Chair bunkai, learning to defend yourself whilst sitting down.


I taught my first session on Saturday (adults that is!), it was after our fitness session and I decided to train in something that we have never done, but applies to every martial art that are about self-defence,  how to defend yourself when sitting in a chair.

Humans now days spend more time in a chair then in any other position, so why as martial artists do we train only from standing and from the ground? There isn’t real reason except that we haven’t tried it before.  So I showed them some of the ones that I learnt from White Crane in China, and they were practicing them. I showed them two from when someone was getting into your personal space, two from attacks, one from behind and one if someone attacks you from sitting next to you.

After they had learnt the chair bunkai (as I like to call it) I wanted to apply it more with the concepts of the first four kata’s. Now I know that all the ones I showed them did apply one way or another to the principles of the first four kata, but I wanted them to think on the principles of each kata and how to apply it to that situation.

So With Geksai Dai ichi (Smash and destroy number 1) how to explode out of the chair to meet the attacker on, or to use a strike to stop the attackers momentum. Geksai Dai Ni (smash and destroy number 2)  on how to use angles to get into a better position and then deal with your opponent. Saifa (Tear and Smash) when someone grabs you how do you deal when they start grabbing/grappling you. Seiunchin (Trapping battle) where it deals with grappling and how to deal with those situations.

None of the bunkai we created for the chairs weren’t necessarily strictly from one kata or another, but it gave us a chance to try and deal with how to react by focusing on different concepts. We learnt that some techniques from sitting were weaker, whilst others were actually enhanced. It showed us that in some ( definitely not all )situations being in a chair could be an advantage. But the problem with chairs is that there can be so many different kinds of chairs, tables, chairs attached to the floor etc. it allowed us to be much more creative than usual.

If you don’t train for these situations how will you ever be prepared for them, it is a different experience to defend yourself when sitting in a chair. What are your views on this type of training.


2 Responses to Chair bunkai, learning to defend yourself whilst sitting down.

  1. moxyjen says:

    I think a highly skilled martial artist knows how to move his body and defend himself from all positions. I’ve never thought of actually training from various positions while you’re still developing your awareness. I think you always learn something new when you try to train from a disadvantaged position.

    • djsolly1 says:

      You are quite right, alot of what you already know can be easily applied with to defending yourself in a chair. But it was also surprising in some situations that you can’t do certain techniques or that in some cases you were actually in an advantage.

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