THE ANALYTICAL APPLICATIONS - BUNKAI OF THE KATA
The kata of the Okinawan School of Shorin-Ryu has many applications. When you consider the blocks to be actual blocks and not strikes, the application of the major movements are then primarely against offensive punches and kicks.
"Turn the blocks into strikes and a different set of attacks and counters emerge." So many viable possibilities for self defense continue to be discovered.
The Bunkai consists of grappling, trips, throws, pressure point strikes, various locks and escapes from holds and grabs. The techniques can be used against an opponet either unarmed or armed with a weapon as well.
Much has been said about the "true Applications" - the "real Bunkai". These analytical discussions may be of interest however in essence, most all applications are of value regardless of the source, age or origin.
IT IS OF EXTREME IMPORTANCE FOR THE PRACTIONEER TO REMAIN FOCUSED AND ALWAYS CONCENTRATE ON THE BUNKAI OR INTENDED MOVEMENTS IN PRACTICE WHICH WILL SERVE TO DEEPEN THE PRACTICAL STUDY OF THE KATA!
The kata has been handed down from one instructor to the next; Who knows how many times before it reaches you? This accounts for the changes that are bound to occur in teaching and learning the movements. Although these changes can be anticipated, it is entirely possible for the Bunkai to remain unchanged unless the original movements are exremely distorted. This is one of the functions of art.
Is there a right or wrong way? When teaching or imparting any knowledge of historical significance it is incumbent on the teacher to present this knowledge as accurately as possible.
Martial artists are encouraged to create, however the deliberate changing or altering of the movements or patterns of the kata without informing the student is not ethical or responsible; Even if these changes make the kata easier to understand, perform, or better fit the bunkai that has been uncovered. A personal interpretation of what the creator of the kata wanted to impart or conceal may or may not be correct. That karate masters of old hid deadly blows and pressure point strikes within the kata they created is something to be considered. Changing the kata to best accommodate these techniques however is bogus and speculative.
At the outset of what become known as "musical kata" in America during the mid 1970's, certain katas were altered and combined in order to influence and impress tournament judges with the hope of winning in competition.
It's far better and certainly more honest to create a new kata than to reconstruct one which someone else has produced. In particular an authentic kata which is part of an organized system should be left alone.
The five Ping-An Katas, which Okinawan Karate Master Yasutune Anko Itosu, began to formulate in 1901, have perhaps undergone the most changes through the years. These original Okinawan karate katas evolved to become the mainstay of many systems and styles of the martial arts. Although the techniques have been changed and in some instances all but obliterated, the patterns remain traceable to their source.
MARTIAL ARTS CENTER LINEAGE, OKINAWAN SHORIN-RYU KARATE DO
Soken "Bushi Matsumara (1797-1889)
Yasutune "Anko" Itousu (1831-1915)
Chosin Chibana (1885-1969)
Katsuya Miyahira 10th Dan (1918-
Seikichi Iha 10th Dan (1932-
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES:
Latino H. Gonzalez 8th Dan
Seigi Shiroma 8th Dan
Anselmo de los Santos 8th Dan
Donald S. Bitanga 6th Dan