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.