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Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 06 May 2022
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2022 9:29 am    Post subject: Red flags for questionable bunkai/applications Reply with quote

This topic is mostly meant to help out the occasional newbie to karate that finds this forum. People with less than 2 years training. Fairly arbitrary but I feel past 2 years you’ve either already decided what you’re learning is questionable and left or you’re already committed fully to what you’ve been learning.

I’d say my biggest red flag is applications that not only involve grabbing a punch with your hand, but are almost solely predicated on you grabbing that punch with your hand.

The next one is complexity. How many counters are you being taught to do after a single strike, or how many movements are required for you to get from stopping a strike or take down from being successful, to whatever counter you’re being taught. If what you’re learning can’t be broken down into 4 maybe 5 simple easy steps, it’s probably too complex. For example an o Soto geri can be effectively taught in roughly 5 steps.

How much precision is needed for an application to be successful?
If you have to hit a very specific 1”x1” spot on someone’s arm or leg, or even torso or head for the application to be effective it’s probably not worth spending too much time trying to learn because that level of precision is only really realistic if someone is standing stilll, and if they’re standing still do you really need to be karateing them?
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Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 269
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2022 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This also relates to the concept of “chunks”. When you are learning something you can only handle so many chunks at a time. For a complete novice, a block is a chunk, a step is a chunk, a strike is a chunk. The more chunks you throw at a student, the harder it is for them to learn it.

Now as students learn the material, the amount of information in a chunk increases. In Urchi-Ryu, we have common sequences that show up in kata and yakusoku kumite drills over and over. For example, we have a sequence with a left wa-uke, right tettsui-uchi right wa-uke, left boshiken-uchi, left wa-uke, right nukite. When these are first presented to the student at green belt, they are presented as pairs. Block/strike. Pause. Block/strike. Pause. Block/strike. At brown belt and shodan they are chunked in pairs. At Nisan they are e presented as one sequence.

Likewise, as the student advances the sequences in the yakusoku kumite drills get more complicated. The first drill consists of single blocks and single strikes. The second drill starts with single block/counter combinations and moves to two attacks + counter. The third sequence has two, three, and four attack sequences followed by a counter. And our Dan kumite is performed as a flow drill of attacks and counters.

So in returning to tht original thread, yes the beginner material really needs to be beginner oriented. No more than a handful of chunks such that are he beginner can digest.
5th kyu Shuri-Ryu, 4th kyu Judo, shodan Uechi-Ryu
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15773
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2022 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bunkai applications need to have resistant training especially for the MA student with less than 2 years on the floor. Without the serious resistance training for the MA student, a deep embedded sense of false security sets in.

Even in ones entire MA journey beyond the initial 2 years on the floor, resistant training should be forever and a day. Learn the meat and potatoes of said Bunkai, then drown it with very serious resistance training because out on the streets might be way too late to find out that that which "worked" in the security of the MA school has failed tragically elsewhere.


**Proof is on the floor!!!
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