“Bunkai is the imagination in motion” Peter Lindsay

My obsession lately is with Bunkai, and the breaking down of Kata and examining its limitless number of possible applications. Quite simply, the more I know, the more I realize I don’t know. I study the videos of Iian Abernethy and Didier Lupo and I am enthralled. They take what looks to be a simple technique ‘out of the box’ and give it combat application – a new life.

Take for instJion 22-25ance the series of moves in JION pictured here. Defense against a Bo staff? Defense and palm-heel strikes while barreling into an opponent? A block, arm grab, arm break and a throw as pictured below?


In my humble opinion the answer is Yes: all of the above.

The study of Kata is a whole new world of Karate.

I have two criteria when looking at and applying an application to a move (or moves) in Kata: it has to be simple, it has to work. Face it, tying to apply some fancy move in a competition or a street confrontation will probably get your arse kicked.

I tend to stick with the fighting advice of Sensei Bruce Lee. ‘Avoid it, but if you can’t, get it done!!”