The Aim Of Bunkai Jutsu
Many traditional martial arts have been seriously dumbed down from their original philosophical, spiritual and combat emphasis for political and social reasons and also for conversion into sport. I aim through BunkaiJutsu.com to help serious martial artists attain a deeper and more holistic understanding of traditional martial arts, so that they can get more from their art/training and can make more informed decisions about the path they choose to follow.
Bunkai is normally taken to mean “application” of a technique. However, a more accurate interpretation is “analysis”. It is only by analysing the many facets of Martial Arts, including practical application, philosophy, psychology, history and even health and self development; that we will truly come to understand them.
Although there are many different arts (and I don’t claim to know everything about all of them), it is mainly the physical techniques that differ; the fundamental principles and goals are more or less the same.
What’s In Bunkai Jutsu?
You’ll find a list of categories in the right hand column to help you find your way around whatever is your particular area of interest. There are videos & articles about practical applications, psychology of conflict, philosophy, self development, improving your basic techniques, history, modern reality based self protection, interviews, book/equipment reviews and more.
Health (and natural movement)
I have a particular interest in performing techniques as closely as possible to the bodies natural way of moving, without over emphasis on heavy tension (which Karate especially can sometimes be guilty of), excessive flourishes or forcing our bodies into unnatural postures. Natural movement is extremely practical for self defence as when under pressure, natural movement will always be easier to perform. It is also healthier and extremely useful as we get older and our joints get a little bit worn.
Real Street Self Defence (application to Kata/Patterns/Forms)
So much has been dumbed down for many reasons. All too often people are taught stylised applications that require a co-operative opponent for them to work and certainly would not work in the real world. Some say it is because many martial arts have become a “Do” (method of self development). Whilst I am a great believer in the self development and spiritual virtues of the martial arts, I don’t believe that you need to make your techniques impractical and ineffective to become a better person. You really can have both.
Understanding the history helps us to understand how and why most martial arts got dumbed down. It also helps us to reverse engineer our arts to make them more practical (and healthy) as they were originally intended to be.
A lot of the history has been “creatively” passed down to us for marketing reasons, so today (despite good will and intent) much of what we are taught is a long way of from the original meanings and teachings.
Most styles do actually contain all the answers if you know where to look. Understanding the history helps guide us to where we should be looking.
Traditional Martial Arts Vs Modern Martial Arts
When martial arts first became popular worldwide and the teaching of them became much more open, they were well-defined as a fighting systems originating from Asia, consisting of physical, mental and spiritual training. Today however martial arts are often just considered to be fighting systems regardless on the intention and morality. Originally most traditional martial arts were very rounded including strikes, grappling and weapons. In the post war years when martial arts spread from the Orient all over the world, they tended to be broken down into categories emphasising different specialisations such as striking styles, grappling styles or weapons based styles.
In more recent years, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) have become popular, mixing the grappling and striking specialisations together. It does however still tend to be taught as 2 or more styles learnt side by side rather than as one unified system.
Many traditional martial artists from systems like Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Ju Jutsu have entered the MMA and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) world along with the more sporting combat systems like Judo, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Ju Jutsu and others. This has to lead to a huge increase in interest from the general public, making martial arts much more of a spectator event than ever before.
However, many traditional martial artists, myself included, have been drawn to explore the deeper meanings of the traditional arts and over recent years there has been a lot of development in the practical application of these arts. There has not however been so much development in the spiritual and philosophical side, but hopefully I can help with that!
What Traditional Martial Arts Have To Offer!
Traditional martial arts have so very much to offer on many different levels; including self defence, spiritual and self development, fitness, flexibility and so much more. But as previously mentioned, so much of what traditional martial arts have to offer has been dumbed down and mystified for social & political reasons.
So often application taught for our kata/patterns/forms are ritualized and only work with a co-operative attacker. This would not have been the applications intended by the creators who would have had to fight for their lives (not points). Understanding realistic fighting applications brings our kata/patterns/forms to life.
We are told that martial arts are good for self development, but it is seldom explained how. All that most people are taught is that if they train regularly for many years, they’ll understand one day.
I feel it is important for us to understand these things in order to make proper informed decisions on what we want from our training and to be able to get the full benefit from our arts.
I therefore invite you to participate in the discussions on BunkaiJutsu.com so that you can learn more, or so that your knowledge and experience can be of benefit to others. You can also join in the conversations on the Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/BunkaiJutsuPage.