How do we create or discover Bunkai? Are there more or less effective ways of studying kata and Bunkai? Are there a finite number of possibilities to technique interpretation or should constraints be removed?
If I get this correct (and I apologise if not) then Iain's three criteria by which he considers validity of new Bunkai are:
- It must closely resemble the kata
- It must conform to the principles as established by the Past Masters
- It must be pragmatic.
I'm sure others have additions to this
Of the three, the last one is the most contentious as it's open to oppinions and the sum total of our past experiences.
I'm sure I approach Bunkai quite differently to others with Karate being not even a secondary art for me. Primarily I'm a Jujitsuka and Aikidoka (with plenty of other bits thrown in.) I love training in these Karate methods because of how they bridge the gap. I make no secret that techniques, principles and drills from kata have found their way into my Jujitsu teaching. The flip side is that I approach Bunkai with the mind of a Jujitsuka. That's not intentional, it's who I am. There must be others like me. Are our Bunkai therefore any less valid? I rarely set out to create Bunkai, instead I see movements in kata as I'm teaching or practicting Jujitsu and then modify how I explain it or suit my given audience. There's no denying the crossover.
The short question that I'm getting to is... do Bunkai practitioners have set ways of approaching the discovery or creation of Bunkai?
Edit: just some poor spelling and grammar that I think reduced clarity