Bunkai (分解), literally meaning "analysis" or "disassembly", "is a term used in Japanese martial arts referring to process of analysing kata and extracting fighting techniques from the movements of a 'form' ( kata ). The extracted fighting techniques are called Oyo."
Bunkai is usually performed with a partner or a group of partners which execute predefined attacks, and the student performing the kata responds with defenses, counterattacks, or other actions, based on a part of the kata. This allows the student in the middle to understand what the movements in kata are meant to accomplish. It also illustrates how to improve the technique by adjusting distances (Maai), timing, rhythm (Ritsudo) and fluidity (Nagare) in combat properly, in order to adapt and adjust any technique depending on the size of an opponent.[ citation needed ]
Some kata have another layer of application that is taught using an Oyo Bunkai, an "application of the kata in ways other than the standard bunkai."Different practitioners will learn or discover alternative applications, but the bunkai, like the kata, varies based on the style and the teacher.
A single kata posture or movement may be broken into anywhere from a few to a few dozen applications, and the same sequence of kata moves may sometimes be interpreted in different ways resulting in several bunkai. Students are encouraged to consider each movement and technique in a kata in response to multiple possible attacks, for example: use of a particular movement against a kick, against a punch, against various forms of grappling. Through analysis of the move and practice in variant scenarios, the student will unlock new techniques and expand their understanding of known ones. Some martial arts require students to perform bunkai for promotion.[ citation needed ]
Bunkai can be obvious or elusive depending on the technique in question, the moves preceding and following it, and the individual practitioner. There are usually many stages of depth of comprehension of bunkai only reached through the passage of time. The terms toridai and himitsu are used to refer to techniques not readily seen to the casual observer and hidden techniques within kata.[ citation needed ] For example, in Gōjū-ryū karate, two-man kata training is used to reinforce bunkai and correct technique. If techniques in the kata are not performed correctly they will not be effective in two man training.
There are sets of rules which can be used to aid the correct analysis of kata for meaningful applications. Historically these were reputed to have been kept secret to prevent those without the rules from deciphering the meaning of the kata. The rule set used by Gōjū-ryū masters was known as Kaisai no genri.Similar but expanded and clarified rule sets have become available which are generally applicable to other styles of karate kata.
It has been claimed by martial arts historian Nathan Johnson that the few original antique kata found in karate were actually intended for weapons combat or (in one example) for grappling, as opposed to ballistic strikes.
Karate (空手) is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom. It developed from the indigenous Ryukyuan martial arts under the influence of Kung Fu, particularly Fujian White Crane. Karate is now predominantly a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open-hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands and palm-heel strikes. Historically, and in some modern styles, grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints and vital-point strikes are also taught. A karate practitioner is called a karateka (空手家).
Shotokan is a style of karate, developed from various martial arts by Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1957) and his son Gigo (Yoshitaka) Funakoshi (1906–1945). Gichin Funakoshi was born in Okinawa and is widely credited with popularizing "karate do" through a series of public demonstrations, and by promoting the development of university karate clubs, including those at Keio, Waseda, Hitotsubashi (Shodai), Takushoku, Chuo, Gakushuin, and Hosei.
Gōjū-ryū (剛柔流), Japanese for "hard-soft style", is one of the main traditional Okinawan styles of karate, featuring a combination of hard and soft techniques. Both principles, hard and soft, come from the famous martial arts book used by Okinawan masters during the 19th and 20th centuries, the Bubishi. Gō, which means hard, refers to closed hand techniques or straight linear attacks; jū, which means soft, refers to open hand techniques and circular movements. Gōjū-ryū incorporates both circular and linear movements into its curriculum, combining hard striking attacks such as kicks and close hand punches with softer open hand circular techniques for attacking, blocking, and controlling the opponent, including joint locks, grappling, takedowns, and throws.
Kyokushin (極真) is a style of stand-up fighting and was founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese Masutatsu Oyama. "Kyokushin" is Japanese for "the ultimate truth". It is rooted in a philosophy of self-improvement, discipline and hard training. Its full contact style has international appeal.
Shorei Ryu is a style of Okinawan karate and is one of the two oldest Karate styles, alongside Shōrin-ryū. It was developed at the end of the 19th century by Higaonna Kanryō in Naha, Okinawa.
Gojūshiho is a kata practiced in karate. Gojushiho was developed by Sokon Matsumura, one of the key founders of Okinawan martial arts and named it "Uesheishi", which literally means 54 methods in Chinese. In some styles of karate, there are two versions of this kata - Gojūshiho Shō and Gojūshiho Dai. An advantage of the two versions of the kata is to better master the difficult techniques presented therein, but not without facing some confusion, for many sequences are the same and others only slightly different. The embusen of both Gojūshiho Shō and Gojūshiho Dai are nearly identical. Gojūshiho Shō begins straight off with a wide variety of advanced techniques and, as such, is highly recommended for study. Gojūshiho Dai consists of many advanced open-handed techniques and attacks to the collar-bone.
