Bunkai- a beginners guide
I have been training Wado for 7 years and mostly the different aspects of training are kept seperate- Kata, Kihon, Kumite (Forms, Basics, Fighting/Sparring). My primary focus in training is for self defence. So here is a simple Mnemonic for helping students begin the process of extracting self defence applications form any Kata.
We begin with 2 premises-
1 You know all the aspects of the Kata very well- stances, footwork, posture and striking and blocking techniques. So start with what you know best as all of these aspects will have a bearing on the applications.
2 All parts of the kata contain potential, realistic defence techniques (this may not always be the case, but gives us somewhere to start).
I call it the 5 Fs or FFnFFF (say it with me)
Face- turn to face your opponent, you want to see what he's doing, right? Look at him but don't necessarily turn your body towards him.
Fist- Most assaults physically start with a punch to the head so it's sensible to assume that most sequences within kata start with a head defence (this is certainly true of the opening moves of the Pinan series IMO).
not Fancy- your attacker is not a martial artist and is unlikely to use fancy or risky tecniques (such as high kicks or double punches) but will stick with simple effective moves- big swingy punches to the head, groin kicks, headbutts, grab and punch etc
Few- this is a real fight and you will have had a rush of adreneline, reducing fine motor skills and forcing you to react, rather than taking lots of time to consder complicated or lengthy combinations. So, your response will be short and fast with only a few moves, 3 or maybe 4, before you escape.
Finish- your goal is to get your opponent down and out so you can escape. So your last technique is aiming to knock him unconscious and/or knock him to the ground and/or injure him sufficently to allow you time to run, in the confidence that he can't get up and come after you. Quite often this is a Kiai or turn within the kata (particularly if the turn then involves doing the same set of movements on the other side of the body).
Go in peace, but carry a big stick.
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