Friday, September 11, 2015

Bunkai Wizards

Two gi clad men face each other. One punches and the other unleashes a torrent of locks and strikes ending with a throw performed with a flourish.

I see it all the time on YouTube channels. Someone else coming out with their own interpretation of kata. There's nothing wrong with this. I love that people are thinking more about kata, but the applications still have to be good.

I call these people bunkai wizards. I call them this because they seem to pull techniques from thin air without regards to structure, physics or an uncooperative opponent. All while disregarding each kata's individual combat strategies. It always looks good in the video because the other person must stand still after the first jab and wait for the person demonstrating to rain down holy hell on them.

If the technique works than the person being demonstrated on shouldn't have to hold still. They should be actively trying to make the technique fail. If the technique still works than it's a good technique. Think of a simple punch. Does an opponent need to be ignorant of what a punch is for you to crack his head open? No, they just need to be open. It's even okay if they know you're going to punch as long as they can't stop you from connecting.

The applications I see usually have too many steps, have points of failure and rely on specific responses from the opponent. As a general rule one should strive to put a person down in three movements. Not three techniques, three movements. The best case scenario is not having to take action at all, but a close runner up is just one movement.

Every movement/ technique should end a conflict immediately if done correctly. This includes escape.