3 LEVELS OF KATA BUNKAI  (Omote, Ura, Honto)
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3 LEVELS OF KATA BUNKAI (Omote, Ura, Honto)

January 23, 2020


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  1. Mr. Enkamp, I love your videos. I used to train karate ages ago and i've always admired many aspects of karate that are mostly over looked this day in age. One thing I noticed is that your always sporting a fresh, clean karate Gi. Im a purple belt in Bjj and we get seriouslty dirty. Do karatekas ever dirty thier gi? can you make a video describing the different parts of the gi and maintenance tips please. That would be awesome. I envy the striking martial arts because they never seem to get dirty. Thank you and fight on, the answer lies in the heart of battle.

  2. At the begining sorry for my poor English. I have to add someone about kyokushin. In deep past I practiced Shotokan by 15 years. 15 years ago I was asked by my colleague to join to his kyokushin team. I known this style because when I was an rookie in karate I have practice kyokushin first. This style was to hard, for my weak body and mind, but … I found Shotokan. I stayed in Shotokan by 15 years, so I was familiar with bunkai. It was someting what I looked for. Then when I was asked about convert back on kyokushin I was very sceptic for this style, but above mentioned team of my collegue belong to kyokushin-KAN. It was someting different. There was finally bunkai, shorten and more moveable stances. All these things was applied into kata. Dynamic of movenment was much higher, and feeling of technic was more real. In mean time I practiced some boxing, defendo wich is not style and rather simple but real effective street fighting system. All of these experiences shown me that very important is looking for and own way and collecting differences and experiences. Kyokushin ways are really different just now, e.g. Shinkyokushin are more focus on sport line and knockdown sport competitions. Their katas are completly detached from reality whithout any bunkai. Now, if you look what Shihan Hiroto Okazaki of kyokushin-kan show in bunkai of kata in look really good, but still look more like omote/level one. Even if it is omote-level gives practitioners view on realistng things hiden in katas.

  3. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. This makes sense in all martial arts. Im not karate student but same things aply. Samsame but different.

  4. The thing about the Omate and Ura bunkai application is no one will naturally block like that. Try using the hand that comes out before the baria as the block. This is a natural flinch reaction to a kick then the baria just must be drilled to form a load up to attack. After all from the limited Japanese i know Uke doesnt mean block I understand it means to receive?

  5. If the real meaning of the movement were lost because of the war and because of the Okinawa Karate practioneer mentality, how does exist Onto Bunkai?

  6. JESSIE: Question. Do you consider Ura level bunkai to be suitable for intermediate students as you state above? I would think that the 'secret" "hidden" techniques of Ura bunkai would be something advanced karateka or senior students would be able to interprate. Thoughts?

  7. Thanks Jesse Sensei! I didn't know about these three bunkai approaches, till I watched this video. For example, when I learned Heian Shodan, the explanation I got for the way we turn to the right, after the first two steps of the kata (gedan-barain to the left and oi-zuki) turning to an opponent in your back, with your right (outside) shoulder, instead with your left (inside) one, which it would take more time in my mind. Now, if I use honto approach, the right-shoulder turn, could be a combination of an ura-mawashi-geri plus an ura-ken attack to an opponent coming towards your right side, while you are finishing your left opponent with oi-zuki . That opens an infinite number of applications for each kata (apologies for my bad English).

  8. To be fair, I really don't think Gedan Barai looks like a block at all. A good video though, on the basic interpretations of techniques.

    I don't mean to be rude in any way either, and I definitely see the value in the three methods of bunkai and oyo (four if you include variations of a technique).

    Thank you for bringing more awareness in the karate community to more effective methods of teaching and training.

  9. Excellent again. I had no idea there were three levels. With regard to the first level, I have heard that "no technique ends in a block", so the low block to deflect a kick?

  10. Yet another video that should be required viewing for instructors (I'm going to have to stop writing this on your videos – it's going to get repetitive, lol). Heck, it should probably be required viewing for all students too, although I guess there's a potential danger there of wanting to run before they can walk('but when are we going to work on the 'real' bunkai, sensei?'…) – simply having that explanation that the 'explanations' we were given as beginners (the omote) were just to give us a hook to hang our understanding on, rather than the final meanings, could have been very useful (and might, here in the west, encourage some to continue training who otherwise become discouraged by 'traditional martial arts not being practical' – as you point out, our society teaches us to question more – this has advantages and disadvantages…). I truly believe that the work you are doing here (like Sensei's Abernethy and McCarthy) is of great importance for the future of Karate as a whole.

  11. Jesse sensei, how about "oyo bunkai"? I understand the concept of "honto bunkai" but I have doubts, as you said, we can織t know for sure the true purpose of the techniques because they got lost.

  12. I have never trained Karate but i have learnt so much about it thru your videos, specially with the Okinawan Karate series you did that my interest has grown and the practical approach is superb. you get the feeling of what a martial art should be not just to look pretty but to be effective. Thank you!!

  13. Do you have full Kata Bunkai videos on your channel? I would love your explanations on kata, you've really rekindled my interest in Karate from years ago, despite training mostly in BJJ and Muay Thai these days.

  14. Wish karate clubs start doing kickboxing compitions on top of there normal WKF ruleset. I think Kata is a waste of time, and no one will ever chainge my mind on that.

  15. I love Katas. Learning one now. Theyre tricky. What I love is their grace, precision, hidden blocks and strikes, and power

  16. Great video as always Jesse! When I get to open my school in the not near future, all of your explanations would be my core foundation. I have been training for 8 years but you help me explain it better!

