think the rules of atemi (as I've encountered in jujitsu and aikido) are the same... hard weapon, soft target. Soft weapon, hard target....

Blocks and punches can also be throws too....


Edited by eyrie (10/04/06 11:12 AM)

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#290599 - 10/04/06 11:27 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
oldman Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Quote:

Shu-Ha-Ri....




I think this principle is so important and most folks don't have an understanding of it. It gives a context or paradigm for personal growth that can happent in the arts. I sometimes fear that when people change arts too early or too frequently they miss out on some benefits of the process. On the other hand choosing a different art may represent a persons passing through Shu ha ri's various stages.

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#290600 - 10/04/06 11:39 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
Joss Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 567
"I'm talking about general principles or rules of thumbs with which to understand how to break down kata, or how to apply kata movement to technical application."

There is some very useful ground covered regarding kata application by Iain Abernethy on his website, and by the book below.

"The Way of Kata: A Comprehensive Guide for Deciphering Martial Applications"

Just a few are:

Each technique should be able to stop the attack.

Each technique should be virtually fail-safe (not dependent on "fine" motor skills in high stress situations).

The techniques should NOT require a specific response to work (I do this. Now he does this and viola!).

Our chambered hands usually have some opponent's parts in them.

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#290601 - 10/04/06 12:01 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: Joss]
BrianS Offline
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Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Great thread,thanks eyrie!

I like oldman's drawings.Notice how close the grappling range is? There's no giant spaces and multiple opponents in the right applications. Kata is not fighting several opponents who take turns attacking.

When doing locks and throws there is usually a strike beforehand. It's very difficult to go straight into a lock on a resisting person.
The technques are not failsafe(in my experience) and to try to force a technique would be a hard lesson learned.
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#290602 - 10/04/06 12:34 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: BrianS]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
All good points. And I forgot about the Iain Abernathy resource too... well there you go....

If you think that's close, wait till I show you some of the stuff I do with a jo...

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#290603 - 10/04/06 11:09 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Would someone like to store this thread for posterity? Make it a sticky or something?

I think it is useful for pointing people in the right direction in terms of WHAT to look for when analysing kata.

Great discussion folks (and drawings by Oldman!)...

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#290604 - 10/05/06 12:34 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: BrianS]
brocksampson Offline
Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 112
Loc: Savannah, GA
Brian, if I understand correctly, I think you and Joss are saying the same thing. A "virtually failsafe" technique would be using an elbow strike where an elbow strike is needed. Not looking for the hidden special magic ear lock! The "failsafe" technique should just work, period. As you said, you can't force it. If the appropriate technique happens to be an advanced break or trap then fine, but it HAS to work, without a lot of fuss.
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#290605 - 10/05/06 05:27 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: student_of_life]
shoshinkan Offline
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Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
im on the case and will present Pinan Shodan Bunkai if thats of interest?
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www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#290606 - 10/05/06 04:37 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: oldman]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
your last ctoon: punch-catching seems unreliable, and he's still too far away. instead, try 'receiving' the attack vs 'snatching' it.

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#290607 - 10/06/06 09:15 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: Ed_Morris]
oldman Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Ed,
I have heard the phrase punch catching is some of dillman's material. I can't say that I have much experience with it or put my faith in it. In the approach that I attemped to illustrate the punch is not really caught so much as redirected and stuck to (muchimi)?. Eyrie commented that it looked like kote gaieshi and the entry feels like that. I wanted to show a kata based technique that could illustrate the shared principles that Eyrie was talking about. Your comment about receiving the attack is right on the money. I don't feel that I captured that as effectively as I might have.

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#290608 - 10/06/06 10:31 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: oldman]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
It looked to me exactly as you just described it.

I think it needs to be said that many techniques are predicated on the attacker committing to an attack - with the intent to do you some real damage. Some techniques just don't work or look remotely like the nice clean "dojo" technique, when the attacker is essentially squaring off and taking potshots at you.

Obviously when that happens, one needs to adjust appropriately, whether that means modifying the technique, going with the flow, or changing the rules of engagement thru strategy or deception.

I dunno.... to me, when I look at kata interpretation, I'm predicating the technical response is based on a committed attack. (HAPV I think is the McCarthy-ism).

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#290609 - 10/06/06 11:06 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
oldman Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
One of the challenges I find in drawing the Bunkai illustrations is this. In a committed attack or real fight the appearance changes. So, if I am trying to show someone, say a green belt what is possible in the form the drawing cannot vary signifigantly from the way thay do it in there practice because then they begin to say "That doesn't look like the form". Or "That isn't Pinan Nidan". Of course it wouldn't.

On a differnt but related idea..

One of the good things I see about kata as they are practiced by, say , Shotokan practitioners is as far as exercise goes it is good physical practice using a full range of motion.

As far as bunkai goes their applications in general are basic and strong. When considering possible application things can shorten up and the circles get smaller. When that happens I imagine things would start to look more okinawan. As far as perfomance, I find them enjoyable to watch like any skillfull demonstration of an art. Being able to punch hard, kick hard be mobile and maintaining your balance, will help out in many confrontations.

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#290610 - 10/10/06 09:08 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
shoshinkan Offline
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egg zackly............

practise our Bunkai against common methods of assault is the relaistic way forward.
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Jim Neeter

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#290611 - 10/10/06 09:32 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: shoshinkan]
oldman Offline
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shoshinkan,
I would like tospend more training time on that aspect.

