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Bunkai based partner and pad punching drill (video)

This drill was filmed when I was teaching in my home dojo in December 2013. It’s a basic partner and pad drill that utilises a cover found in Chinto / Gankaku and an arm-pass found in Kushanku / Kanku-Dai. The drill also makes use of other kata principles such as continuous advantage, the tactical use of angles and attack lines, etc. One of the purposes of the drill is to give other ways in which kata principles can be enacted; whilst giving the illusion to the students that they are practicing something different (i.e. “repetition by stealth”).

Once the drill has been practised with a partner, pads are introduced so the punches can be delivered with impact. It is important to note that the pad element should essentially be the same as the partner element. Whist it is no longer possible to control your partner’s arms – because they are using them to hold the pads in place for you – the arm motion for the puncher should essentially remain the same i.e. they should mimic the arm control and not be held in a high “guard” such that the limb control element is totally lost.

At the end of the footage, there is a short clip of two of my youngest, and hence smallest, students (15 years old) doing the drill on the pads. As you can see and hear, there is a lot of impact on their punches. This is due to relaxed transfer of bodyweight and whipping from the hip. Impact is what gives us the ability to neutralise. Without the ability to hit hard all other skills are largely moot. As these youngsters demonstrate, power and impact derive from technique; not body mass.

I hope you enjoy the clip and find it useful!

All the best,


PS If you’d prefer to watch the video on YouTube, please click HERE

Practical Kata Bunkai: partner and pad punching drill (Chinto / Gankaku, Kushanku / Kanku-Dai, etc)