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#365957 - 10/17/07 03:49 AM Bunkai Methods....................?
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
I have watched a few Kata Bunkai demos recently,

Im trying to work out what benefit having a few people around you and performing the whole kata bunkai (against long distance 'karate' techniques?) brings to the karateka?

Heres a prime example of what im talking about -


I can certainly see the sport and karatedo perspective on all of this (and can admire that),

but does this kind of practice have anything to do with the reality of real life violence or indeed functional martial arts practice ?
Jim Neeter

#365958 - 10/17/07 05:32 AM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: shoshinkan]
Victor Smith Offline
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Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

The real life application is that this sort of 'bunkai' is a skill building exercise. Working on application precision and then increasing the speed of attacks, and then working on attacks with broken timing are to bulid to more precise technique execution.

Most of the classical applications are just that basic skill building exercises, moving into a pre-defined attack, moving into a space to execute a technique.

IMO without very precise skill building traditions you just end up with sloppy karate or most of the MMA I've seen.

I don't use the aproach seen but some of my instructors use it.

It should just be an intermediate application study and there are many other layers beyond that as I see it, but I can most definately see value in it.

That it may be used for sport or public demonstration fine. If it misleads others that this is all you have, even better.

Why would any intelligent MA really want to show and have youtube videos of what you can really do or where you would really go.

I find the Patsai Bunkai video refreshing because the performer is most sincerly showing skill in his execution.

Thanks for sharing that.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#365959 - 10/17/07 08:00 AM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: Victor Smith]
strangepair03 Offline

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 5
Loc: U.S.A.
The Naihanchi bunkai was.......Interesting.
Practise does not make perfect, perfect practise makes perfect.

#365960 - 10/17/07 09:47 AM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: strangepair03]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
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Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
The Naihanchi bunkai was...retarded in it's defense but not so bad in it's offense IMO.
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon:,

#365961 - 10/17/07 12:26 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: shoshinkan]
hedkikr Offline
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Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
(can't access YouTube from my work computer so I'll view it later, but...)

After years of exposure to "traditional" interpretations & w/ far more years of actual SD situations under my belt, I came to the conclusion several years ago that an attacker isn't going to attack w/ an Oitsuki (step-in punch) & hold his punching arm still while you go all "BruceLee" on him.

I started looking @ kata from a real-life perspective & began to see the practical (although not fancy) techniques based on the proper body mechanics. A few years later, I happened to read McCarthy's HAPV (Habitual Acts of Physical Violence) Theory. It dove-tailed w/ the way viewed kata & established the way I practice & study kata.

#365962 - 10/17/07 12:56 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: shoshinkan]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
As far as the Matsubayashi Ryu Passai bunkai Victor is right, it is a skill building exercise. Matsubayashi Ryu's more advanced levels of skill are based on precision and this is what it is building, not only in waza, but stance work and distancing as well. Not to say that the fighting application is executed at the distance shown, but the ability to control distance through footwork and disect your opponent through handwork. This is not sport application but one method of training. As the speed is increased and the opponent attacks are varied the bunkai oyo becomes apparent. You begin to learn how an opponent who attacks with intent begins to "fit" into your techniques. This is also where the grappling aspects become apparent and begin to make sense. As an attack becomes more aggressive the range becomes closer. If you have developed a high level of technique execution and understand the "karate wrestling" contained in shorin ryu training the steps and turns drop the opponents that the apparent waza didn't. The the follow up techniques are applied to grounded opponents.

As far as the second video that is simply bad training due to the fact that at no time does pretending to be hurt and fall out make for effective fight training.
Dulaney Dojo

#365963 - 10/17/07 03:46 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: medulanet]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
I hear what your saying guys but im not convinced this is the case,

I feel it's more likely something brought about to demonstrate how clever we are,

more than a sensible approach to real life application.

It simply doesn't make sense to me, and doesn't fit the older karate model (which im finding more and more about all the time).
Jim Neeter

#365964 - 10/17/07 04:11 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: shoshinkan]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

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

The question of course is which old karate model are you talking about? Even if this is a recent development I can see the logic, its much more useful than just for demonstrations.

My friend Tristan Sutrisno used similar exercises (but not the same) and this really isn't different from the Chinese systems using two person drills which an be ultra extensive.
In that sense this might be based on far older traditions.

But of course there are many older traditions. Some Isshinryu traditions use similar methods.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#365965 - 10/17/07 04:15 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: shoshinkan]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884


and doesn't fit the older karate model

How so? Do you mean primarily the range at which it takes place?

#365966 - 10/17/07 04:29 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: Victor Smith]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
re which karate model im using, of course Victor you are right - there are many, dependent on time and lineage, even to different masters reasons to train.

So my awnser is one that is unfolding Victor................

Im particulary thinking of the karate model that doesn't involve working in an extremly unrealistic manner, with poor Bunkai that simply doesn't make any real sense.

Sure it is a 2 man drill to a point, but it is not taking into account effective combinations, angling, delivery distance, actual natural response or set up etc etc.

Im all for literal Bunkai as a literal study and skill development tool, im all for 2 man 'fixed' work, I use these methods in my dojo.

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 ).

Lets Chew the fat on this one, I may come around to seeing where you are coming from. But proberly won't..............
Jim Neeter

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