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#290612 - 10/10/06 10:01 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: oldman]
shoshinkan Offline
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http://www.fightingarts.com/ubbthreads/s...0&fpart=all

is a good 'guide' to start, ensure the attacks are off tempo (not fast to start, but unexpected a little), do not start from 'fixed' karate kamae, either side allow a bit of messeyness in..

I shall take some shots tonight of some bunkai I intitially teach for our Pinan Sho. Please be nice when I put it on the WWW !
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#290613 - 10/10/06 10:19 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: shoshinkan]
Gavin Offline
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Quote:

either side allow a bit of messeyness in..




Someone call????
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#290614 - 10/10/06 10:57 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: Gavin]
JohnL Offline
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I've worked some bunkai with some of you guys at the get togethers.

Rules for Bunkai;





He who has the Bunkai, makes the rules!!
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#290615 - 10/10/06 11:04 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: Gavin]
shoshinkan Offline
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karate is way to neat IMO anyhow, real is messey.
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#290616 - 10/10/06 07:41 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: shoshinkan]
shoshinkan Offline
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Please excuse the poor presentation but here is some intro Bunkai I teach for Pinan Sho. The kata pictures are also there so you can see where the bunkai comes from, well in theory.

Please remember I realise 'fights' don't look like this but we do train as realistic as possible, all of these techniques are pressure tested, if the principles are transfered then we are doing good.

I shall be sorting a cam corder so you can see it in real time soon.

Look forward to what you have to say, kind of............

http://www.putfile.com/shoshinkan
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#290617 - 10/10/06 10:09 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: shoshinkan]
JohnL Offline
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Damn Jim

And there was me thinking that people describing my karate as messy were insulting me!!!!
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#290618 - 10/10/06 10:44 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: shoshinkan]
Ed_Morris Offline
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don't put too much weight on my comments, just sharing thoughts...

100_0710 - opening move. going on the inside when an attack comes from the side is too slow and dangerous (basically, you have to turn,hard block and uppercut before he can use his other hand...which wouldn't be chambered).

100_0711 - too easy to twist out of this hold.

100_0712 - to get from the last position to here, I'm having trouble visualizing....I'll wait for the video

100_0713 - two of his arms against one of yours?

100_0714 - ahh, I see. thats better. - hard to transition to here from what the previous frame shows.

100_0715 - ouch. I'd have to see the vid of how you get to here though.

100_0716 - Good!

100_0717 - ok. but is this transitioned from the previous shuto?


overall, pretty good. I like the shuto interpretation. work on figuring out a better opening move.

also, do you toe kick with your large toe over your others? I know many in Shorin do this...but why? would you do that with shoes on? can you form your foot like that quick enough? not being a wise-guy...it's something I always wondered.

good job, Jim. looking forward to the vid.

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#290619 - 10/11/06 04:05 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: JohnL]
shoshinkan Offline
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LOL John, the 'traditionalist' go mental when we train together but they keep coming back for more.

I guess im tolerated.............
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#290620 - 10/11/06 04:31 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: Ed_Morris]
shoshinkan Offline
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cheers for the comments Ed, I just wrote out a lengthy response but lost it so will do again later.
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#290621 - 10/11/06 05:51 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: Ed_Morris]
shoshinkan Offline
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100_0710 - same time hard block/strike, it works well with a backfist to the nose as well, it is started from being pushed which gives you a slight hint on whats coming.

100_0711 - forget it being a 'hold', its a strike, I grabbed simply to stop him moving away

100_0712 - simply roll the 'high' arm over the attackers arm and bar down just above the elbow joint, I press in to the body to secure when he is down.

100_0713 - getting the elbow onto his centre line stops the butt, step off line and back to unbalance a little.

100_0714 - LOL

100_0715 - just after the foot of the kick lands strike moroto uke, backfist first then follow with the punch underneath.

100_0716 - 1st shuto then step at angle for 0717

I toe kick simply by pressing big toe and next toe together, works well and with shoes.

Appriciate your comments Ed.
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#290622 - 10/11/06 01:22 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: oldman]
steelwater Offline
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Registered: 05/20/05
Posts: 222
In response to Oldman's picture:

Rising block! The first application ever shown to me by my instructor. I am in love with oldman.


Edited by steelwater (10/11/06 01:23 PM)

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#290623 - 11/01/06 08:47 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: steelwater]
JoeSan Offline
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Hey Guys.
IMHO Kata should be practised for Kata's sake, and the "applications/bunkai" should be used mearly for a brief explanation to learn the Kata faster and better.
Actual application of the techniques as they are sequenced and done in Kata is by all means not street effective. But change the sequence around, Combine them differently and you can get to some deadly combo's.
But, Kata as is, is not for use in combat, You'll only get yourself hurt, Badly.
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#290624 - 11/01/06 11:15 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: JoeSan]
BrianS Offline
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Quote:

Hey Guys.
IMHO Kata should be practised for Kata's sake, and the "applications/bunkai" should be used mearly for a brief explanation to learn the Kata faster and better.
Actual application of the techniques as they are sequenced and done in Kata is by all means not street effective. But change the sequence around, Combine them differently and you can get to some deadly combo's.
But, Kata as is, is not for use in combat, You'll only get yourself hurt, Badly.