  17. Great video as always. However, I see no need to teach or learn the "omote" and "ura" bunkai first since there is no practical application for them in self defense. Not to mention that it will take you endless hours of wasted training sessions to go through each omote kata bunkai :/

  18. One of your best videos Jesse. Excellent explanation of the very purpose of kata, so often forgotten. Nice to remind everyone that the reason we do what we do is ultimately so we have the weapons to defend ourselves if ever in an unfortunate situation. Thank you for your continued lessons, Sensei

  19. Awesome and fully comprehensive, eloquent and coherent explanation, of the various functions and interpretations of bunkai (application), in the various katas Sensei Jesse! In Kyokushin Karate often the same kata, across the various dojos, of the various, autonomous Kyokushin Karate organisations, can have slight different applications or bunkai interpretations and explanations, of the same movements. I definitely agree that performing a kata, without knowing or understanding its full meaning and applications of its movements, is like performing a dance or theatrical, miming routine. Looking forward to more of these videos from you, Osu!佞綾

  20. That was an awesome explanation of the the ancient lessons many karate schools don't even understand this concept although they have trained for years thank you for putting this out there many need this.

  21. Great video, I thought you were going to talk about what in Goju-ryu is known as 'kaisai no genri', however this is also a very useful hint about bunkai, thank you very much.

  22. Dear Sir,
    Appreciate adding levels to Bunkai from outside appearance to real meaning and best appplication.
    However, let me call your attaention to the fact that in Aikido, a japanese martial art you propably know well, to my knowledge, irimi and ura are used – facing from inside and ura facing from outside.
    The sequence of understanding and applying Bunkai from the obviousdefence at grat distance, , thorugh the unseen controllling at medium distance to the full controll of the attacker at close distance is your vision, and can be accepted. What is difficult to accept on my part, wtih over 30 years of Karate, based on priority of distancei the ABCD. Though nice and easy to grasp, basically needs the opposite skills of the previous approach. Just imagine depriving air or even blood flow from somebody is possible only at a close distance, so a thing hardly acceptable for a standard Karateka practitioner, more suitable for Jiu Jitsu, or MMA practitioners. Best regards. Paul Bajusz, retired Karate instructor.

  23. Just take the 5 Kihon Kata we teach, Heian forms, there are literally hundreds of principles taken from the bunkai. Beginner Karateka can notice the simple bunkai, but even the masters are still learning from them.

  24. I don't know of any "true" bunkai in shotokan (honto) so I usually figured out things for myself, ofcourse not disregarding over 40 years of training in Shotokan and some other styles as extra curricullum. Never learned any meaningfull bunkai from any japanese teacher..they were the usual omote kind of explanations. Most I learned from a couple of years of aikido practice…that opened up my karate.

  25. I started shotokan at the tender age of 44 (am 45 now) because i wanted to join my kids and motivate them to try harder. I had practice a different style in my 20s but it is so different training at my age. Whenever my body aches or I'm too caught up with life and thinking about skipping, I watch your videos which I find truly inspirational and get riled up. Thank you!

  26. So what you are saying here is that pulling the fist back to the hip when punching, which is the traditional form in much Karate, some Shaolin Kung Fu styles and TKD is actually not supposed to be empty but grabbing something like an arm or a leg or some piece of clothing or perhaps even serve as an elbow strike to someone behind you ? This would make a lot of sense because otherwise it seems to be a mindless movement that only protects the kidneys and leaves the entire side of the body from the waist up completely unguarded and vulnerable while putting your free hand/fist in a totally ridiculous place for effective non-telegraphed counter punching or guarding effectively, otherwise it would seem to make more sense to pull the opposite unpunhing hand to a place somewhere by the solar plexus, by the chin or up by your face.

  27. What is the true purpose of kata? Is it to unify mind, body and spirit to attain enlightenment like in buddhism or is it only for combat or self-defense?

  28. Thank you Jesse, I really appreciate your insight. I've actually taken out my old gi and started to practice again thanks to you. Got in touch with my old Sensei now Hanshi in Puerto Rico, where I'm getting back into teaching again. But first, back to basics.

  29. Great video!! Our Sensei was talking about not fixing in our minds one bunkai for each kata. I shared the video with him and we had a very insightful discussion. Thank you. This shows that the Way is never ending.

  30. Love the videos man, keep it up. Wish I could find a karate Dojo like yours here in Ohio. Found a good place to train in Hapkido and Judo. I think these arts will be good with my Muay Thai. Anyways cant find a karate dojo here thats any good.

  31. I love your channel! I learn so I can pass it on to others. Thank you for doing so much of the studying for others including me.

  32. Fortunately, the style of karate I practice makes coincidence between form and function
    We train kihon to perfectionate the tecnic but we always move in aplication way in all the other moments of the training.
    Example of our katas, in case of interest:
    https://youtu.be/aXKmdKcInYg

    Thanks for the video!

  33. I all the actual fights I have had in my life, a move right out of a kata/form only popped up once, when I delivered a triple straight punch down on a guys chest while he was on his back on the seat of a picnic bench. How we got there from when he popped me in the mouth, I forget. He had enough at that point.

  34. A student once again asked me to watch a video of yours.
    I can see why as well. He joined me just over a year ago and is finally understanding the layers within teaching Kata. Hence why it takes so long to really learn one properly.
    Well done.

  35. I was just rewarded my 3 rd belt Monday, (yellow in my dojo) and I had to spar with one of my sensais to get it…honest to god I used that exact block in the match. That and one mai tobi Geri were the only shots I really got in but still was able to use a lot of your thinking to great effect! Thanks again for the awesome content!

  36. we cant learn from the book moves of bunkai please make video with some important moves god bless you keep good work im a fan

  37. Thank you for this, I train Goju Ryu, we are really starting into the Bunkai now, I love the application side and look forward to working the Bunkai into our sparring sessions, I am very happy learning more from you and others here on youtube, we talk a great deal about this at the Dojo.

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