In addition to Karate, I have also studied Wing Chun and Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu (Ninjutsu). When learning Wing Chun, one can easily observe that Wing Chun is a "principles based system." That is, Wing Chun has a list of methods of gaurding, moving, striking, and thinking, around which its techniques are entirely oriented. These principles include, protecting your center line, facing your block, maintaining constant forward pressure, watching your opponents elbow/when touching one elbow being sure to look at the other, etc. My instructor in Ninjutsu also always emphasises certain principles. Ninjutsu principles include ways of using spine twisting, shoulder turning, and weight sinking.
For multiple reasons, there is enormous variation in the types of Karate practiced between schools. For instance, the Karate that I've spent most of my life practicing often looks considerably different from the types of techniques that Mr. Abernethy demonstrates through his use of bunkai. Moreover, the karate I have practiced looks surprisingly different from competitive karate. My question is this: Do you believe it is possible to identify certain principles of movement and body mechanics within the karate you have studied that can help you to orient and guide your training? In my experience, these principles could include moving from your hara, using a whip-like snapping motion in your hips and wrists and dropping your weight to generate power. What do others think about this question?