And you base that on what experience?

Let me try and be more clear. Kata practice is certainly not for cage fighting,but that is just one type of combat. What about a parking lot assault? Mugging? Etc...Are you telling me that in your seventeen years of training since the age of seven that there's nothing in kata that can help you?


Edited by BrianS (11/01/06 11:23 AM)
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#290625 - 11/02/06 05:51 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: JoeSan]
kakushiite Offline
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JoeSan wrote:

"Actual application of the techniques as they are sequenced and done in Kata is by all means not street effective."

I donít know what kata you are referring to, or what you consider street-effective. I have seen this argument before. One well known Okinawan master uses an alphabet analogy. Each movement represents a letter, and to make words, you need to take letters from different parts of the kata and patch them together to make words.

I am certainly not an authority on a whole bunch of kata, and for kata that I do not study, this may be the case. But there are a whole bunch of Shorin Ryu kata for which this is wrong. Multiple directions work remarably well in sequence. ab or abc. bc or bcd, cd or cde on so on.

I discuss some combinations below based directly on consecutive movements in kata. It is my belief that there are plenty fighters training in fight-oriented systems (Boxing Muay Thai, PMA.) that would consider the following combinations useful in the street.

1. Left parry of a right jab, right hook/elbow to the head, left jab to the head/neck. (repeat)

2. Right parry, of a left jab, left hook/elbow to the head, right jab to the head/neck, left hook/elbow to the head, right hook/elbow to the head.

3. Right parry of a left jab, jam the right hand at the chin, right jab to the head/neck, left hook to the head, right hook to the head

4. Right parry of left jab, left cross, pull the hand back to deflect the right strike to the head, kick to the groin, or knee to the body.

From a second beginner kata.

Parry with the left, hook/elbow with the right, hook/elbow with the left, follow, if needed with a single or two legged takedown.

From a third beginner kata.

Parry with the right, left cross to the head/neck, right hook to the head, left cross to the stomach, followed, if needed with a single or double legged takedown.

These combinations come directly from the movements of three beginner kata, and each follows the kata pattern movement by movement. There is no cutting and pasting. No bit from here, bit from there. You just pick up the kata at a certain place and follow it along.

Practice those combinations in kata, in the air, on a bag, with weights and against a partner, and you have some real fighting ammunition. And that's just a start. These beginner kata are filled with good fighting applications like these.

-Kakushite

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#290626 - 11/02/06 06:07 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: kakushiite]
shoshinkan Offline
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Personally I think the kata teach us certain 'lessons',

In actual application we do what we need, it might happen in kata order, it might be one movement, it might be one movement from one kata and then another movement from another kata.

we might get hit a little bit...........or even break our 'perfect' posture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think the term 'free from the kata' comes to mind here, and it takes a fair bit of training to get there,

It also takes a fair bit of the right combination of trianing to get there.

kata alone is pretty................useless.
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#290627 - 11/02/06 08:25 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: JoeSan]
Ronin1966 Offline
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Jeff

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#290628 - 11/02/06 08:33 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: shoshinkan]
Ronin1966 Offline
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Hello Shoshinkan:

<<kata alone is pretty................useless.



You intend to learn the movements by magic? The movements once learned then lead to the applications... the applications uncover concepts, principles, whispers of ideas..... etceteria.

The orignal question was not did they work but rather HOW we explored the explainations FOR these kata... as I understood the question anyway

Did I get it wrong?
Jeff

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#290629 - 11/03/06 02:43 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: Ronin1966]
shoshinkan Offline
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fair point, I was just blowing off.
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#290630 - 11/06/06 11:05 AM Rules of bunkai [Re: oldman]
BrianS Offline
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#290631 - 11/09/06 05:34 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
TeK9 Offline
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First rule of bunkai, we don't talk about bunkai.
Second rule of bunkai, we DON'T talk about bunkai.

Are these the rules in most karate schools or just in korean karate?
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#290632 - 11/09/06 07:05 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: TeK9]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
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Loc: QLD, Australia
Tek, you've been watching too much FightClub....

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#290633 - 11/09/06 09:53 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: TeK9]
kakushiite Offline
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Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 266
Loc: Ithaca, NY, USA
Tek9,

I believe I can provide some insight into your question. But before answering, would you please provide me some info. I would like to understand the typical training that a student goes through in your school to get to blackbelt. Let's assume an above-average student (i.e one that is enthusiastic, has good attendance and is fairly athletic.)

Average number of years before promotion:
Average hours per week of training in the school:
Average percent of time in the school practicing kata:
Number of empty hand kata learned:
Number of weapons kata learned:

Please answer these (estimates are great) and I can give my perspective on this problem.

-Kakushite

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#290634 - 11/09/06 11:52 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: kakushiite]
TeK9 Offline
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I have earned two black belts. One in a traditional system of taekwondo and one in the modern sports style of TKD. I know that it is possible for a gifted student to earn their bb in 3 years in each system according to both of my teachers. However, noone at either of the two schools ever has. At an average it takes 4 years+ to earn a black belt.

I earned my first bb in 4+ years, I round it up four. We had heavy emphasis on kata, self defense, and step sparring. I trained 5x's a week sometimes for three hours and sometimes for two hours a day. Every once in a while I would attend saturday classes for extreme workouts two hours non stop.

