One Bunkai For Every Pinan / Heian Kata — Jesse Enkamp


– What’s up, Karate Nerds? In today’s video, we’re gonna have a look at practical applications, also known as bunkai in Japanese. And we’re gonna do one
for each of the Pinan, also known as the Heian kata. Now, of course, there are
unlimited applications to the techniques that
you use in these kata. So, we’re just gonna do
one sequence of each kata so that you can learn
how to use these moves in an actual self-defense situation. Keep watching. All right, let’s start with the first one. We’re gonna work off of the
first moves you do in the kata where you step to the side, you do some kind of deflection, or maybe it’s a release from a wrist grab, you follow through with a punch, and then you do a takedown. And naturally, these moves look a little bit different
in different styles, but I’m gonna try to stick to the original Okinawa
execution of these kata. So, the way you might
end up in such a position where somebody’s holding your wrists is the first thing you need to think about because usually nobody will
start grabbing your wrists so how did you get there? Maybe you did a bear hug, maybe you were grappling, and I try to go for your groin, so you slide down to defend yourself, and voila, we’re now in this position. Now I can pick right side or left side. In the kata, we do it in both directions. So I’m just gonna cross my
arms, slide to the side, and release my hands so that I can bam, smack my opponent straight into the face, and I crash into him, and
step through with this leg which gives me sort of a
takedown advantage as well. And then the next move
is when I turn around and do a low block. So, I’m just gonna grab my opponent, either here, around the
mouth, on the front, doesn’t matter, the hair
maybe, wherever you can grab because there are no rules
when it comes to self defense, unless you break the law, right? So, you grab somewhere, you turn around, and you spin down. And that is my low block. Let’s look at that again
from another angle. In fact, it doesn’t have
to be from wrist grabs. It could be from a punch,
just give me a punch. Here, I just slide to the side, and do the same kind of evading motion which looks like a hammer-fist strike, but in fact, it might be a block. I step through and I smack
my opponent in the face. And now, look, he has his
other leg to the front. It doesn’t matter because
you need to be able to adapt to each situation. And my fist slides here now, so I’m just gonna go like this instead for my low block, and
step around, and pull. There’s a famous saying
by Gichin Funakoshi that, “Kata is one thing,
but a real fight is another.” And this means that you
need to be able to adapt each move from the kata
according to each situation. Okay, so let’s move on
to the next Pinan kata. By the way, in more
modern Japanese styles, these kata are known as Heian, but the original pronunciation is Pinan which has Chinese origins and
actually means to “stay safe”, and the modern Heian terminology means “peace and tranquility”. These kata were actually
created by Itosu Anko whose known as the
grandfather of modern karate, and he made these kata as
he spearheaded the campaign to introduce karate into the
school system in Okinawa, and later one of his
students, Funakoshi Gichin, who helped spread karate
in mainland Japan, changed the name to Heian
to make it more digestible for regular Japanese people. Now we’re gonna focus on the shuto, the knife or sword-hand techniques. So, let’s say somebody swings at you. You wanna move back and cover up. Natural responsive
defensive reaction, right? Again, I cover up, but this
is not a good position, so I circle around, and I bam, deliver my
own shuto, my sword hand, not just using the hand, but the whole arm which is the old way of using the move, straight into the neck using
my whole body behind it. Now, it could end here. And of course, we do this
on both sides in the kata. Let’s try the other side. Defend and then I step in, but of course, look at
his natural reaction. He wants to defend himself so let’s use that
response for my next move. Again, you attack me. I defend, I step in, and you block. So what I do is I now slide down and I grab your hand,
your palm, your fingers, whatever I can grab, I stretch it out, and I go for the third one. One, two, three shuto
techniques in the kata, bam. And then of course from here, we have a nukite, a spear-hand technique. So what I do is I step behind you and I execute a basic trip or a takedown. For what looks like the
spear-hand technique, which of course is not, penetrating your opponent’s
ribs and ripping his heart out, but actually a takedown technique. Let’s move on to the
third Pinan kata, Sandan. Now, a lot of people
like to use applications for this weird double blocks
in the beginning this way. Give me a double strike. Ha, and then another. Ha, okay. But we all know that this
is not really practical. So how could you use
these types of movements where I’m pushing down with one arm and I’m pulling up with the other arm? Well, have you ever seen an arm drag where you push down and
you pull up this way? Maybe, it’s more of a
grappling-based technique instead so that’s what we’re gonna use. So let’s say we’re in a
grappling-type situation and I find a wrist. I push it down and I pull
up with the other hand. And can you see his
natural reaction this way? He wants to move with the force so I don’t hurt his elbow. So what I do then is I slide my other arm on the inside,and I go behind him, and this is my second double block. So I’m doing this kind of
threading motion with my arms as I slide behind, and I do the chicken wing lock, and I choke with the other arm. So we’re in a grappling-based situation. I find an arm, a wrist, I push and I pull, and I slide, look, behind
to then grab his neck. And from here, it’s easy
to just take him down by, for example, stomping, careful so you don’t
dislocate the shoulder, and then you might finish by pushing this hand up using your knee, and then maybe apply a
choke if you want to. That’s up to you. The kata only shows the first part. How you finish it up is up to you. For Yondan, the fourth kata, we’re gonna use also a
grappling-based application. Now, using the upper body, you always wanna control the inside of your opponent’s arms or neck to stay in control of
these movements, right? So that’s what I’m gonna be doing here, but I’m gonna use these moves
in the beginning of the kata. So, inside, neck control, bicep control, doesn’t matter what side because you do it on
both sides in the kata. You pull and you push using your elbow. You push up, you pull down, and trip over your foot. Super simple foot sweep. That’s all you’re doing in
the beginning of the kata. It could be, for example, that
your opponent is grabbing you and you’re defending using
this type of movement this way for example, well let’s say, do a tight lynch, yeah this way. Pull down, push up, and
just pick whatever side depending on how your
opponent is standing. I pull down, I push up, I move to the side, and I trip. Super simple, super effective. Let’s look at that one more time. So one hand on the
inside, other on the neck, up, push up using your elbow this way. This is the arm that goes up. This hand pulls down,
you shift to the side, and you trip his front leg
so he falls to the outside, not to this side, but to that side. Here, this way. For the last and fifth kata, we’re gonna do a super simple move that you see in a lot of other kata too. And actually these Pinan katas, as they were originally called, consist of a plethora of
applications and techniques taken from many other older forms. That’s the way Itosu designed them so that he can teach safer
and easier alternatives to these traditional
katas to school children as he wanted to popularize
karate in its birthplace. So, let’s look at this move. We do a high block, and
you spin your hands around, and you follow up with other techniques. Something straight comes towards me and I’m gonna just cover
up basically like this using what looks like
the high-cross block. And then look, I keep this contact intact as I spin around, and push
down for an elbow lock, and then the next is easy. You just finish him up with
the following techniques. And the cool thing about this is actually that law enforcement
officers use this move with a gun and a flashlight because you’re holding it like this way. And even if you have your hands occupied, you could apply, look, let’s
imagine I’m holding something. You can apply the same kind of motion without grabbing your opponent so I could theoretically be
holding something in my hands because you’re using that
connected sensitivity, that kinesthetic awareness to slide around your opponent’s
arm and force him down. Super simple and super effective. The key is just to have some timing. Let’s look at that one more time. The original intent of
the Pinan or Heian kata was physical cultivation, but the applications of the forms can be used whenever
somebody attacks to you, to stay safe from harm which is the original
translation of the name itself. And I hope you enjoy that. Train hard, good luck, and have fun.

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