|The place where questions|
|Not the dreaded ridge-hand|
at the end of Saifa kata.
This sort of view is only a small step--a little sliding step if you will because it's a slippery slope--from the notion that a technique can mean anything. And it's not too hard in the confines of the dojo--with a compliant junior student--to make anything work. Or to change certain aspects of the technique shown in kata and say that you're showing variations or hidden techniques or oyo bunkai or the more advanced levels of this that and the other. People say all manner of things when pushed into a corner. But whatever the bunkai, it should be logical, lethal, and conform to the principles of martial movement. It's easy to dismiss bunkai that isn't based on sound martial principles.
And to some degree, the same thing applies to kata. You can "see" the bunkai in a good performance of kata. I would argue that some of the performance kata one sees on the Internet may be appealing to the eye of the inexperienced--excessive use of dynamic tension, moves that are held too long, overly large and sweeping arm movements--but they only underscore the lack of any real understanding of bunkai on the part of the demonstrators. Okinawan karate, if done properly, is probably not very pretty to look at--certainly not very stylish or flamboyant--but it is effective.
So rant aside, what I am suggesting is that martial arts needs some critical rather than polite discourse. We need to argue with each other and scrutinize. We need to debate and defend and be a little less thin-skinned or politically correct. I think everyone would benefit from more open discourse.