Bunkai/Applications

Discussion in 'Karate' started by SuperFLY, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. SuperFLY

    SuperFLY Green Belt

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    Hi all,

    I'm fast approaching my black belt grading and have been thinking a lot about what kind of bunkai I'd like to do. I'd like to pull in some of my Aikido techniques which in certain circumstances will be quite easy to do.

    I've been looking at a lot of videos showing various ideas but I thought I'd pose the question to you guys and ask you what kinds of bunkai you do/expect and if you have any videos that would be useful to share.

    We started talking about it yesterday in class and in the next couple of weeks (my sensei is away for a week on his hols) he said we'll just get together and go through some ideas. I'm REALLY keen to be able to just use someone to get an idea of what I want to do.

    many thanks

    Dave
     
  2. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm a little confused as to me Bunkai is the use of the moves in kata for self defence. I don't understand what you mean by Bunkai as being separate from kata? Can you elaborate please? Are you doing a specific kata and want the Bunkai for it?
     
  3. SuperFLY

    SuperFLY Green Belt

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    I never said it was seperate from kata, not sure where you got that from.

    your definition of bunkai is the same as mine. using kata moves as self defence techniques.

    i was just wondering if anyone had any particular moves from any katas that they liked using and wanted to share.

    could be any kata, could be any kata in my grading so i have to be prepared for any eventuality. of course im going to have to think of something on the spot but im just curious of what kinds of things any of you guys have done in the past and how your implemented it.

    i.e. i've seen some adaptations turning into sweeps, throws and locks (which is the kind of thing id be favouring) rather than the simpler 'block and counter'

    as said, just interested to hear of anything a bit different anyone has introduced into their bunkai's
     
  4. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think the confusion comes from you saying you don't know what Bunkai to do, it sounds as if you do it separately from kata! If you asked what Bunkai you could do from specific katas I think you'd get some replies as we could suggest moves from them. If you look at Iain Abernethy's site you may well find more inspiration. You can't really make up moves and make them fit into a kata, they have to occur naturally rather than force them to fit.
    http://iainabernethy.co.uk/articles
     
  5. scottie

    scottie Green Belt

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    I agree.
    Also what art? Which Kata/katas (can kata have an s) so on and so forth. I would just say do what you do just don't change the Kata. If you would give us a list of a few Kata you want to show bunkai for sure we could help.
     
  6. Cayuga Karate

    Cayuga Karate Orange Belt

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    I don't mean to sound presumptious or obnoxious. But it would seem to me that you might want to refine your request not only to specific kata, but also specific movements. You mentioned testing for black belt. Perhaps there are specific kata you are testing on, or are interested in. And in those kata, there may be specific sequences you are interested in.

    It's easy to ask. Pick a video on you tube, most every kata is out there. Give a start and stop time, and ask if anyone wants to volunteer what they might have in mind for that specific sequence.

    Also, you might want to describe how bunkai is practiced in your school. If, for example, you are only concerned with an attacker charging with a lunge punch in a locked front stance, that would be helpful to know. If, on the other hand, your teacher wants you to consider defenses against different kinds of grabs, or grab/strikes, that also would be good to know.

    And it would be good to know if students in your school generally practice takedowns as part of applications. It is quite common for karateka to combine strikes with locks and takedowns in their approaches to bunkai. However, many schools don't practice takedowns.

