Kata Application

This forum is dedicated to an exchange of ideas relating to the practical application of Okinawan and Japanese kata. Increase
your understanding of kata whilst helping others to do the same.

Jordan Giarratano's picture

Heian Nidan Applications for MT and Self-Def

My senior student / business partner and I are attending one of Iain's seminars in two weeks, so it seemed like a good time to stop lurking and start participating. My background is in Tang Soo Do and Muay Thai, I'd never done kata with a thought to application (we focused more on sparring, just did the kata for tests). When I opened my own dojo I started exploring the roots of karate. After discovering Iain's videos and essays on the Pinan series, I went on a deep dive and ended up totally changing my curriculum.

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Shpend Ibrahimi's picture

Hiki uke

When this 'block' is performed during training the 'inactive' hand is (sometimes) placed at the sternum and the neko ashi dachi is assumed at the end of the technique. Why?

Any thoughts?

All the best


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Krammy's picture

YAY! Interesting Kyokushin bunkai!

Hello all! It has been many years since I've posted something here. Anyways, I found a website in which bunkai for Kyokushin kata is explained. The website is by Howard Collins who appeared in the movie "Fighting Black Kings/Shijo Saikyo no Karate", a movie about the first Kyokushin world tournament. He used to represent the UK branch. Here is a link to the page containing the bunkai:


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Wastelander's picture

Pinan Sandan Elbow/Backfist Applications

Two weeks ago, we made a Waza Wednesday video looking at the enpi-uke (elbow receiver)/uraken-uchi (backfist strike) sequence in Pinan Sandan. This application uses the elbow as a strike and throw. We demonstrate it against punches, both from inside the attack and from outside of the attack, but as always, positioning, direction of movement, and points of contact are more important than the specific attack.

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Wastelander's picture

Pinan Shodan application and supplementary exercise

This week's Waza Wednesday video takes a look at an application for the first movement of Pinan Shodan, and a supplementary training method to go along with it.

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Andrzej J's picture

Is Sanchin No Kata an exception?

Hello All. One of the key things I've been learning from Iain's material is that every kata represents a complete fighting system, and that every technique in the kata is designed to incapacitate your opponent. I see how that works in almost every kata I know - been studying Iain's bunkai of the Pinan Series, Bassai, Tekki and Kanku Dai and trying to apply those principles to other katas - but I'm a bit stumped by one of my style's most essential katas: Sanchin.

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Dillon's picture

Heian nidan/Pinan shodan/Pinan sono ni

I was going through old files on my computer and found a couple short clips I filmed for a friend playing with some bunkai for this kata. Figured I'd throw them up here :) These were filmed without planning or rehearsal at the end of a long class, so please excuse the poor quality.


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Wastelander's picture

Pinan Yondan Opening Sequence

This week's Waza Wednesday video covers an application for the opening movement of Pinan Yondan, as well as two follow-up applications from the next sequence, which is the sasae-gedan-barai (supported low sweep), or gedan-juji-uke (low crossed receiver/block). The first application is a straight arm lock, which we demonstrate against a punch, but can be used any time the opponent extends their arm and you are on the inside.

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Mark B's picture

A selection of Seisan Bunkai Oyo

The various Seisan kata are my particular field of study, so here's a small selection of applications,  each emphasises the principle of ballistic techniques at extreme close quarters.

Application from Uechi Seisan

Seisan Bunkai

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Wastelander's picture

Nunchaku Disarming Technique

My Sensei often feels like kobudo kata don't get as much attention as karate kata when it comes to bunkai. Nunchaku, specifically, seems to be misunderstood quite often, so he wanted to share a disarming technique with them that comes from the kata, Tonaki no Nunchaku. I'm not really a "weapons guy," myself, but it seems to be a fairly rare kata. Even so, the technique works whether you know the kata or not. As with most kata applications, how the opponent attacks you isn't really that important.

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