When I study my kata looking for application (I like to work through the whole form) I am looking for the simplest, most effective way to deal with potential self defence situations. By working through the kata finding solutions to the most common and likely scenarios I may face.
One aspect I always give careful consideration to is my opponents energy, his motivation. Real violence is so quick, frantic and direct. I was guilty as anyone when it came to coming up with applications that were just too cute and clever for their own good. I'll give an example: Wanshu sequence -Gedan Barai, Age-zuki, Maegeri, etc.
I thought this is great against a single lapel grab , especially when I add the 90 degree turn. I tried it with compliance and it worked exactly like I imagined. I tried it with my opponent throwing light right hand punches. It worked Ok but not as well as the fist attempt. I asked my partner to put on a 16oz boxing glove on his right hand and go 100%. Guess what- the application failed, and it failed all subsequent tests. The punches were coming too hard and fast to enable my initial Gedan Barai and if I did get the technique going I couldn't break the lapel grab which was too close and too tight.
This made me wise up pretty quick. Now all my Bunkai is based on simplicity. Yes I clear limbs and practice deflect and trapping etc. but always to get back to the simplest option available. Studying the form as a whole gives me the different options available.
This simple Bunkai is not as pleasing on the eye or impressive to anyone watching but for the real stuff !! In my view it's the only way
Kris Wilder says it best:
"Simplicity , speed and power are favoured over complexity"
All the best