Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: Bunkai

Friday, November 19, 2010


My arms are sore and a rainbow of unflattering colours blot my forearms – here we go again, it’s bunkai time.

For the second time this year, I find myself on a bunkai team gearing up for a Shodan grading. On one hand I am learning a lot, it is certainly preparing me for the day I must assemble and train with my own bunkai team, on the other hand, I find it quite stressful with so many things to remember. Thankfully I’m only in four different katas, but still, timing, distance, and accuracy all play a part in bringing them together, so lots of hard work and many hours of commitment are involved.

The most difficult part for me is focusing on the kata itself. At times, I find myself thinking ahead to my own next sequence and I lose track of the kata – then I scramble to keep up when it’s suddenly my turn. More than anything, this is the part I need to practice – being in the moment, not ten steps ahead. If I can get that under control everything will flow a little easier for me.

Now, if only we’d stop changing the moves – agh. For now though, it’s a good thing I’ve got my notebook to remind me what the heck to do, otherwise I’d be on the losing end of a few exchanges, guaranteed.

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