I noticed that on the Wikipedia page for "Karate" there's a line that states: "Bunkai is a useful tool to understand a kata". A rather seemingly inocuous line yet it leads me to a deeper question which has probably been discussed here before: (1) What came first - Kata or Bunkai?
I get the impression that many Karate Ka believe that the Kata sprang forth from nothingness(or from the mind of a Master) and the purpose of Bunkai is used to understand the Kata, whereas, as I believe, the physical combative scenario (tactic) was derived from two person practice (or reality experience) and the Kata sequence was established to record the practice.
This leads me onto other questions.
(2) If the situation (application, bunkai) came first the what is wrong with creating contemporary Kata (instead of videoing the two person drill)?
(3) Has the creation of modern Kata been superceded by digital technology?
(4) Is it worthwhile creating contemporary Kata when the "elder" kata suffice?
As an example here are Jamie Grey & Colin Steel who have created a Kata from a Two Person Drill.
I welcome any thoughts.