We are training again in my club after a little summer break. I'm doing something a little different: for the next few months, we will explore 4-5 possible applications of a basic kihon, one kihon per month, and a different application each week. For September, we have been drilling some gedan uke applications. Nothing fancy or necessarily new here; just basic karate applications that my students and I really like. I have some new beginners, and they have said that when we work these drills, they really feel like they are learning something practical that they could use, God forbid, if they find themselves in a situation where they need to use force to protect themselves. That feedback is indeed gratifying.
Also, I'm thrilled that David Zink (my uke in the video), who has attended a couple of Iain's residential seminars, has moved to my area and is now training with us. It's great to have another black belt who loves practical bunkai. We are also enjoying sharing and comparing our styles--I'm Matsubayashi (Shorin Ryu), and he is Shotokan. My students can see how styles may look different in form yet combative principles are the same, and we can also illustrate how some stylistic differences reveal other applications that we may not have noticed in our own style. Fun times!