Training Kata and bunkai at Home

I don’t know how others memorise their bunkai but I have always practiced them like shadow boxing after I have practiced my kata. To me this is one of the things I love about karate, the other day I was saying how great it is to train with others, to practice karate and you will always get better by training with more people. But with the way karate is structured it gives you a great chance practice and drill parts of the syllabus be it kata, bunkai (via shadowboxing) kihon, kihon ido etc.

When I was learning Jitsu for example I would get frustrated that if I missed a lesson or a week of training that would have a massive effect on my learning curve, whereas if I missed a lesson of karate, I can always practice it at home. I have developed into a better martial artist because I am able to go to the lessons and train extra at home, then I would ever of done if I had stuck to Jitsu.

Being able to practice the Bunkai along with the kata at home to me is a very useful tool, it helps me to understand the kata in more depth, but also being able to relate the bunkai more closely with the kata.

Another great thing about practicing bunkai and kata at home is that you can turn them into any kind of drill. If I want to get a very good workout I might do a kata and its bunkai and then do a set of press-ups or burpees, or pullups, depending on how I feel. I might do it two katas and an exercise and keep rotating until I am exhausted (usually between 20-45 mins). If you want to focus on stretching, then you can perform the katas more like tai chi style, focus more on the body mechanics and then do sun salutation inbetween every two katas. They just help to make your training much more variable and enjoyable. You might just want to focus on the self defence aspect of the katas, so you just keep recycling through the katas (or forms or bunkai’s) that you know.

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2 Responses to Training Kata and bunkai at Home

  1. Absolutely. I believe you do a majority of “learning” at the dojo, and then you solidify kata or bunkai at home/on your own. I find myself practicing at home quite often :p Sounds a little silly, but its such a big passion that it becomes a part of you!

    • djsolly1 says:

      It doesn’t sound silly, I totally agree with you. Which martial art has had the biggest impact on you? And which one do you practice the most at home?

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