We did kata from 4 systems of korean karate: Pyung, taegueks, chon hon, pal gwe, and kee cho sets.+impromptu kata, +weapons kata, +musical kata. So we had arond 43-45 katas to do for a bb test. The last three were not self defense based but performance based.

The classes were two hour long and on average we spent 1 hour on kata alone.

We did not do bunkai in the sense that the techniques pulled for self defense applications were not taken from the exact sequence in which they were in the kata, instead we had a seperate set of sequences set up for each scenerio of attack. So if your wondering about our tuite (grappling) training, that would be out of a judo/jujutsu. It woud look nothing like the katas. Only the striking portion of step sparring looked like kata and even those were not in the same sequence as the kata. So as you can see from my experience with kata and the way I was taught self defense I have really no appreciation for kata.

We took the time to use nearly all the empty hand strikes found in karate/taekwondo, strikes for specific points of the bod, something I feel is seriously lacking in todays korean karate, were mainly the fist is used and the othre strikes ignored.

My second school, which is more sports based, we only do one set of kata, 9 kata for a black belt. Some step sparring, lots of step sparring for sport. Heavy emphasis on sparring, foot work for sparring, bag drills for power, padle drills for reaction time, judging distance, endless sparring combinations, and sparring strategy. Three years to earn a black belt however, there is a higher level of skil require for bb, so it has taken students 5-7 years to earn a bb. Here kata is only practiced as formailty for testing, however, it is practiced so that balance and power is very well developed incase the student wishes to enter kata competition. Literally no application is taught from the kata, if y chance your school teaches self defense, ten most likely it would be from hapkido or jujutsu. No weapons taught at this school, strictly competition based.
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#290635 - 11/10/06 03:56 AM Re: Rules of bunkai [Re: BrianS]
Bossman Offline
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In taiji we say that you study movement in feet, then inches, then hundredths of an inch, then thousandths of an inch and then hundredths of a thousandth of an inch.

As we layer in the principles and subsequent skills we find that it's more about principles than techniques - it's more about your ability to maintain your centre, root, structure, mindset, breathing and then disrupt any one of those in your opponent to make whatever you do effective. Being able to 'hide' your centre from your opponent, locate theirs and disrupt it takes a lot of solitary form practice and then test it in application.

Techniques quickly gives way to principles, the problem I see with a lot of 'bunkai' practiced is that the opponent is still compliant - and although quite ingenious, is still unlikely to work agains a fighting opponent.

Even looking at the 'deadly' applications, if the practitioner doesn't have the above principles in place and the opponent does, it won't work.

Therefore I see kata as a trininity:

1. Health (mental and physical) good health entails getting posture, breathing, mindset, internal system, good centering etc..

2. Skills - the ability to disrupt a moving fighting opponent.

3. Application - breaking each movement down into tiny pieces to examine the grappling (seperating muscle and tendon from bone, stopping the flow of blood, air and energy), locking, throwing, dislocating, striking and blocking uses of each part of a movement.

Kata can be an excellent way of practice if you can practice your MA deep enough. If you only look at the surface technique and try to apply it without those hours of solitary and paired practice to understand where the physical and mental power comes from, you can only be skimming the surface.

When I look at the body language of even the 'experts' who commercially package their bunkai, I ask myself are they convinced that it would work or is it just a clever commercial mind making a sows ear out of a silk purse?
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#290636 - 11/10/06 05:05 AM Re: Rules of bunkai [Re: Bossman]
TeK9 Offline
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Bossman

It seems like you practice kata hoping to find something there, why not just practice something like jujutsu, something more simplistic and proven to be practical?

Isn't the best self defense the simplest?

I to find it very hard to trust those "experts" of bunkai, tuite and kata interpretation, because as you say, it may just be that it is only good with a willing opponent and not one who is truly resisting.
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#290637 - 11/10/06 05:23 AM Re: Rules of bunkai [Re: TeK9]
kodobrighton2006 Offline
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Registered: 10/25/06
Posts: 28
Kata and forms have been around for 100's of years with many generations of knowledge and experience gone into developing them. There is a wealth of knowledge in kata and forms and there are alot of teachers out there who do know what they are talking about. You suggest Jujutsu being a simpler more practical method of self defense well I don't remember anyone saying the kata applications could not be simple!

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#290638 - 11/10/06 06:41 AM Re: Rules of bunkai [Re: TeK9]
Bossman Offline
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Quote:

Bossman

It seems like you practice kata hoping to find something there, why not just practice something like jujutsu, something more simplistic and proven to be practical?

Isn't the best self defense the simplest?

I to find it very hard to trust those "experts" of bunkai, tuite and kata interpretation, because as you say, it may just be that it is only good with a willing opponent and not one who is truly resisting.




Hi Tek

What I'm actually saying is that after 40 years of practice, kata as a part of an integrated system has everything I need.

