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twayman
2nd September 2005, 17:33
Not sure if this has been posted before but Iíll through it out anyway.

A year or so ago, maybe longer. I was in a Shotokan dojo listening to the instructor explain kata to his class. He was telling them that kumite and kata are two separate entities and should never be mixed and that kata has no true application (paraphrased).

In our dojo we study the kata and find the technique to use in kumite. Then practice the bunkai so as to use it in our kumite. Thru the years I have heard this debated and just wondering what others thought.

2groggy
2nd September 2005, 18:19
...He was telling them that kumite and kata are two separate entities and should never be mixed and that kata has no true application (paraphrased).
I can't agree with that. The Bunkai IS the true application by definition even if you don't know it or practice it.


In our dojo we study the kata and find the technique to use in kumite. Then practice the bunkai so as to use it in our kumite. Thru the years I have heard this debated and just wondering what others thought.
We practice our bunkai using partner drills. Because there are a lot of breaks and joint locks in our bunkai, we don't typically use them sparring.

S.Henson
2nd September 2005, 18:22
I have found that many Shotokan schools don't do much bunkai, if any. I came up in a Shotokan system where I can only remember discussing bunkai once and later moved to Shito Ryu where it became very important. I can see how kata have many uses besides bunkai, but I have to disagree that kata don't have practical applications.

twayman
2nd September 2005, 19:03
I can't agree with that. The Bunkai IS the true application by definition even if you don't know it or practice it.

I agree with you; that is what struck me as odd listening to him. From what I understood the instructor was telling the students that kata was just an exercise and that it had no real use, save for exercise and I guess kata competitions. When they would do free sparing he had some other thing that he was teaching, kind of bouncing around and striking almost like boxing but, not even that organized. Just strange... maybe he was never taught the bunkai?

Blackwood
2nd September 2005, 19:23
I'd first like to understand the definition of kumite. It is my understanding that there are several uses of the word.

1. Sparring or fighting, aka "Bloodsport".
2. Two person drills, similar to a bunkai, but not directly related to a kata. (This is the definition used in the style I study.)
3. Another type of #2, I've seen/heard other martial artist refer to two types of kumite, but don't understand what the two are and their differences.

The different definitions can lead to different interpretations of Todd's Sensei's original statement.

twayman
2nd September 2005, 19:35
Mark,

More like #2 (Two person drills, similar to a bunkai, but not directly related to a kata) Like a practical partner drill to the bunkai.

F.Y.I. I found this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumite

Blackwood
2nd September 2005, 20:20
Okay, that helps some, but still leaves me three definitions.

1. Jiyu Kumite - Sparring or fighting, aka "Bloodsport".
2. Gohon Kumite - Two person drills, where an announced attack style is repeated 5 times and countered with the technique of the defender's choice.
3. Kumite in Shido Kan is similar to a bunkai, but not directly related to a kata. It is a pre-defined sequence of attacks and counters that teach timing, distance and smoothness in the flow as well as an opportunity to practice specific techniques.

twayman
2nd September 2005, 20:45
From my first post. Both #1 and #3 would fit. The instructor made it clear that he saw was no link between kata and kumite... I would think he meant both free sparing and also partnered drills. The only kind of partnered drills I saw was that bouncing around thing they did. In our usage we start out with the partner drills like #3 and at times we use jiyu kumite, but with limitations, for obvious reasons.