Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The BS Bunkai Test

Some people wanna fill the world with silly bunkai. . . My good buddy J shared a Hein nidan (Pinan sono ni among the Kyokushin karate crowd) bunkai video he had found online. While we both had a laugh at the instructor's expense, deep down it alarmed me. I checked out some other interpretations of this kata on the net. Poor Heian nidan. Sadly, this particular kata is a magnet for very shakey, logic defying interpretation. If your BS detector isn't sounding off, it's time for re-calibration.

The first hint of fishy bunkai is an elaborate response to such a simple attack as a punch to the face (from that pesky guy standing to your left). One doesn't need any special training to respond to a punch to the face. If one is accustomed to sparring, a parry followed by a counter work well. If one is inexperienced, stepping back, covering up, running away work too. So what gives? It seems to me that some folks are offering up hokey cures for non-existing ailments. And another thing, if you were getting punched in the face and you tried doing the "suggested" arm-twisty maneuver, it's a sure bet you'd get a few more shots in the face. Try it. Reality is the best cure for fishy bunkai syndrome.

The test:

Walk into any boxing or Muay Thai gym. Put on head gear and a mouthguard and ask an obliging partner if he or she wouldn't mind throwing punches at your face. Tell your training partner that it is your aim to catch the first punch and turn it into victory. Get back to me with the results.

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