'Simple techniques' are fine for the first 5 years and will not work against a good street fighter, the deeper principles free you from technique and work far more reliably.
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#290639 - 11/10/06 08:52 AM Re: Rules of bunkai [Re: Bossman]
TeK9 Offline
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I've always heard that the basics work best. I myself personally do not use bunkai from kata, I use applications from jujutsu/judo and hapkido.
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does not surpass his
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#290640 - 11/10/06 11:06 AM Re: Rules of bunkai [Re: TeK9]
Bossman Offline
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The basics are just that, techniques. If you're looking to use a 'technique' against a good fighter - you'll lose. Fighting can be a messy thing. This is why weaving your body through a full range of movements with all the basic principles and power sourcing methods in place will get you used to a variety of positions that you're likely to find yourself in and exercise both mind and body in a full range of movemnt. 'Bunkai' means to 'break down and study' and it's good to do just that, every tiny part of a movement used in a variety of ways and 'in your face'.
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#290641 - 11/12/06 01:28 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: TeK9]
kakushiite Offline
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Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 266
Loc: Ithaca, NY, USA
Tek9,

Earlier in the post you stated:
Quote:

First rule of bunkai, we don't talk about bunkai.
Second rule of bunkai, we DON'T talk about bunkai.Are these the rules in most karate schools or just in korean karate?



I really liked this quote since it summed up so much of my experience in tradition Japanese, Korean and even Okinawan Karate dojos.

Before replying I asked for some info about your training and you provided the following.
Quote:

I have earned two black belts. One in a traditional system of taekwondo and one in the modern sports style of TKD. We had arond 43-45 katas to do for a bb test. The classes were two hour long and on average we spent 1 hour on kata alone.

My second school, which is more sports based, we only do one set of kata, 9 kata for a black belt. Here kata is only practiced as formality for testing, however, it is practiced so that balance and power is very well developed incase the student wishes to enter kata competition. Literally no application is taught from the kataÖ




I have long wondered about this ďlack of bunkaiĒ problem. My experiences are similar to yours. The teaching of meaningful bunkai is surprisingly rare. I believe the most instructors teach what they have been taught. If it hasnít been handed down, then it doesnít get taught.

Why it hasnít been handed down is a matter of some conjecture. My own feeling is that the old masters, when introducing karate to the school systems did not want to mass-produce skilled bullies. The kata were taught, as well as basic fighting concepts (blocking, kicking, striking, grappling), but actual applications were rarely taught.

It is my belief that the old masters expected students themselves to immerse themselves in kata. The more they would practice them, the better they would understand them.

Today there has been two shifts in the practice of kata that prevents this from happening, and your two schools are perfect examples of each development.

In your first school, your training matches what Itosu recommended 100 years ago. 2-3 hours everyday. In your school, you practiced kata for half of your training. I donít know if we have accurate information on the norms of practice in Okinawa 100 years ago, but my guess is that it probably made up 50 percent or more.

Hereís the key difference. In your first school, you trained in 40+ kata. Funakoshi writes that when he studied under Itosu, his first three years were devoted to Naihanchi Shodan. Over nine years with Itosu, he only trained in the 3 Naihanchi. He writes that this was the norm.

The key point is that a short kata like Naihanchi shodan might have a 50th or a 60th of the movements in the 40 plus kata you trained in. Letís look at repetitions. Naihanchi shodan is a short kata and takes less than 30 seconds to perform. Even with plenty of rest, a vigorous workout of 1 hour of kata could easily yield 50 repetitions. As Itosu urged us to practice everyday, that translates into 15 thousand reps in a year. Even if we estimating high by a third, that would still leave 10 thousand reps per year the norm.

For those that think this kind of repetiton unlikely, consider one source that claimed Motobu would train in Naihanchi 500 times on some days. Funakoshi writes that it was common for a master to know 1, 2 or at most a handful of kata, and this was embodied by Motobu. Although Motobu certainly knew a number of kata, he was well known for his teaching and practice of Naihanchi.

It is my contention that this kind of repetition over a long period will usually focus the mind of the student. They would be motivated to independently figure out useful applications. This is not to say they had no assistance. The art of Ti that was taught then probably lended itself to kata movements. But it is lots of evidence that describes the masters withholding the most deadly of uses to all but the most senior students. To me, that means that they waited until the intense repetition had been completed before passing down some of the more subtle uses to students.

Around 100 years ago, there were three key changes in the practice of karate that changed it dramatically. First, as noted above, kata was introduced to large groups (such as high school students) where training was far less rigorous. Instead of 15 to 20 hours per week, training time was probably a fraction of that.

Second, in the 1940s, sport karate began to fill up a significant part of the training time. As a result of these two changes, students spent far fewer hours practicing kata.

But the third change was perhaps the most significant. Kata was introduced to students at an rapidly accelerated rate. Masters such as Itosu and Kyan accumulated larger numbers of kata and passed them on to their students. Mabuni and Funakoshi took this even further. A student with four years training might be working on their 10th or 15th kata (or in Tek9's case, his 40th kata). In contrast, Funakoshi was still on his second Naihanchi, and training far more hours per week.

These three changes together resulted in most students practicing only a few repetitions of most kata.

Nagamine writes that it took Chotoku Kyan 10 years to master Kusanku, and he practiced kata all the time. A student of Oyata told me that Funakoshiís and Kyanís numbers were the norm. 3 years to learn a kata, and 10 years to master it. But to me those numbers imply many thousands of repetitions of a kata per year.

If we all practiced kata like that, we probably would be able to figure it out ourselves.

But most people donít. Most instructors follow the same patterns they were taught. Many students practice 2-4 hours per week, not 15-20. Much of that time is spent on kumite-oriented training. With what little time is left, there are few repetitions of many kata.