    Cayuga Karate
     
  7. SuperFLY

    SuperFLY Green Belt

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    as per my sig Shotokan.

    the main restriction is i of course have to ensure all moves that are in a particular kata are carried out, but that i can add moves inbetween and i dont necessarily have to follow the direction either.

    i could sit here and name every kata (i have about 12 to choose from) but thats a bit silly so i'll name a couple and we'll go from there

    hein shodan (nice simple one to start)
    some of my favourites to consider
    hein godan
    bassai dai
    kanku dai

    would like to point out as well perhaps we've got our wires crossed a bit, again i never said anything about forcing moves in or changing the kata.

    an example. hein shodan.

    starts block to the left, step and punch, 180 degree turn, block, hammerfist, step and punch.
    that could be adapted to, block a chudan punch from the left, grab the arm, step in instead of actually punching go beside the head and grab the gi. then still holding the uke do the 180 turn and 'block' but instead of blocking you're effectively throwing your partner down, hammer fist to the head and step and punch to finish.

    now until i actually give that a go i dont know if it could work but thats the kind of thing im thinking of. not changing the kata but using the moves for a different purpose.. i.e. instead of the 2nd block it becomes a pull/throw?

    or even not turning, grab with the left, step and punch, grab and knee, then 'block' with the right pulling your partner down, then hammerfist and perhaps a kick/stomp and punch. same moves but instead of turning i've stayed facing and added a knee.

    or am i way off base here?

    link looks good, will give that a read :)

    cheers for any advice.
     
  8. scottie

    scottie Green Belt

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  9. SuperFLY

    SuperFLY Green Belt

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    sorry, missed your reply originally.

    i suppose it is too general a question for anyone to take the time to reply.

    this is the problem though. i will be asked to show applications for ANY hein kata. considering there are around 8 to choose from i need a broad range of ideas and suggestions to work with. i guess this is too vague a question to answer.

    i have been looking at hundreds of videos for inspiration and i managed to get my dad into the garden today so i could try out a few ideas. (when through hein shodan, nidan and sandan)

    my school does include takedowns, locks and throws, we dont do it 'that' often but we have done some during senf defence techniques, knife defences, etc.. and my sensei has repeatedly said my aikido knowledge will be very useful when doing applications so i am actively encouraged to include throws/wrist locks/etc.. into my application.

    luckily my main sparring partner is back this week so im going to spend the entire lesson with him trying out things and bouncing ideas off him. unfortunately a lot of the older students are on summer holidays here so the class has been basically a few kids the last few weeks and my main partner has been off ill for a month so i've had limited chance to try anything. i've had a good amount of 1 to 1 time with my sensei after class but thats been mainly kumite and kata fine tuning.


    i suppose what i should do is go through each one and any areas im having difficulty thinking of an application i'll then ask what you guys would do in that situation.

    one good example would be..

    hein sandan, the opening block sequence. originally im told this is basically a break but im finding it very difficult to start by blocking the arm and then initiating a break and the arm is on the 'wrong' side of mine. i came up with an idea of blocking an initial left hand strike with my left, then a right strike with my left again as i swap blocks and then the arm is in the right place to break. but its awkward so id very much like to look more at a bunkai for that.



    0:19 - 0.25 seconds.
     
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  10. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    well there have been modifications from the original Okinawan kata in the ones you do, but in the Okinawan traditional versions of those there are at least 4 to 5 + techniques for every move in the katas generally. Some are tuite ( joint locks and pressure point applications,) other are throws, some from tuite, others not. But there should be no problem doing any number of things from much of the kata's listed.
     
  11. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Would I be right in thinking that you haven't actually done the Bunkai for each kata as you learned the kata? It wouldn't be a problem to think of Bunkai if you had been training it from white belt, if you are having to think of applications for all the katas on the verge of taking your blackbelt I think you are going to have trouble.
    My students are required to find at least two applications for each movement form the very beginning of their training, I teach that Bunkai is an integral part of kata, indefinable from the katas themselves, that Bunkai is the whole point of kata in fact. We have take downs, locks and throws in our Bunkai as seen in the katas.
    I wish you luck but I think you should have been looking at Bunkai long, long before the eve of your black belt testing.
     
