Bunkai, literally meaning “analysis” or “disassembly”, is a term used in Karate referring to the application of fighting techniques extracted from the moves of a “form” (kata).
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 may also illustrate how to improve technique by adjusting distances, time moves properly, and adapt a technique depending on the size of an opponent.
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.
Please click on the links below to see the katas and their applications.
- Heian Shodan
- Heian Nidan
- Heian Sandan
- Heian Yodan
- Heian Godan
- Naichanchi Shodan
- Bassai Dai