Your second school represents that result of this. Many choose to de-emphasize kata. They donít see the value in it. And I wonder why anything thinks they should.

-Kakushite

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#290642 - 11/15/06 01:32 PM Re: Rules of bunkai [Re: TeK9]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Quote:

TEK9

It seems like you practice kata hoping to find something there, why not just practice something like jujutsu, something more simplistic and proven to be practical?

Isn't the best self defense the simplest?

I to find it very hard to trust those "experts" of bunkai, tuite and kata interpretation, because as you say, it may just be that it is only good with a willing opponent and not one who is truly resisting.





Neko456 - I'd like to inject a thought in references to the above statement, elders like Bossman already know this. Present day Jujitsu isn't how Jujitsu was taught 15-20 years ago. It was at that time pretty much like Karate technique and principles in most JJ dojo were taught with little resistance bc of the injuries that could happen. A Judo like approach started by Americans and Brazilans started this now seen JJ rage, where ground work is emphasised and practiced. Still the real dangerous techniques are still not trained. Real JJ you are broken while you fall!! Is one of the concepts.
Real Karate you are broken as you fall and after you fall. Whats precieved as Karate or JJ today is only Real by what we think is effective base on can you apply it in sparring or in a Cage or ring.

I believe anytime you put gloves on, its not Real Karate. I practice sometimes in gloves, and I know I have to change the way I strike in gloves. But its hard to find workout partners anymore if you are break each others noses, arms and ribs. Pain was accepted and expected back in the day, thats whats Real. Kata was always apart of this evolution.

Some Judo and JJ systems had or have kata/set forms.

I'll end with this statement "What is more simple then a strike?" to counter a aggressive move. But it takes years to Master it.


Edited by Neko456 (11/15/06 01:43 PM)

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#290643 - 12/22/06 11:23 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: kakushiite]
Empishu Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 96
Loc: Everyones hometown, pa
Unlike alot of schools, my school teach Naihanchi Shodan first. Alot of people can find it impractical and I could see why. I also saw why people would learn Naihanchi first. In my original training I learned Naihanchi Shodan after I got my Shodan. I didn't think much of Kata. I thought it was a nice a little thing to perform and show my physical strength, speed, and loud voice in a Kiai. Then I started working with my current group and realized that there is more to Kata then meets the eye.

Its not a mystical, magical thing. All it is is merely continous practise. Everyone tends to think that Karate is this hard, strength thing. There is alot of Punch/Block/Kick Bunkia and very ABC bunkia out there that people are putting out on tapes. There is a very soft part of karate (like the soft arts of Aiki or Jujutsu) but its been lost in favor of the strong, powered kicks and punches.

One thing alot of people (including myself) need to remember is that we are the students of Kata. We need to study the Kata not as a dead piece of history nor should we polish it and put it on display to look pretty.
If you want to look good, comb your hair, dress up nice, take a shower

Kata are meant to be alive! Especially when studing them. Not to vary your kata or change them to 'make more sense"
There needs to be the indepth study of the Bunkia and of the hand/body positioning to see if somethings a strike or block or a grab or a grappling technique or a vital point technique.

From what I have learned its not about what Kata you perform,but what you learn from that Kata. Thats why the old masters practised that Kata for so long, to understand the lessons from them. It took a life time for the Katas to be constructed and composed to teach the most important steps the old master thought were nessisary to pass down. It will take a life time to break down just one kata.

.....yeah I just realized I kinda just went off there. I am still struggling to realize this stuff....just ideas I have learned through my study.....think about them....
_________________________
"Keep the fight" Amor Kaicho "we are all karateka" Taika Oyata

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#290644 - 02/16/07 02:41 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: eyrie]
l947 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 57
Loc: MO. USA
one: body movement , when you attack don't freeze and just stand there ,
act as tho your being struck , to show new targets
doe the bunki your sense told you but see other applications

last , it ain't over till it's over

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#290645 - 07/19/07 10:09 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: l947]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
I've seen a lot of posts, but few rules. I'll take a shot at it...

1. Every technique should off balance your opponent to prevent him from completing his attack or starting another one.

2. Every technique should attack the weak points available from delivering your blocks or strikes.

3. All blocks can function as strikes, all strikes can function as blocks. All circular double hand movements should become locks.

4. Attacks to the arms and legs should take place at the joints, where there is no muscle strength.

5. Bending the joints in the direction they normally go can be effected by a strike to the middle joint.

6. Pulling the elbow of your attacker to his own body centerline locks his hip and takes away his balance. Blocking the arms at the elbows upward does also.

7. "Take out the slack" in every technique before striking the target.

8. Step up to your fist, rather than drawing back your arm to punch after blocking. (Moving into your target)

9. When you are held in a lock, move the next joint to effect your escape.

10. Keep your arms and legs in "balance"... knees and ankles slightly bent in stances; arms in "arm sword".

11. Be centered before attempting any technique.

I could go on, but those are a few of the "rules" I follow in my jujutsu system (clearly, not fully described here), but good fodder for discussion.



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#290646 - 07/20/07 11:04 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: wristtwister]
Joss Offline
Dragon

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 567
Three more off of Grady's:

1. All bunkai must snatch the situation's intiative away from the bad guy and give it to you. You might snatch it at the very beginning (pre-emptive) or upon the first offensive movement of attack. BUT your bunkai MUST give the intiative to you.

