Article2
  About KATA Bunkai  型分解について

Josep Claramonte
When trying to find out the right bunkai for our kata we should ask ourselves first if the kata we are performing is the right one.

The kata were created as a compilation of the fighting techiniques of a Master. Every movement had a meaning and the Masters reflected fighting techniques within the kata. Then, the students learnt one or more kata and developed their own Karate.

Some of the old the Masters changed kata to suit their needs. Adaptation and evolution with the new times can be good. Refinement and improvement are always welcome. But sometimes the kata have been altered without any practical reason at all. Nowadays we have several kata in different styles that have forgotten their practical aplication.Some kata have lost of their original meaning in favour of a more beautiful and appealing presence. Modern competition doesn't look for real aplications.

An example of a change can be found in several Shotokan kata, where the Yoko Geri Jodan can not be found in the old style Shorin Ryu kata.
It is great to have the flexibility and the ability to kick the head of an enemy, and this must be trained in the dojo to be mastered, but this can let you in a dangerous situation in a fight because the center of gravity is compromised, the groin exposed and the balance reduced.
The old kata never have this technique. The modern jodan kicks are almost always a Mae Geri Chudan or even a Kinteki Geri. These techniques are difficult to stop, fast, powerful and have the potential to end a fight.

When practicing bunkai one should have a look to the old versions of the kata, if available. Some movements can be the same and others can be just slightly changed. Find what worked back in the day because it will probably work today.

BACK