I’d like to share a video this week that explores a portion of the Gojushiho kata. Many karate styles share this kata, which makes exploring the different versions very interesting and impactful. Despite their performance differences, most styles include a section wherein the practitioner steps in a kosa dachi fashion, performs a grabbing motion, and then steps out into a throw.

This video looks at that series and explains how you can take the performance of the technique and drill down to the core concepts that make it work in a combat-viable fashion.

The bunkai demonstrated is far from the only application possible. The real goal here is to show how practitioners can explore their kata in ways they might not have considered before.


As you dive into the bunkai and oyo bunkai of your kata, never be afraid to ask yourself “could I really use this?”. A good application keeps reality in mind while staying true to the essence of the form itself.

Finally, remember that some kata (including Gojushiho) were subject to alteration and hiding of technique throughout the history of Okinawa. Finding what the technique is trying to whisper is sometimes more important than what the technique literally shouts.