2. Once you have snatched the initiative - your bunkai must KEEP it until the attacker is neutralized.

3. Never design (or accept) a bunkai that requires the attacker to make more than the first, single, specific movement. Good bunkai should not address situations like, "First he pushes me, then he grabs my lapel, then he slaps me twice, then he punches me". Bunkai should start at the very first reach toward you, take the initiative and neutralize the guy.

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#290647 - 06/28/08 03:24 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: Joss]
AEF Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 8
Hmmm... Some things I have been thinking about, and I would like to hear opinions about.

1.- about directions:
- when you go forward in kata, your bunkai is offensive
- when you go backward in kata, your bunkai is defensive
- when you turn either left or right in kata, it means you flank your opponent (sabaki) and attack his side.

2.- Both offensive and defensive bunkai have the same goal: to end the fight as fast as possible.

3.- Bunkai is usually part of a sequence of techniques. A sequence of techniques is usually a group of techniques performed consecutively in the same direction. A group of sequences of techniques is a kata.

4.- A sequence of techniques teaches strategy. An isolated technique (or bunkai) teaches tactics. A group of strategies is a fighting style.

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#290648 - 06/28/08 03:40 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: AEF]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Those are all pretty good, except I don't agree that turning right or left implies anything that specific, tai sabaki is already shown in the techniques, the embusen isn't neccessary to show you tai sabaki. There was an embusen thread on this subject for a while in the forms and application forum.

My teacher wrote this book on the subject along with Lawrence kane: I've personally found it to be a good read, but I suppose i'm biased heh.

http://books.google.com/books?id=KwjtqbX...1&ct=result

See what you think of the sample pages.

It goes into detail on the rules of kasai, and how they work, the rules of kasai are also mentioned in Toguchi's book Okinawan Goju Ryu Vol 2:

http://books.google.com/books?id=zfFaPBl...OU3xjPHUQ#PPA49,M1

There's a bit there on the rules of Kasai, unfortunately it only displays part of that section.

Also, i know it's generally accepted that forward=offense and backwards-defense, but I often wonder how this plays out on anyhting but a basic level. Really we should rarely be doing anything that's "defensive" in the sense of walking backwards while performing purely defensive movements it seems to me, so I often wonder about this rule.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (06/28/08 03:53 AM)

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#290649 - 06/29/08 08:34 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: Zach_Zinn]
AEF Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 8
Quote:

Those are all pretty good, except I don't agree that turning right or left implies anything that specific, tai sabaki is already shown in the techniques, the embusen isn't neccessary to show you tai sabaki.




I read the book. On page 111 it examines the beginning of gekisai dai ichi, and it says that stepping forward in a angle and turning left is not to defend against a flank attack, but to get out of the way of the attacker, so you flank him and attack from his side. This same principle is also explained by Kenwa Mabuni. Check "Wisdom from the Past: Tidbits on Kata Applications from Pre-War Karate Books. Part One" By Joe Swift, at:
http://seinenkai.com

You can compare the beginning of gekisai dai ichi and the beginning of fukyugata dai ichi, since both kata were done at the same time as a coordinated effort. Nagamine sensei created fukyugata dai ichi, and Miyagi sensei created gekisai dai ichi (which was then called fukyugata dai ni). In fukyugata dai ichi, you turn left into hidari zenkutsu dachi and perform hidari gedan barai uke. So you twist your body as in a late reaction. In gekisai dai ichi, you step forward in an angle and turn left, so you do your sabaki to anticipate your opponent's strike, so it is a preemptive strike.

The sabaki part is secondary. I think it was my mistake to mention it. The point is that turning to the sides usually implies you attack your enemy's flank.

Quote:

Also, i know it's generally accepted that forward=offense and backwards-defense, but I often wonder how this plays out on anyhting but a basic level. Really we should rarely be doing anything that's "defensive" in the sense of walking backwards while performing purely defensive movements it seems to me, so I often wonder about this rule.




Well, that principle is the second of the shuyo san gensoko (p. 112-13), and the point is that techniques in advanced karate are not purely defensive or purely offensive, but both. That is the second rule in my previous post: "2.- Both offensive and defensive bunkai have the same goal: to end the fight as fast as possible.", which means that the purpose of your defensive techniques is to end the fight.

Being a defensive fighter I learned to love this principle, at least in dojo randori or irikumi. However, in a fight to defend my life, I know I would have to go forward relentlessly to incapacitate my opponent before he has time to think, strike or get ready. If possible, of course.

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#424508 - 01/22/10 12:12 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: AEF]
oldronin Offline
Stranger

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 1
good day all.

I don't think that kata bunkai is meant to represent the literal techniques of any of the movement that we see. To me (IMHO) kata should represent a summary of the techniques we should already know. Anyone that learns from me will know the techniques before the kata is taught. That way the kata is not "empty".

