Bulls*#t Bunkai is Karate becoming Akido?

The modern trend of applied karate has been very positive in many ways. Analysing kata and finding more practical technique. Rather some of older bunkai where you would block many times or face imaginary opponents from different angles, conveniently attacking one at a time.

However many clubs seem to be focusing more and more on bunkai technique against compliant partners. So basically the uke will just stand there as you do whatever technique that seems to look like a move in a kata. Also they seem spend too much time trying make technique to fit into kata. Like practicing throws with poor technique (well this looks like Heian Godan must be right). Stop hitting square pegs in round holes, test technique and seek expert advice in other martial arts such as wrestling, boxing and jujitsu.

This becomes a big problem when using karate as combative martial art. Technique needs to be pressured test. If you can not achieve the technique against a resistant opponent then maybe the bunkai just is worthless?

Also alot of the new wave of karate schools seem to spend far too time drilling bunkai in this way. Surely it would be better to practice effective basics, do sparring, pad work, heavy bag work, grappling and strength and conditioning. Invite guest instructors from other arts. Don’t be close minded. Master Funakoshi always wanted karate to evolve.

Alot of the bunkai focused karate also seem to criticize sport karate. However sport karate teaches explosive movement, distancing, avoidance and a form combat against a non compliant opponent. These guys train hard and are physically fit.

It’s seem we need balance in karate using both sport and practical application which is actually pressure tested. We also need to develop our body’s to be strong fit and able.

Funakoshi wrote in Karate-Do My Way of Life, “Time change, the world changes, and obviously the martial arts must change too. The karate that high school students practise today is not the same karate that was practised even are recently as ten years ago, and it is a long way indeed from the karate I learned when I was a child in Okinawa”.

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