Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Kata then bunkai backwards

Somehow a while back Charles James' excellent Isshinryu Karate blog fell off my blog list.  I recently discovered and corrected that and Charles has realy been knocking the ball out of the park with most every post lately.  I highly recommend you follow that blog!
One thing that he has written about in the last couple of posts is kata and bunkai, and what I personally took away from these recent posts is that kata-then-bunkai is, in a lot of ways, a backwards way of thinking about learning.
He talks about practicing goshinjutsu (self-defense applications) with a live partner first, getting the hang of the skills, then stepping away from the partner and seeing how the old dead guys managed to encode those goshinjutsu skills into the kata.
Of course that's the right way to do it.  That's probably much better than learning a precise but abstract kata first then attempting to layer some practical meaning on top of it.  Why haven't I thought of that all these years?

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