bunkai


Why Doesn’t Kata Look Like Fighting?

This question comes up, often, with new karateka, disillusioned karateka, and people who practice (or at least closely follow) combat sports, and they have a fair point–kata does not look much like what most people consider “fighting.” Really, it doesn’t even look like what most karateka consider fighting, which is competition-style kumite (sparring). Kata teach you to use strong, rooted […]

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Morote-uke (double receiver/"block")

The Parry-Pass Method – Karate’s Universal Defense

Uke-waza (receiving techniques), as has been discussed before, are much more than just blocks, but they often incorporate defensive methods in their movements. While karate has a wide array of methods for defense, the most universal is probably the “parry-pass” style of blocking. Essentially, this is a method of blocking where one hand parries the attack to the side, and passes […]


How to Bunkai

Bunkai (lit. “take apart, analyze”), in the context of karate, is the practice of breaking down kata and working on developing applications for their movements, but sometimes it can be hard for karateka to figure out how to apply kata movements on their own. This is compounded by the fact that many instructors still only teach basic “block-punch-kick” applications for […]

how-to-bunkai

Kojo Hideki demonstrating the fudou-gamae (immovable posture) of Kojo-Ryu

Kamae Bunkai – Static Postures or Active Techniques

Most traditional martial artists who practice styles from Japan or Okinawa will be familiar with the word “kamae,” which literally translates to “posture” or “pose,” in the context of martial arts. It is typically used to refer to either specific arrangements of the arms, or of the entire body, as a whole–not to be confused with “tachi,” or “stance,” which […]


Interview with Chris Denwood

Chris Denwood is a karateka, fitness expert, researcher, and the author of “Respecting the Old, Creating the New,” and “Naihanchi (Tekki): The Seed of Shuri Karate Vol. 1.” The latter is easily the most comprehensive book on Naihanchi Shodan fundamentals that I have ever read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who practices Naihanchi kata that can be traced back […]

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Ed Sumner working one of Chuck Merriman's footwork drills

Ed Sumner’s Review of the Ryukyu Martial Arts Friendship Gasshuku

The following review was submitted to me by Ed Sumner (Kyoshi, Nanadan, Goju-Ryu under the late Chinen Teruo Sensei). I have added photos, and done some minor grammatical editing. I had the opportunity to attend the Ryukyu Martial Arts Friendship Gasshuku this last weekend, hosted by Noah Legel at the Peaceful Warrior Dojo in Scottsdale, AZ.  Noah had attended our […]


Maryna Moroz and Gekisai

At UFC Saskatoon, undefeated Ukrainian prospect, Maryna Moroz, faced off against Canadian veteran, Valerie Letourneau. Although Moroz is not as well known as Letourneau, she was the favorite going into the fight, due to her snappy, aggressive fighting style and her recent upset of Muay Thai phenom, Joanne Calderwood. As it turned out, Letourneau was able to take the tough […]

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blog-opposing-forces

Opposing Forces

Karate kata contain many movements that travel in opposite directions. Although it is quite simple, this concept of opposing forces is one of the signature methods of Okinawan karate. It can be seen in kihon practice, as well as in advanced kata, because it is extremely versatile. In application, this concept can defend, attack, clear obstructions, dislocate joints, and increase […]