Be Street Safe Practical Self-Defence Training and Advice
Be Street SafePractical Self-Defence Training and Advice


Bunkai are "broken down" elements of our kata. In essence they are practical applications of kata, and are core to our syllabus. Most of our bunkai come from Iain Abernethy and, in many cases, are freely available on YouTube. In some cases you may have to scroll through a video to find the specific application. In the list below you'll find the relevant videos plus notes on where in the video to find each drill. 


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For students at Brown Belt or above, the development of your own bunkai becomes a key part of the syllabus.

Heian Shodan Bunkai

There are eight syllabus bunkai for Heian Shodan

The video below shows the second bunkai from Heian Shodan (Shodan 2). It also includes a short but useful introduction to the principle of angles in kata.

The first 2:10 of this video shows the execution of the fifth drill of Heian Shodan (Shodan 5). From 2:10 onwards it shows the eight drill (Shodan 8).

From 2:10, this video shows the eight drill of Heian Shodan (Shodan 8).

Heian Nidan Bunkai

There are eight syllabus bunkai for Heian Nidan

Heian Sandan Bunkai

There are five syllabus bunkai from Heian Sandan.



This video is the complete first drill from Heian Sandan (Sandan 1).

This video begins with a short recap of Nidan 8, then describes Sandan 2 fully.

This is the fourth drill from Heian Sandan (Sandan 4).

This video shows Sandan 5, albeit with pads involved. Originally we performed this slightly differently, so either form can be used. In the original method, we are standing facing the enemy and have engaged their hands, one is pushed away and the other pulled in as we step through to make the hip throw. 

Heian Yondan Bunkai

There are eight syllabus bunkai from Heian Yondan. Seven are present in the Shotokan version of the kata, the eighth is not, only appearing in the Wado Ryu version.

This video is the fourth drill (Yondan 4).

Heian Godan Bunkai

There are seven bunkai from Heian Godan. 


This video (the "clean version" Iain demonstrates in the first 1:30) is the first drill (Godan 1).

Tekki Shodan Bunkai

There are seven syllabus bunkai for Tekki Shodan

Kanku Dai Bunkai

There are six bunkai for Kanku Dai. This is a small number for a long kata because the Heian bunkai can be considered to also be part of Kanku Dai.


The first bunkai is 00:00 - 03:00 in this video. The second bunkai begins from 03:07 and runs to the end of the video. It's starting point as a separate bunkai is not shown. When performed as a standalone drill it begins with the clash of arms and a 90 degree pivot (the same as the second drill from Heian Shodan). 

This is the fifth drill from Kanku Dai (Kanku Dai 5). It is very similar to the fifth drill from Heian Godan.

Bassai Dai Bunkai

This video from 0:00 - 04:15 shows the fifth drill from Bassai Dai (Bassai Dai 5). It starts from the first knife after the turning side kick and continues through the double low / single low front punch.

Jion Bunkai

This video shows the first drill from Jion (Jion 1).

We meet every Sunday from 09:30 - 11:30 at the Newlands Spring Community Association Hall, Dickens Place, Chelmsford. If you'd like to join us, just turn up on the day at about 09:15 -  no charge for the first session. We also run four week introductory courses to help kick-start your self-defence journey. Email us for details of when the next course starts.

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