Here's a quick application from Passai that I recorded a while ago.
Apart from the obvious sequence covered I think it's important to recognise the "lessons" within that the application teaches - moving inside the effective range, controlling the opponents head, seizing vulnerable and potentially fight ending targets, regaining lost initiative, joint attacks, takedowns and escape.
Lots of useful strategies and principles all within one short sequence
This Waza Wednesday looks at the sequence of tetsui-uke (hammerfist receiver), mae-geri (front kick), and three sasae-gedan-barai (supported low sweeps) near the end of Passai Sho and Bassai Dai. We demonstrate against a punch, but any time you make cross-body arm contact, you can apply this technique. Ideally, the initial limb destruction will end the fight. If it doesn't, the following shoulder lock can be employed.
The embusen rule is basically that a kata should "balance". Each step in one direction should be countered by a step in the opposite direction. If they did the design of the kata right, you should always end up exactly back at the point you started. The kiten. It's good for performance of kata because you can run through a load of them without really moving, and in a small space, with a group of people. The limit to steps in any direction in okinawan kata is usually 3, giving approximately a 3mx3m (3yard x 3yard) training space.
As we are lead to believe, they represent a finishing technique, expelling all of one's power at the point of impact/finishing. Q1: Why are they're generally only 2 Kiai points in most Kata (Wankan an exception in Shotokan) and with a majority of your Bunkai leaving the assailant somewhat 'disorientated'; Q2: why the need for them anyway?
This week's Waza Wednesday video gets back to serious material, and we take a look at the "stacked hands">gedan-barai>mawashi-tsuki sequence in Naihanchi Shodan. We show the technique against a push to the face, but it can really be used any time the opponent extends their arm.
In most cases, the line of embusen (direction of performance, or line of attack) of a kata is the same as the direction of movement. However you run into some cases where it's not so clear, and it seems to be where you get interesting applications. For example the end of pinan sandan.
Looking to crowd source some information here on Wankan, Matsukaze kata. From what I understand it is a very old kata with Tomarite roots and today seems to largely belong to Shito-ryu. The first thing that I noticed is that shotokan does a much different version than everyone else. I know that the two versions must have a branching off point somewhere in time since there is one common sequence near the end of each one. Do we know if this was a Funakoshi edit? If so, why did he make such major changes?
I'm just curious, it seems like a lot of people are moving to always having every bunkai envolve some kind of throw, grapple, or sweep.
While I think there are many valid such techniques in Karate Kata, hidden from the casual observer, I think people are overlooking that sometimes things are simple, such as a block and a punch, but not just any punch, a punch performed from the core, with proper rotation, trajectory, and momentum in order to end the scenario. This can also be for all of our strikes and kicks.