Finally! I was able to meet with an old friend and he helped me to record the interpretations for Gekisai dai ichi bunkai I have been working with.
I'm still not confident enough to post this at Kata Application, it's quite rough around the edges yet and the footage is not that great either. But please don't take this as an excuse to take it easy on me, I'm hoping you guys can help me spot things I can make better before presenting it to my sensei.
Lets just take some details out of the way and we can start discussing my interpretation of the kata, I promise this is the last time in this thread that I write a post this size :D
I couldn't have done any of this without Iain's original video for this kata (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hZ4iOHPuGU&t=5s), I will be using his opening throughout all my analyses, but I found different answers from him in almost all the sections. It was the key to understand all the sequences and It's my hope that I'm adding something interesting to the conversation and to this community.
I started this by trying to build a linear story from beginning to end, so it would be more relatable for everyone at the dojo, even if it ended up being a little forced. But despite my efforts, I couldn't find a connection between the sections and the most elegant solution was actually to interpret each part as a different suggestion regarding the same problem, an aggressive foe that grabs you by the collar and rushes for a punch with the free hand (lots of bar fight vibes here!).
In my view, it's a very didactic kata with low key violence, an interesting introduction to self protection and reaction when pressured to fight. Each section starts with the collar grab and ends when some sort of tactical superiority is achieved, be it enough space to flee, the opponent's immobilization or him being put out of action all together.
The big question is, how does one chooses between the four solutions? Is each section considering a different adversary's built? Different levels of aggression you may be inclined to use? If the adversary is moving forward, pulling or pushing?
I was not able to find a clear answer at this point.....
You will see it constantly takes the student safely and quickly to the outside and neutralizes the adversary free hand in one way or another. My friend (despite being taller and heavier than me) said it was quite difficult to try and attack me with his right hand even if he tried since he was always easily kept off balance and off angle. During our first tries, his natural reactions were precisely what the sequence expected for the following moves and even after many repetitions he said some of the moves was still catching him by surprise, specially the zuki on the first section. I take all this as sines I'm making the right questions and moving in the right direction.
You will also notice our movements are quite mechanical, besides having little time available to practice the sequences before recording, the sequences itself put a lot of strain in the elbow and shoulder, and after a few tries it was already hard to keep with the nice looking flows for the camera.
I will post one section per week so we have time and opportunity to discuss each one individually, but I'm letting the second section (the one with the mae geri) to the end. It's the only one I'm still not happy with my solution and it's also the most complex.