Index of Training Resources

New Student Information
    How to truly train Karate & Understand it
Dojo Rules & Guidelines

KATA References
    Kihon Kata
Fukyu Kata
Naihanchi Kata
Pinan Kata
Passai Sho & Dai Kata
Kusanku Sho & Dai Kata
Chinto Kata
Gojushiho Kata
Shugoro no Kata Gorin
About Bunkai

History of Shorin Ryu ShorinKan Karate

Karate Terminology

Kihon Waza - Technical Study

Belt Rank Curriculum Sheets

Event Calendar Bryan Dojo

Event Calendar Auburn Dojo

BUNKAI - The Soul of Kata

Within every Kata we study there are applications. Some are apparent while others require several years of dedicated training to understand. The method for drawing applications for self defense out of Kata is termed Bunkai. The term Bunkai translates to analysis or dissembly. We are very fortunate in our dojo because Franz Shihan has been to Okinawa and is a 2nd generation black belt in the Shorin Ryu Shorinkan under his own Sensei. This means that we will be privilege to learn a deeper understanding of Bunkai than most schools.

The concept of Bunkai does have rules to its development. One cannot simply make something up if it doesn't follow along the original aspects of the Kata. That being said there are things hidden in the Kata that are not readily apparent to the untrained eye. For example the stepping across movement in Naihanchi Kata can become a stomp, a sweep or even a kick when Bunkai for that Kata is being examined. There are three types of Bunkai as well. Each one is defined by the methods being used to analyze the Kata for fighting.

How to study Bunkai.
   1. Chose the Kata you wish to analyze
   2. Pick a sequence of techniques / movements from the Kata
   3. Analyze the movements you have chosen (make sure you know them correctly)
   4. Apply the techniques in a self defense scenario with an attacker

Sounds simple but it seems to become the hardest part for newer students, or even black belts who had poor training in systems that failed to pass on this knowledge.

The three types of Bunkai - Omote, Ura and Honto
   Omote - What you see is what you get. This is what is apparent on the surface of the techniques/kata being analyzed.
   Ura - This what is hidden, or the meaning "behind" the movements being analyzed
   Honto - This is the real, or truthful, meaning behind the techniques in the Kata

Omote is the beginning stages where a block in a Kata is used as a block when studying Bunkai. It is very simple and what you see is what you will be doing. Ura is where you begin to see things that are hidden in the plain sight...but still hidden. It is developed under careful watch and with the help of your Sensei.

Honto is the special ability to translate Kata / Bunkai into real world applications. This level takes many years of dedicated study and experience so your mind can see a sequence and translate it into a method that would work in a real fight. While this method is highly subjective and up to your own personal translations it does require guiding from your Sensei so you don't look outside of the box so to speak. Many people change a Kata to work for their ideas but that is not Bunkai.

Decent Example of Bunkai - Traditional Kata


There is also what Franz Shihan terms as a fourth method to Bunkai. Sensei calls this "competition Bunkai". Over the past few years we have seen a lot of Bunkai performances on Youtube. This is from the popularity of team, or synchronized Kata and developed with the Olympics in mind. The performances are choreographed much like movie fight scenes are (Sorry the stuff you see in movies is not real, hate to burst that bubble for you LOL). Competitive Bunkai is awesome to watch and we do delve into some it in our dojo but our primary focus is on applicable Bunkai for real fighting.

It has been said that Kata is the encyclopedia to your training. If that is the case then Bunkai is entire library to your training. Bunkai will not come easy to many, as it shouldn't. Not everyone is born to be a fighter but anyone can learn to be one with enough training under a good teacher in a good, traditional Karate dojo.

Competitive Bunkai Example