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Bunkai.

Filling in the blanks.

Shotokan karate is based on certain underlying fundamentals. These fundamentals form the backbone of our style and they give an experienced student a wide array of defensive and offensive combinations to choose from. These fundamentals in turn are used to practice another mainstay of Shotokan called, kata.

This term refers to a series of pre-determined techniques and movements found in an unchangeable pattern that must be followed from beginning to end. It is often during the practice of kata that a student first comes into contact with the term, bunkai.

The word bunkai refers to the breaking down, or analysing a movement, or set of movements. It through the practice of bunkai that students get to experience with a partner what is unseen when they practice alone. It is through bunkai that a katas real nature is revealed.

So practice your kata again, and again.

And learn to understand where, when, and why, bunkai fits into your training.

You may be surprised at what you discover.

Remember: "Understanding visually what, and why, will make your karate deeper."