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#365967 - 10/17/07 05:06 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: shoshinkan]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Quote:

but I just don't see the benefits of working a whole kata against several 'opponents' stepping in with a poor oi tsuki (thats programed to miss anyhow ).




This statement leads me to believe you don't understand at least what I am describing. Even when working classical bunkai the attacks are real in that if you miss with your technique you get hit, hard. That is what develops precision. The fact that if you are not precise and don't use proper technique you get clocked. I think the question is if such training develops transferable skills, right? Is the precision developed in such training able to be used in the chaos of a "real fight."

You can write all day long and develop exquisite writing skills, however, if you never stop to sharpen your pencil eventually your words won't come out and you will not be able to get your point across.

It reminds me of when I played football in college. When we had a poor practice or did not perform well in a game we would run "Perfect Play." In this drill we would basically run offensive plays against air. Similar to who kata are performed on air. And guess what. It really did help us develop precision when applied to the chaos of a football game. In addition we would run plays against blocking shields. Now, running plays against blocking shields does not mimick the same distance as against a real opponent nor does it develop the adjustments that must be made, but it does develop better technique. Once technique is perfected then it is easier to make adjustments. This is the same for kata, classical bunkai, and old style training. The thing is many combat oriented full contact practices be it karate or american football which have been around for more than a century develop similar ways to develop ability to perform with aggression and precision in a high stress situation.
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#365968 - 10/17/07 10:36 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: shoshinkan]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Jim,

The answer is always based on the experiences we've held. While I'm interested in what we can glean from the past, it's not so as to change what I've experienced and practice in the now.

I've trained with a wide range of highly skilled instructors in different arts. Each as skills the other doesn't posses (and often does not belive in either) and as a restult of their instructors training can do truly awesome things.

Their arts often very different, but the binding key is higher skill development. Most of the techniques I'm talking about are worthless to study until you develop both a high level of skill and more importantly a very high level of belief in your ability to make happen.

But I too have students who are unwilling to spend another 20 years to really learn another skill. They end up skilled, but not at the level of those who are willing to keep training and forget their own logic.

In the end as almost no one really uses these skills it may not be important.

My own rule is when stressed you're likely not able to respond at your highest skill levels, but the higher you train the more skill you ought to be able to use.

Let me give an example, the instructor I trained my aikido studies under regualarity had his senior students really attack full power and with no set pattern of attack. He would respond with his highest level of skill and as even he is less than perfect I've seen him clip them and ko them on the spot while still standing. Such was not his intention, but to really work at that level everyone pays a price, in this case his senior students. But as non-correct as such training is, his students also developed skills at a level that softer training could not take.

In most techniques you cannot use realistic attacks and not destroy your partner, unless you keep the response way down, and thae does resemble 'dance'. But it's not.

If you look at the patsai kata bunkai, it's not the realism of the attacks being shown, but its the skill of the person in the center which is being developed. It is a step beyond just doing the kata with skill.

A logical program has layers beyond that. Whether the individual program is logical no one can say from watching the video.

Training is only useless if you don't undestand its purpose and pursue it fully.

I don't believe there are any masters or any rank that means a durn.

What I do believe is there are indivduals who are willing to define their own limits and move to them, and then there are individuals who are willing to step beyond what appears personally logical and step beyond.

The key is of course working to find knowledgable instructors and then finding a way to pay the price, which is very high and takes long. It CANNOT be done at clinics and short time training. Skill development is very, very long term.

BTW, the purpose of karate is never to fight. I defy anyone who thinks otherwise. If used there should be no fight. If you're fighting you're not doing karate, IMVHO.


Edited by Victor Smith (10/17/07 10:39 PM)
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#365969 - 10/17/07 10:59 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: Victor Smith]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Quote:

BTW, the purpose of karate is never to fight. I defy anyone who thinks otherwise. If used there should be no fight. If you're fighting you're not doing karate, IMVHO.




Definitely Victor, when using karate there is only your opponent hitting the ground and not getting up.
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#365970 - 10/18/07 12:14 AM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: shoshinkan]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I agree with you. and I also don't see interpretations like the ones in the video as 'training tools'...much less seeing advanced ranks still working on them.

let's assume for a sec that, ok, they are training tools. training tools towards what? A higher level of stiff, rigid, impractical responses to impractical attacks?

let's assume these guys are just demonstrating and don't really train like that. demonstrating what? all the cool things you can do with choregraphed practice? doesn't really make a case when we see choregraphed fighting a million times better and more believable in movies.

either of the 3 ways of looking at it fail their task:
- as a training aid towards an 'ideal'.
- as practical responses.
- as choreographed art.

therefore, it must be, for lack of a better word...a crap bunkai method. not to mention what is it teaching the uke? to stiffly straight punch 6" away from target then hold it there? greeeeat.


for starters, early on in training I think in order to make any of those three ways I mentioned useful for anything other than playing pretend karate, there has to be the possibility of getting hit.

