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  1. --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Bunkai-Jitsu Review

    Review of "Bunkai-Jutsu, The Practical Application of Karate Kata", by Iain Abernethy

    I just finished reading this book. It's pretty interesting so I decided to write a review. I looked on Bullshido, and while people mention his name, I didn't see a discussion of this book.

    First, my prejudices. My school uses both traditional forms and also separate self-defense techniques, standup fighting (kick boxing style) and ground fighting (basic BJJ-type stuff).

    This book describes a different approach to traditional katas. First, he discusses how the original Okinawan forms were watered down for use by school kids (I don't think people debate that). Then he describes real applications for the several example Japanese/Okinawan kata sequences. His points are that people didn't practice fighting by chambering their hands and doing block/punch combinations. It just doesn't make sense. His example applications are typically close range self-defense sequences.

    Continued here...
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  2. PO9 is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/02/2005 11:41am


     Style: Currently Inactive

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    To truly understand Traditional Okinawan kata you should study Southern CMA's.
    Who, for Pete’s sake! Is opposing science? In fact, we want MORE science by CRITICALLY ANALIZING the evidence-Connie Morris, Kansas State BOE (bolding and underlining part of original quote, red is my emphasis)


    As long as you try to treat your subjective experiences as if they were objective experiences, you will continue to be confounded by people who disagree with you.-some guy on an internet messageboard
  3. charmin is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/02/2005 12:48pm

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     Style: Judo

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    Kata is t3h suxxor, but from how you describe the book it doesn't sound too crappy as kata goes.

    Would I be right in thinking that Bunkai-jitsu is based on Shotokan kata?
  4. yasuri is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/02/2005 1:35pm

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     Style: Karate

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    Quote Originally Posted by charmin
    Kata is t3h suxxor, but from how you describe the book it doesn't sound too crappy as kata goes.

    Would I be right in thinking that Bunkai-jitsu is based on Shotokan kata?
    I was just googling and can't find the answer. He uses both the Shotokan and Okinanwan names together to reference katas. I'm not sure which his background is though. I thought he referenced some of the Okinawan-only forms but I can't find an example now.

    I found this interview with the author while searching so you can read his words...

    http://www.shotokankata.com/Articles...by%20Geoff.htm
  5. Wounded Ronin is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/02/2005 2:45pm

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    Did you submit this article in the articles section? If you do that it will always be on display there.
    “nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.” - Jack Thompson
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  6. Punisher is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/03/2005 12:38am

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    Nice review, very thorough.

    My take on the subject matter:

    The usefulness of kata, or lack there of, has often been debated here on the site. The MMA crowd scoffs at ineffective, unrealistic techniques done against no opponent and the traditionalists often counter by saying the Neanderthal cage fighters can't see behind the base movements the true applications that their master has so cleverly hidden. MMAers say katas don't teach you how to fight, TMAers say there's more to martial arts than just fighting.

    IMO "good" katas don't have hidden techniques or applications. Katas are learning tools, and to be effective the student needs to know what they are supposed to be learning. I agree with the author that each move should have an identifiable purpose, but I don't think the moves need to be selected based on fighting effectiveness. The moves in katas are selected for various reasons. A specific move may be selected to reinforce a particular principle/skill, on the basis that its athletically challenging, or even because it is aesthetically pleasing. Usually it is a combination of all three.

    The forms taught at my school have an identifiable purpose or "theme" within the movements. My school's fighting theory breaks up all of fighting into 5 distinct strategies, and the first form contains a section devoted to each of them. The movements of each section are selected on how well they show and teach those strategies, not because they are effective fighting combinations. For example the "Tiger" section allows the student to see and more importantly feel what it is like to move with an extreme focus on forward commitment and body alignment, far more than ever would really be practical. This gives the student a baseline that he can build off of. While the first form identifies and separates the strategies, the subsequent forms focus on integrating back together.

    I have a strong belief kata has a role in martial arts training, to what degree depends on what your purpose for training is. It's not the end all be all, far from it, but I think it's probably a little more useful than most people around here give it credit for.
  7. Seraf is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/03/2005 10:55am


     Style: Karate

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    Sounds interesting . . . Good review btw
  8. Blue Collar is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/03/2005 12:37pm


     Style: Liu Seong Kuntao, Baguazh

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    Nice review. Perhaps I'll pick up the book.
  9. Wounded Ronin is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/03/2005 3:04pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Punisher

    The forms taught at my school have an identifiable purpose or "theme" within the movements. My school's fighting theory breaks up all of fighting into 5 distinct strategies, and the first form contains a section devoted to each of them. The movements of each section are selected on how well they show and teach those strategies, not because they are effective fighting combinations. For example the "Tiger" section allows the student to see and more importantly feel what it is like to move with an extreme focus on forward commitment and body alignment, far more than ever would really be practical. This gives the student a baseline that he can build off of. While the first form identifies and separates the strategies, the subsequent forms focus on integrating back together.

    Damn, you should teach everyone kata. Because in the past whenever I've tried to learn kata it has never had that kind of theoretical groundwork behind it. It's always been a completely random and arbitrary slew of dance-like techniques which were always too long and too disjointed for me to successfully memorize.

    So, yeah, if you can actually make something reasonable and useful out of kata, I think you're already 1 in a million.
    “nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.” - Jack Thompson
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Th...%28attorney%29
  10. PO9 is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/03/2005 3:13pm


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    What style of karate were you trying to learn kata. As I hinted at earlier, the coser to its Cinese sources, the more clear the forms, at least IMO.
    Who, for Pete’s sake! Is opposing science? In fact, we want MORE science by CRITICALLY ANALIZING the evidence-Connie Morris, Kansas State BOE (bolding and underlining part of original quote, red is my emphasis)


    As long as you try to treat your subjective experiences as if they were objective experiences, you will continue to be confounded by people who disagree with you.-some guy on an internet messageboard
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