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Kiwikarateka's picture
Bunkai Database

There's no doubt that all over the internet the martial community has managed to upload thousands of bunkai and applications for kata, but has anyone gone as far as to create a 'database' or some kind of collection of sorts to aid the discovery of these?  The closest thing I've encountered would be Iain's app and perhaps the blackbelt wiki, and I suppose you could stretch the definition and say that Youtube and this forum also count; but it seems like no one has put a great amount of effort into creating something like this.

Has anyone come across such a thing? Anyone thinking about making one?

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

I think it would be impossible for create an open database for all takes on kata. I’d personally be reluctant to contribute to such a database because it is inevitable that 3K choregraphed battles, “chi” based shenanigans, and other impracticalities would also be presented as “bunkai”. I’ve made my own (the app, and to a lesser extent the YouTube channel) and I’m sure others will have their own databases too (websites, books, YouTube channels, etc) but I can’t see an attempt to “bring together” all approaches being successful simply because they are too divergent in nature.

All the best,


Cataphract's picture

Kata are our database, are they not? A database of bunkai referencing our kata database. Nice concept. I like the format of Wikipedia's pages on pro wrestling technique



It is informative, concise and systematic. (I'm not a fan of show wrestling in any way, but there is much to learn from the old catch wrestlers as Frank Gotch.)

Dennis Krawec
Dennis Krawec's picture

Like the idea and have thought the same, though Iain's concerns make sense. Though in a sense youtube allows this; but you have to be carefull as to what you're looking at for style (shotokan / GojoRyu / other), and watch out for BS postings (look I can blow out 30+ candles with my punch and a lot of video editing).

Certainly anything may have been beneficial 30+ years ago, when it seemed that there were numerous people that had a black belt in Karate, and then another in Judo/JuiJutsu and created thier own martial art because they felt Karate was missing something (it wasn't missing anything, they just didn't know about it).

Marc's picture

A member on the forum created a kata bunkai wiki:


It is a wiki site where information, theories and suppositions about kata generally and especially the fighting aspects of kata can be referenced and written collaboratively.

The software it uses is the same as Wikipedia, so any page or article can be edited, or created directly by anyone. All the changes are recorded in the page history so all edits can be reversed, fixed or improved later.

The aim is a gradually improving resource available to anyone with an interest in kata.  

Marc's picture

You might also be interested in my youtube channel where I maintain playlists with bunkai videos for a selection of katas.


Of course the playlists contain only videos that appealed to me. They are far from being a comprehensive database, nor do I want them to be. They are just a convenient way to bookmark all the videos I liked.

There's a website to go with the channel as well:


Maybe you can find some valuable information there, too.

All the best,


Neil Babbage
Neil Babbage's picture

I am in the process of creating a private wiki for our club with explanations and links to video demonstrations of practical applications of the kata that we train. Most club members bought Iain's DVDs (the originals), but links to his seminar extracts posted openly on YouTube where he provides some of the variations between styles, etc., are useful background.