What is Bunkai?
What is Bunkai, Bunkai is a type of two man Kata that is supposed to be performed in a realistic and combative of way, it is the way that Karate is meant to teach what does and what does not work in real combat according to Wikipedia
The rule set is broken down in to three basic rules and nine advanced rules. What
“Shuyo san gensoko – Three basic rules
- Don’t be deceived by the shape of the kata.
- The kata embusen is designed to allow the kata to be performed within a small space. The shape of the embusen has no bearing on the meaning of the techniques in the kata.
- Techniques executed while advancing are offensive. Those executed while retreating are defensive.
- There is only one opponent and he is in front of you.
- Turning to face a new direction while performing the kata does not mean you are turning to face a new opponent.
Hosoku joko – Advanced rules
- Every movement in kata is significant and is to be used in application.
- There are no “salutation”, religious or empty movements in kata. All movements in the kata have meaning.
- A closed pulling hand returning to chamber usually has some part of the opponent in it.
- When pulling a hand to the chamber position, particularly if it is closed, it should be considered to have some part of the opponent in its grip. e.g. an arm, wrist or even head.
- Utilize the shortest distance to your opponent.
- The kata will typically attack the opponent with the closest part of your body.
- If you control an opponent’s head you control the opponent.
- Kata techniques often target (vital or weak points of the body), many of the most important of these are in the head. e.g. eyes or throat.
- There are no blocks.
- Uke are not blocks, they are “defences”, however in kata they may not even represent defences, but simply be the movements of the limbs required to execute a more complex technique like a throw.
- Angles in kata are very important.
- The angle to which you turn represents the angle which you must take relative to the opponent for the technique to work. It does not represent turning to face a new opponent.
- Touching your own body in kata indicates that you are touching part of your opponent.
- In the absence of a partner to practice with, where the kata touches your own body, you would be touching or holding part of the opponent’s body.
- Don’t attack hard parts of your opponent with hard parts of your body.
- The kata typically strikes hard parts of the opponent with soft parts of your body and soft parts with hard parts of your body.
- There are no pauses in the application. The rhythm of the performance of kata has no bearing on the performance of the techniques extracted from it.”
The link between Karate and Kung Fu
- The rhythm of the performance of kata has no bearing on the performance of the techniques extracted from it.”
- The video below gives examples of strikes and counters that are meant to represent how combat would be this is Karate do, the way of doing without doing, it gives us a frame to work within, many styles of martial arts use this type of kata first application second, this approach can be seen in many Chines martial arts, from internal styles like Tai Chi, Bagua Hsin yi to external or hard styles like the styles made famous by Shaolin monks, in fact the relationship between styles of Karate and Kung Fu can be seen in arts such as Goja Ryu from Okinawa ab nd white Crane from southern China the arts look quite similar as can be seen in video below
The video below shows the application of the Kata in the Karate style of Wado Ryu the art is based around the old style of Jujitsu so the movements are meant to soft and flowing ,with the empahsis on evasion rather than directly stopping an attack before the attack reaches it’s intended target, this is the theory of Wado Ryu but how does it stack up in actual combat? The second viodeo shows the Bunkai from Okinawan Karate along with samples of the applications in MMA tournaments, the video says Okinawan Karate – The original MMA.
All martial arts including the martial arts of China, soft or hard can be used to identify moves that are seen in MMA, because as the video says we are ALL human and Kata is a way to remember what you should do if you are in combat. Original Kata was formed from fighting and then handed down from master to student, but how do we know how much of the fighting methods that were used then are still used today, we have no way of knowing what will work and what will not work so is modern Kata the wrong way round? Would it make more sense to create new Kata after you have had fights so that the Kata is fresh and relevent to what you know from your own personal experience, and would it make less or more sense to to go to a martial arts club and wear protective clothing and try to fight first and then create original personal Kata for your own use? In other words instead of the instructors telling you what he has been handed down and told worked in the past. It would be better for the instructor to correct your real mistakes when in a real battle than it would for beginners to blindly follow what the instructor says or THINKS will work? The old way of creating Kata must have been this way round in the past or they would have no clue as to the potential in Kata.
The best of Wado Ryu
Okinawan Karate- The Original MMA?
All modern non contact martial arts are just theory but saying that, even something worked one day on one person doesn’t mean thtat the same technique will work on another day against another person. Even today in modern MMA there are noe certain ways of winning, the Gracies had a good run with many in the family with unbeaten records until what they used to win was either used against them or what they got used to winning with was counteracted by good defence or good attack, so even when you think you have got a winning formula you can be wrong. Below is an example of a fight that took place between one of the best BJJ martial artist from the Gracie family, his name is Royler Gracie and he is on of the top BJJ stylists from the Gracie family, but in the video below there is proof that no matter what STYLE you use you can still be beat. There is no shame in that and good lessons can be learned from winning and from losing.
Genki Sudo V Royler Gracie