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  12. SuperFLY

    SuperFLY Green Belt

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    you're right Tez, i havent been shown any applications to my katas nor have i been asked to do it during any gradings up to this point. :S

    sounds like your method of incorporating it into the initial teaching of it is a very good idea. (will mention it at my next class, perhaps its something that we should incorporate into the assoc.'s teaching methods)

    not much i can do about it now other than knuckle down and drum it into myself. nothing like being thrown in the deep end :D
     
  13. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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  14. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    You have your work cut out for you! I thought everyone did it the way we did tbh. Bunkai is the whole point of kata, doing them without knowing the kata is just doing movements.
    I'm curious as to what the explanation for kata was if you don't do the Bunkai until your BB grading?
     
  15. seasoned

    seasoned MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Bunkai is always the hardest to see through the avenue of solo kata. This is why it is always accompanied by two person drills. The prerequisite to good Bunkai is adherence to proper moves within the kata, and observing the slightest subtleties that are sometimes left out or misunderstood. I believe Tez3 has amply explained this.
     
  16. Cayuga Karate

    Cayuga Karate Orange Belt

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    First, what date do you anticipate testing?

    For what it's worth, I too have attempted to use martial arts forums such as MartialTalk as a medium for exchanging ideas on bunkai, and have found little success. I am a big proponent of sharing ideas in video, and might have some applications you might find useful. If your goal is to learn just Heian bunkai, any Heian bunkai, then I might be able to help.

    I suggest you review the following post and see if my initial technique for the opening of Heian Nidan is useful to you. It is a defense against a left jab-right cross combination, with both attacks jodan (to the head).

    In the video, I demonstrate a Shito ryu implementation where the third movement in each direction is in a different stance, but that is not important. You can perform your Shotokan opening with all three hand techniques in back stance and still do this technique.

    There is one key change you need to make to adapt the kata movements for this application. You have to shift your feet off the line of attack.

    Imagine you are in a ready position with both feet equidistant from the attacker. He is at 12:00 in front of you, and your feet are on a 3:00 to 9:00 line. In the kata you practice, your right heel stays put and your feet stay on on the 3:00 to 9:00 line, as you turn to the left.

    In this application, you have to move differently to get off the line of attack, outside his attack. Imagine a line extending to 1:30 (45 degrees) from your right foot. Travel across that line no more than 2 feet. 18 inches is typically ideal. Both feet move, and wind up on a new 3:00 to 9:00 line, but you now can be outside your opponent's left jab.

    To get there, you use body shifting. If you first pick up your right foot, just slightly, and then quickly snap your hips, it can drive you across the 45 degree line, just a short distance. Your right foot has to move along with your left foot.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/CayugaKarate#p/u/46/w8O4EUM5C7U

    Try it, see if it works with your partner, takedown included. If you have any questions, you can post them here. If you wanted to film yourself doing it and ask for advice, I would be happy to comment.

    If you find that the Heian Nidan opening works, try the Heian Yondan opening that I do at the end of the clip. If you find that either of these techniques is useful to you, I may have more that you might like. But first, please let me know whether either of these applications would be ones you would like to use for your test.

    Cayuga Karate
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  17. SuperFLY

    SuperFLY Green Belt

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    Thank you very much for that, I'll have a proper read and listen to the video tomorrow at work (well, what else am i going to do? :D)

    My black belt grading will most likely be march next year however, our chief instructor has just introduced an 'intermediate black belt' inbetween 1st and shodan which replaces my brown with red stripe with a black stripe.

    his reasoning is he believes a year is too long to go without a grading (something to aim for) and he wants to see improvements over what he sees here and in the shodan grading.

    part of this cut down grading includes 'Application to any Heian Kata of Sensei’s choice.' and i'll probably be taking that around october/december ish time. i dont have the dates yet. basically around 2/3 months time.

    i dont know if this includes applications to the whole kata or just half of it. the dvds our chief instructor has produced has some example bunkai but it only shows the first part of the katas, not the whole way through and they are very simple.

    and damn i've just realised im going to miss this weeks training as im away. :/

    anyway, thanks again, will have a proper read tomorrow.123
     

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