Bunkai: 1st Kata, Kiai 

The 45° turn from the fifth to the sixth direction in first kata is not usually recognized as meaning anything. But it can be used.

It is a simpler version of a leg displacement technique which appears in Pinan Shodan, Pinan Yondan, Rohai, Passai and elsewhere.

In the kata, the defender’s jodan uke worked to stop the attacker’s punch. The attacker continues his attack.

He drops his elbow to your chest, and steps forward with his left foot, placing it behind your left foot, to push you back and sweep your leg. He steps in tight for leverage, placing his knee against your knee.

You rotate at the waist and step 45° to your left, moving your left foot, as in the kata. This presses your knee hard against his knee. This puts him off balance and turns him as you twist.

This exposes a target around his koshi, such as the bottom rib, lower back, etc.

You kiai and punch, and continue to drive him back with the next punches.   


Video and Post Copyright © 2023 Jeffrey Brooks, Yamabayashi Ryu, Mountain Karate, Hendersonville-Columbus area, Saluda, NC   


Read First Kata, an in-depth article on Nagamine Shoshin’s kata, by Jeffrey Brooks https://mountain-dojo.com/2018/09/24/first-kata/

For more on quick reversals, the fundamental tactical skill used in Shorin Ryu, check out the article Too Fast To See.  


For more bunkai and the most lucid,inspiring presentation of the role of Buddhism in martial arts read True Karate Dō

“One of the best books I’ve read in years, inviting and compelling. Jeff Brooks moves effortlessly from martial arts to Buddhism to consciousness studies, self-transformation, and related fields in this wide-ranging and Illuminating study that has much to offer both novice explorers and veteran practitioners. A splendid achievement.” 

— Philip Zaleski, Editor, The Best Spiritual Writing series

— Co-author, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams.  

 True Karate Dō is available on Amazon in paperback, hardcover and Kindle Edition


Mountain Karate’s YouTube channel @mountainkarate 


Note that many of the applications I am showing in this series are anti-grappling and anti-throwing. These may not be the best or preferred self-defense under all circumstances, but they decode the kata without changing the kata. In these specific cases, the grappling interpretations might make more tactical sense than a striking application.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: