I have recently been sent some excellent videos via Youtube on rules for interpreting bunkai (applications), examples of bunkai and training drills for Naihanchi Kata by Ryan Parker of Ryukyu Martial Arts, from his own Youtube Channel, The Contemplative2.
Note: Naihanchi Kata in Okinawan Karate is known as Tekki in some Japanese styles.
Having previously done some Youtube videos myself with a friend who does Wing Chun where we looked at similarities between Wing Chun and Naihanchi/Tekki kata bunkai, I was taken by how these videos also had so many similarities with Wing Chun close quarters trapping/striking and flow drills. As mentioned before, Karate is largely derived from White Crane Kung Fu, whilst Wing Chun is largely derived from Snake and Crane Kung Fu, so there is a common lineage between the two systems.
In this first video, Sensei Parker looks at 2 rules for interpreting bunkai in a very straight-forward step by step manner, demonstrating how to interpret which hand is defending/trapping and which hand is striking/locking and also how to interpret what direction you should be in relative to your opponent. This is built up into flow drills, including how to maintain control of your opponent as he tries to counter your moves. I won’t try to explain it all hear as that is done so much better by the video itself. All I will say is that having done a lot of Shotokan Karate and some Wing Chun myself, parts of this video will be more familiar to Wing Chun exponents than most Shotokan Karateka!
The second video builds on the first one and goes more into “Renzoku” drills. These are not bunkai, or self defence drills, they are just drills which are designed to teach specific skill sets.
The final video goes through the Naihanchi kata and demonstrates a number of it’s bunkai. In Sensie Parkers own words:
“These are just old tapes which I made for individual students as reference material to study. They weren’t intended to impress anyone (as they were made for people I trained with many times a week). The kata is just done in “walk-through” mode without any koshi action.
The bunkai are also done pretty lackadaisically, without any speed, power, or much attention to form and are just meant to be a memory aid”.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these videos. To find out more about Sensei Parker, to contact him or read his own blog, go to http://ryukyuma.blogspot.co.uk.