Outer Eastern Martial Arts
Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate, Progressive Krav Maga & Reality Based Self Defence
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Taira Bunkai
Most of Masaji Taira's karate career has revolved around his focus on the bunkai of the Kata. He has painstakingly dissected the kata and trained his body to the point where he has mastered the inner workings of Goju Ryu Kata. Taira's bunkai is unusual in his insistence on working the kata in sequence, rather than picking techniques from the kata in isolation. He is also adamant that the kata do not be changed to perform bunkai.
The main focus of Taira's training is the application of Goju Ryu Kata techniques to self-defence, as bunkai. Unlike many other teachers he does not cherry pick techniques from the kata. He believes that the Kata were designed as complete fighting systems, with logical transitions from one technique to another as a complete and complex defensive flow.
It is important not to mistake his complete kata bunkai to mean that the entire kata needs to be performed. Any single technique can be used to finish a fight. The kata works as a template to prepare the student with entry and exit points for defensive and counter moves. With a complete knowledge of the system a practitioner should be able to response to almost any attack and have a start and end point from that attack.
One of Taira's motivation in spreading his teaching world wide is to give him access to more partners of differing size and skill levels, to better test his techniques.

Quoting one his students, David Oddy, "I've been on the receiving end of his practice and believe me, you try to resist and move away. The reason you don't see much response is because his movement is designed to maintain initiative and keep you on the defensive. He doesn't land blows because you (hopefully) know the pattern well enough to block everything, but with less experienced uke, you will find that the pattern doesn't finish because blows are landed - once blows are landed it comes to a close very quickly as it should. For example, if you were to see him try the pattern on me (even as someone who kind of knows it) you wouldn't see it in its entirety. Why not? Simply because I couldn't keep up with the defense and the fight would end in the first couple of moves. However, the established pattern would let him press the advantage and keep initiative until that happened. This is VERY relevant against an untrained attacker as karate is designed for."

At Outer Eastern Martial Arts we have been training 'Taira Bunkai' for many years. Some of the training was at the Jundokan in Okinawa and more recently when Taira Sensei visited Australia and New Zealand to conduct seminars.
Following here are a number of videos giving an overview of the type of bunkai training we teach.
The first is an example of the continuous bunkai for Gekisai kata:
The next video gives a small example of the body movement involved:
Footwork and stances are often not understood and not explained:
Open and close drills are an important part of bunkai training: