KATA BUNKAI KUMITEInformation retrieved from the official Kyokushinkan site:
Bunkai means “application” in Japanese. It refers to a type of training, usually performed as formal one-step kumite, in which the practitioner studies the application of the individual movements performed during kata by applying them as defenses against the simulated attacks of a training partner.
In kata, of course, not only is there no opponent, there is also no partner. Those who practice kata have no choice but to visualize an opponent. The problem is that many of us fail to do so, and the movements become arbitrary. Karateka who have lost their way practice fighting, on one hand, and this bizarre karate dance called “kata” on the other. There is no connection without a study of how the precise movements of kata can be applied precisely to defend against actual attacks. In fact, one might argue that it is impossible to master kata, or even really understand it, without studying how to perfect the movements, and, furthermore, that one can’t effectively study the movements without applying them against attackers performing the corresponding attacks.
In the below video clip, watch Kyokushin-kan world champion, Senesi Inoue, demonstrating bunkai for Sushiho kata, and then continue to read below about the marriage of kata and bunkai.
Bunkai, “application,” is a formal class of karate exercise in which the practitioner studies, with an simulated attacker, the meaning of the individual (and sometimes combined) movements that go together to make up kata. In that sense, we can think of bunkai as the marriage of kata and kumite.