GoJu-Ryu Karate Bunkai

The meaning or rather, application, of the techniques and movements of Kata is called “bunkai”.  Often only seasoned experts know the true meaning of the techniques in a Kata, which is why it is important to use every opportunity to learn from the actual masters of a style, so that you learn the real Bunkai. Different schools or styles often engage in a passionate controversy about the true meaning of Kata and Bunkai, and sometimes claim to having the birthright to the “actual Bunkai”. Some instructors seem to go as far as to intentionally withhold the Bunkai to certain Katas from their students, perhaps so as to keep a perceived advantage or position themselves in a shroud of mystery.

Goju-Ryu Karate Bunkai

Bunkai/Application for Kata Seiyunchin

It requires a certain maturity, sound judgement and common sense not to get carried away too much with these things that occasionally have more to do with the pride of particular schools and individuals than with the desire of teaching their students the true way, that ultimately every martial artist has to find for themselves.

Sensei Terry Lyon has studied with Sensei Graham Ravey 8th Dan (who himself has spent 12 years in Japan training with Sensei Morio Higaonna) and has undergone his Dan gradings with Sensei Higaonna. Terry feels strongly about Bunkai and believes that the Bunkai is essential if students were to benefit from practicing Katas. As an expert in the field, Sensei Terry Lyon will soon release the eagerly anticipated book “Hidden Secrets of Karate revealed“.

Click here for a list of Katas of Traditional Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate.