Bunkai means application. There
are two formal Bunkais in the Uechi Ryu system,
Kanshiwa and Seisan.
These Bunkais are performed with
a partner who applies offensive techniques while
you counter with techniques from the specific Kata,
Kanshiwa or Seisan.
The Bunkai breaks down the Kata
into demonstrated, applied, and demonstrated again
portions. That is you show a couple of moves from
the Kata, then your partner attacks you with prearranged
techniques that you apply the previously shown Kata
movements to, and then you show those Kata movements
You then move on to demonstrate
the next couple of moves from the Kata. Until, all
the Kata's moves have been demonstrated, applied,
Kanshiwa also has a multiple
person Bunkai. Where you are surrounded by opponents,
and you apply the Kanshiwa Kata's movements to a
prearranged attack sequence. There are no demonstrated
kata movements prior to or after being attacked
as there are in the more formal two person Kanshiwa
As with all Karate practice, the
end result is to develop muscle memory. Where you
don't have to think about performing a technique.
It happens in response to a stimulus, an aggressive
act against you.
The Bunkai is another method for
developing that muscle memory. The Kata, by itself
is the ultimate method. But, to confirm that the
techniques work, the Bunkai instills the confidence
that allow the muscles to accept and remember the