Unsu (雲手), literally "cloud hands", is the most advanced kata found in the Shotokan, Shito-Ryu and karate styles and is generally taught to karateka at the 3rd to 4th Dan. It contains many intricate hand techniques, such as the ippon-nukite in the opening sequence. Unsu also contains a 360-degree spinning double-kick with a double-leg take down at the same time, landing on the floor face-down before continuing. Because of this, it is a very common kata in tournaments and seen as method of testing the competitors knowledge, spirit and skill.
Gosoku-ryū (剛速流) is a style of karate which was founded by Takayuki Kubota. Gosoku stands for hard and fast, which suggests a combination of techniques both from the fast and dynamic Shōtōkan style as well as from the strength-focused Gōjū-ryū style.
Kūshankū also called Kūsankū (クーサンクー) or Kankū-dai (観空大), is an open hand karate kata that is studied by many practitioners of Okinawan Karate, specifically styles related to Shuri-te. In many styles, such as Shotokan, there are two versions of the kata: Kūsankū-shō and Kūsankū-dai. The name Kūsankū or Kōsōkun (公相君) is used in Okinawan systems of karate, and refers to Kūsankū, a Chinese diplomat from Fukien who traveled to Okinawa in the 1700s. In Japanese systems of karate, the kata has been known as Kankū ever since it was renamed in the 1930s by Funakoshi Gichin. This kata is also practiced in Tang Soo Do as Kong Sang Koon (공상군) in Korean according to the hangul rendering of the hanja 公相君. Most schools of Tang Soo Do only practice the "Dai" version a handful do practice both the latter and "Sho" versions.
The karate kata Seisan (十三) literally means '13'. Some people refer to the kata as '13 Hands', '13 Fists', '13 Techniques', '13 Steps' or even '13 killing positions'. However, these names have no historical basis.
Kenwa Mabuni was one of the first karateka to teach karate in mainland Japan and is credited as developing the style known as Shitō-ryū. Originally, he chose the name Hanko-ryu, literally "half-hard style", to imply that the style used both hard and soft techniques. Finally, Mabuni chose Shito-ryu, the first characters of the names Itosu and Higaonna, his two primary teachers.
Naihanchi (ナイハンチ) is a karate Kata, performed in straddle stance. It translates to 'internal divided conflict'. The form makes use of in-fighting techniques and grappling. In Shorin-Ryu and Matsubayashi-ryū Naihanchi Shodan is the first Ni Kyu although it is taught to Yon Kyu occasionally before Evaluations for the Ni Kyu rank. It is also the first Shorin-ryu and Shindo jinen-ryu kata to start with a technique to the right instead of the left. There are three modern kata derived from this. Some researchers believe Nidan and Sandan were created by Anko Itosu, but others believe that it was originally one kata broken into three separate parts. he fact that only Naihanchi/Tekki Shodan has a formal opening suggests the kata was split.
Kata is a Japanese word describing detailed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in pairs. Karate kata are executed as a specified series of a variety of moves, with stepping and turning, while attempting to maintain perfect form. The kata is not intended as a literal depiction of a mock fight, but as a display of transition and flow from one posture and movement to another, teaching the student proper form and position, and encouraging them to visualise different scenarios for the use of each motion and technique. Karateka "read" a kata in order to explain the imagined events, a practice known as bunkai. There are various kata, each with many minor variations.
Shorin-ryu Seibukan, also known as Sukunaihayashi, is one of the many Okinawan Shorin-ryu styles of karate.
The Japan Karate Federation (JKF), a.k.a. Japan Karatedo Federation, is a national governing body of sport karate in Japan. The JKF is officially affiliated with the Japan Olympic Association (JOC), World Karate Federation (WKF), Japan Sports Association (JSA) and Japanese Budō Association (JBA). The styles recognized by the JKF are Wadō-ryū, Shotokan, Shito-ryu and Goju-ryu. The headquarters is located in Tokyo, Japan.
The table contains a comparison of karate styles. Some of the distinguishing features are listed, such as lineage, general form of stances, the balance of hard and soft techniques, and the number and names of kata forms.
Shinpan Gusukuma, also known as Shinpan Shiroma by the Japanese, was an Okinawan martial artist who studied Shōrin-ryū karate as a student of Ankō Itosu. Gusukuma also trained under Higaonna Kanryō in the Naha-te style. Gusukuma went on to establish Shitō-ryū with Kenwa Mabuni.
Arakaki Seishō was a prominent Okinawan martial arts master who influenced the development of several major karate styles. He was known by many other names, including Aragaki Tsuji Pechin Seisho.
Masaji Taira is a leading teacher of Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate Do, and head of the Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyu Kai. His teacher was Eiichi Miyazato, a student of Chojun Miyagi and the founder of the Okinawan Jundokan dojo. Taira's karate is that of his teacher and the Jundokan, with the addition of his novel approach to the application of the kata.
Kaisai no genri (解裁の原理) is a theory and set of rules of thumb which were used by Gōjū-ryū karate masters to extract the primary fighting applications (Oyo) encoded into karate kata by the creators. These rules were historically kept secret and passed on to the most senior students of a school only near the death of the head of the organisation. Without such a rule set describing how kata are constructed, the likelihood of deciphering the original combative meaning of the movements in the kata is very low.