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#424944 - 02/13/10 08:21 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: oldronin]
paul40 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 155
unsu ['unshu'] is a shito-ryu kata, another kata changed by funakoshi for japanese consumption..
dont know the kata myself.. for shotokan check out nakayama or his top
student kanazawa..
the bunkai shown at tournaments is only one oyoshimasu and may not be what you would think of as the 'main' or best'
appplication.. still, showing the mind a real use, will, result in a different and better appreciation for the waza and for
'everything' related to training the kata and karate itself.. bear in mind tho that what is demonstrated for tournaments
by shotokan will not be the most realistic meaning.. eg the first strike in unshu after the ko uke is aippon nukite 'one finger
penetrating hand' shown in the kata striking about lower rib level.. someone who has really trained real karate for decades
including serious conditioning may be able to use one finger to the ribs for some effect, but a student today trying to strike
fast [as shown] to hard body targets will most likely damage their finger..
to me a realistic meaning would be the ko uke followed by pulling back that hand - to show controlling him and his momentum
coming toward your throat by pulling pack with his movement, thus drawing him forward and slightly off balance which,
will cause him to raise his head, now at lower level, for the following nukite to his eye orbit or exposed carotid artery..
real karate is not for playing games.. these waza are not for casual use.. thus funakoshi etc changed the meanings

another meaning you might like to and go thru , might be response to being grabbed by the wrist
response being to bend the wrist strongly as you raise it [with his arm] with good tension, then immediately draw the captured
hand down and in [escaping between his thumb and index finger], which is also shown in the shito ryu original kata with its
obvious pulling back after the ko type opening uke.. dont quote me but it is probably 'keito' or 'chicken head wrist'..
[in goju 'kakato' or shortened to 'ko' uke woiuld probably be used in that example]
goju kata 'shisochin' starts with a more or less similar waza and movement, with the nekoashi position in unshu 'hidden'
within the step to sanchin dachi, and with the same 'shuto' hand form [with subtle differences] for the double uke
followed by pull back and strike with nukite, also, shown to about ribs level.. [in my shodan grading i was the first asked to
show that bunkai and its oyoshimasu, with daisensei standing and a grading panel at the table and all the shodan canditates
and sundry sensei skulling about watching, including my sensei..
well, i thought [rude word] this, must not let sensei down here, i'll show the real meaning..
so [he attacks with a good solid strike to about throat level, theres another clue, i step aside a little, off his center,
parrying his strike and maintaining contact, letting go a good fast nukite right into his carotid artery between oesophagus
and muscle etc.. showing, of course, full control.. silence..


Edited by paul40 (02/13/10 08:23 AM)
_________________________
Just so you know, I am a liar. only fair to tell you before you waste time reading my words.

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#427549 - 06/05/10 05:12 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: medulanet]
John Steczko Offline
Stranger

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 4
I think the most important Bunkai rule is to know as many applications as possible and be able to do them.

If you train a kata and you don't know what you are doing, then you're wasting your time. The kata must become reality.

You must know that every little step/attack/block can be done in many different ways, in different directions.

One of the best karate teachers I met said once to me "You know a kata when you know at least 1000 applications to every step in the kata". Perhaps "1000" is too much but I understand his point. In bunkai one movement can be done in many ways.
_________________________
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John Steczko

http://karatesoul.com

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#427561 - 06/07/10 02:54 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: John Steczko]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
If you have 1000 applications to every move in kata, you are making up about 995 of them.
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The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#427562 - 06/07/10 04:35 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: BrianS]
Ives Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 691
Loc: the Netherlands
Originally Posted By: BrianS
If you have 1000 applications to every move in kata, you are making up about 995 of them.

Or you haven't got a clue about variation...
_________________________
Ives

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#427574 - 06/08/10 08:50 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: Ives]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Ives:

How do you explain the concept of variation IYV?

Are you talking about different expressions of the kata itself? Meaning that I REALLY emphasize (melodramaticly)the double punch presentation, or that those two arms can be used a lot of different ways yet still maintain the structure and mechanics of the movement shown?

What does your term variation mean please...?

Jeff

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#427588 - 06/09/10 05:50 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: Ronin1966]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
I you have a thousand applications for a move, which means a thousand ways to actually drop somebody you've worked your butt off and deserve congratuations. If they weren't passed to you who cares, all that matters is the attackers moves in and they're on the floor.
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#427602 - 06/10/10 06:43 AM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: Ronin1966]
Ives Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 691
Loc: the Netherlands
Hello Ronin1966,

Iīm not refering to different expressions of a single kata, but rather the different possible applications that can be done by a (sequence of) waza. I guess that's what you also describe in your question, by: ...maintain the structure and mechanics of the movement shown.
These movements can be slightly alters so a different execution/application appears.

I have the idea that people who claim to 'know' three thousand applications actually mean, that by altering a uraken(backfist)- to a shuto(knifehand)-uchi(strike), they have a different application. Where in my vision, they have merely found a variation. The principle/structure/mechanics of the particular strike remain the same. Only the form of contact alters, which might have influence on the follow-up, but that's a different chapter.

I see kata like this:
A kata is built up in sequences, made as a training aid. All of these sequences are open to variation. (Try for instance: stepping in a different direction; not during the complete kata, but by studying a sequence.) Some techniques are open to variation, because of similarities in structure and/or principle. (Tsuki can be many different hand forms, the same goes for uchi.)

Even consider hikite and soete; what are they in your* karate? *(Not specifically adressed at you Ronin1966, but in general.)

Does altering all shuto-uchi to uraken-uchi in a kata, make it a different kata?
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Ives

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