- working towards an ideal built out of riskless training, is an ideal without purpose other than working towards an ideal of esthetics only. (ie: training only towards a look and feel of a particular style).

- working towards practical responses via riskless training is in itself not practical. The subtlties learned with the threat of getting hit, naturally make the responses move towards efficiency of the practical.

- if training towards prefecting choreographed sequences for demonstration and/or visual art performace of some kind, it has to be beleivable. you can't get believability without the observer sensing the risk of hits landing.


so, 'bunkai'...whether a person chooses to work on it towards ideal, practicality or demonstration HAS to first introduce the element of risk. A person training shouldn't be thinking: "oh I have to do this correctly or I'll disappoint my sensei" or "I won't pass my test" etc.

not responding properly should get you an ouchie....or at least it should carry that risk.

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#365971 - 10/18/07 12:49 AM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Quote:

not responding properly should get you an ouchie....or at least it should carry that risk.




Ed, did you read my post earlier?
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#365972 - 10/18/07 04:39 AM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: medulanet]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
Hey Med,

Can you link us to what you consider to be good bunkai practice, done as you describe?

That would be a good start to understand what you are describing,
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www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#365973 - 10/18/07 07:02 AM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: shoshinkan]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
Im sure we have discussed this before -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrkUYBQz9iE

I think this is a much better model to work for Bunkai myself, ok I don't agree with all of the interpretation but it is more alive, dealing with more typical assaults and handling one situation at a time.

This kind of work I think does deliver what Med and Victor are talking about, well more so than my first 2 examples.
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Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#365974 - 10/18/07 09:07 AM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Ed,

Its interesting you’re seeing the attacks and making the determination that this style of training – specifically the Patsai Bunkai is worthless. On the other hand I’m seeing the person performing those ‘bunkai’ and am looking at a skilled performance that I could really work with, and I do believe that the training shows is a part of the reason.

For one thing while I understand how the concept of ‘bunkai’ came about and why it is bandied about so frequently I reject it has any meaning. Just a Japanese construct that hardly fits what I see training as doing.

It has use to a point, but IMO only as small step skill building drills.

I came from the days when nobody practiced ‘bunkai’ in any of the karate schools I trained in (Isshinryu, Shorin Ryu, Goju Ryu). On the other hand my Isshinryu instructors took the handful of free sparring techniques and turned out fighter after fighter that could bounce through any attack and really had no reason to seek out ‘bunkai’ from a practical standard. What they did and taught worked. Likewise the other schools I trained with mostly did the same.

When I did become exposed to bunkai through a Shotokan stylist, but unlike JKA, his use of bunkai had nothing to do with specific kata applications, but was really a kakushite device to train thousands of karate/siliat/aikido techniques that work.

My own model is using kata technique as my base, but the concept of bunkai that is bandied about is too restrictive, too limiting to look at application potential as I see it.

Having a long experience training many types of individual potentials I personally come down on the side of skill building drills as my various instructors use them, to first develop a high level of movement dynamics and then gradually pick up the level of the attacks that they are used against.

The problem with realistic attacks is many of the direct applications done against harder and faster attacks simply mean you bust up your partner when you apply the kata series against that attack. That is because in many cases the kata sequence cannot fail.

And then you make the choice, is busting up students worth realistic training.

No doubt there are many development models. In my experience we are mostly limited to what our instructors teach and if we come to not believe their model then the only choice is to leave and perhaps find a better one or discontinue training if not.

I just often see things based on the experiences and training of very skilled people I’ve trained with. That and what I experience building my own students.

Pleasantly,
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#365975 - 10/18/07 01:33 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: shoshinkan]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Quote:

Hey Med,

Can you link us to what you consider to be good bunkai practice, done as you describe?

That would be a good start to understand what you are describing,




Actually I have never seen anything on the web that is the same as what I was taught to do and what I currently am working on. I have seen aspects of different things, however, nothing the same. I might call it Xtreme Matsubayashi based on the fact that it involves much heavier contact, body conditioning, limb destruction, and aggressive bunkai and kumite training. One of my teacher's Yondans used to talk about what he referred to as "Babies" in karate. He talked about how he met and trained with too many babies who did not understand the correlation between hard training/body conditioning and real karate. As far as our training of kata and kihon it is different because where I have seen many stop ours continues. Where many end with simply prearranged drills that is our launching platform for development of advanced skill. Our prearranged drills from yakusoku kumite, kata, and kihon and energized with more movement and free form that I have seen anywhere else. Even our arm training drills are done in the same manner. This movement and free form evolves into a better understanding of application.
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Dulaney Dojo

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#365976 - 10/18/07 01:35 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: shoshinkan]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Quote:

Im sure we have discussed this before -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrkUYBQz9iE

I think this is a much better model to work for Bunkai myself, ok I don't agree with all of the interpretation but it is more alive, dealing with more typical assaults and handling one situation at a time.

This kind of work I think does deliver what Med and Victor are talking about, well more so than my first 2 examples.




Actually, the video shown here I really don't like simply because the attacker's attacks are worthless.
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Dulaney Dojo

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