Five Thoughts on the Exploration of Kata Bunkai

Gilbert's Isshin-ryu Karate School

Five things to look for when exploring kata bunkai …

When exploring kata bunkai, I have several thoughts/steps/criteria that I take each kata technique through when exploring bunkai for that technique. For me to consider something a good technique, at least in my mind, the application in question must meet certain criteria.

And certainly, as with any rule, there can sometimes be exceptions. For instance, while Isshin-ryu Karate is essentially aggressive counter-striking, there may be a situation where you must strike first. If so, strike hard and strike fast.

But generally speaking, in karate we are defending ourselves from an attacker … meaning the attack is already underway. In the street, I am not really concerned about winning. I am much more concerned with not losing.

No first strike in karate (Karate ni sente nashi)

People like to argue about the meaning of this phrase, but I do take it…

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