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#290636 - 11/10/06 05:05 AM Re: Rules of bunkai [Re: Bossman]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
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.
_________________________
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da
Vinci

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#290637 - 11/10/06 05:23 AM Re: Rules of bunkai [Re: TeK9]
kodobrighton2006 Offline
Member

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
Veteran

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1785
Loc: Chatham Kent UK
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.
_________________________
supporting standards in the martial arts www.shikon.com www.masa.org.uk

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#290639 - 11/10/06 08:52 AM Re: Rules of bunkai [Re: Bossman]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
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.
_________________________
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da
Vinci

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#290640 - 11/10/06 11:06 AM Re: Rules of bunkai [Re: TeK9]
Bossman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1785
Loc: Chatham Kent UK
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'.
_________________________
supporting standards in the martial arts www.shikon.com www.masa.org.uk

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#290641 - 11/12/06 01:28 PM Re: Rules of Bunkai [Re: TeK9]
kakushiite Offline
Member

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.



_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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