58 Bunkai to Kakete!

Many people think it’s hard to apply techniques from kata in a self-defense scenario.

“How can this be used?” they think, and all too often try to use it against a straight karate punch. Like a street thug would launch a perfect oi-zuki/gyaku-zuki/jun-zuki/[insert-your-favourite-straight-karate-punch-here].

And if it doesn’t work, they think the technique is worthless, or a waste of time. For example, here is a very common karate move, called kake-te (“grabbing hand[s]”). It is featured in many kata, and almost always done in neko-ashi dachi, sanchin dachi or sometimes shiko dachi.

Ask someone for an application for the kakete and in 9 times out of 10 they will show you this:

Tadaa! (This is two instructors from our dojo, Viktor and Vincent).

Sometimes they will really let their imagination flow, and do the kakete from the inside too! Look!

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of this type of bunkai.


So I looked outside. Outside the box.

Let me introduce… 58 bunkai to kakete! Performed by my loyal slav… oops I mean colleagues, Viktor and Vincent. All of the bunkai are different, and if you slightly adjust the position of the hands here and there you could easily make if over 100, if that’s important to you. In this case the camera’s memory card got full, so we could only do 58.

Feel free to try them out on somebody next time you train, I guarantee they hurt to 99.9%, if you do them correctly.


By the way… I noticed something strange with #36… (row 12, right).


  • Houbajones
    Keep your research about karate and the differents meaning of any moves. I study with mabuni sensei (shito ryu). And after more than 80 years of karate, he still finds new meanings for some moves. Best way to build a good karate is making our own reflexion about the art. That is the way taugh in japan. Good continuation
  • That's fantastic! Thanks!
  • Hi Jesse, Nice to see that your Koryu Uchinadi & Yamane Ryu training is being put to good use in your practices. My best to Silja, and Oliver, too.
  • Konnichiwa! Greetings from sunny Okinawa! Thank you for your comment, though my hands on experience in Koryu Uchinadi and Yamene-ryu waza is somewhat limited. Looking forward to your next book! /Jesse PS. I've heard much about you over here :)
  • Hi Jesse, Nice to hear from you - is mom or Oliver with you, too? Who are you visiting this time? Drop me an e-mail at bujin@koryu-uchinadi.com and send a couple of photos when you get a chance.
  • Hi again, Yes they are, they came two weeks ago, for the world tournament! I'll send an e-mail! /Jesse
  • How the heck did I not notice the "Patrick McArthy" in the comments section ?
  • Nice work. A few of those might be going more into makikomi area though over kakete. But the idea that there are multiple techniques for what seems like a simple movement is great to pass on. I was told and have told my students that they are being taught black belt techniques as white belts but they are hidden and they will either be shown or they will discover them when they are ready. We are given muscle memory on techniques from the start and when we are taught them they will come much quicker because of the above way of teaching. Are job as the guides is to teach 10% of a students martial arts (give them the tools) Point out another 10% (show them how to use the tools). The last 80% they must get on their own using the tools we have given them and how to use them. If we teach them too much then they will never learn to think and understand. My sensei have told me the best way to teach someone nothing is to teach them everything.
  • Cajuri
    Mejor si estuviera en video

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