Here's a video of Seiunchin bunkai by Morio Higaonna:
What's wrong with this bunkai? In the first sequence, since Higaonna sensei takes the kata apart move by move, there's nothing lethal about the first move--the hands coming up and then down again to deal with a double wrist grab--so he puts in a front kick to the opponent's groin. He doesn't even get the opponent to release his grab until he kicks him! And the front kick he employs is not in the kata! Bunkai is supposed to be an analysis of kata. Horse stance is not a good kicking stance either. He also doesn't move off line. The kata shows one stepping in at an angle.
|Where Seiunchin bunkai begins.|
|First step forward in Seiunchin.|
|Bringing the head down.|
|Grabbing the head.|
|Turning the body--hair and chin.|
This last point--get out of the way or move off-line--is actually one of the problems with Hiagonna sensei's interpretation of the opening move of Seiunchin. By seeing this as a release from an opponent's double-handed wrist grab--as if anyone would get themselves into this in the first place!?!--Higaonna sensei doesn't take into account the stepping movement shown in the kata. If the attacker is coming from the front, the kata shows the defender stepping forward (and off-line) along the northeast angle to deal with the attack. Putting oneself into a relatively safe position against the opponent means moving to his outside. So if we look at his attack as a cross-grab or his left hand grabbing my left wrist, I can explain not only how the hands move but also how the feet and stance of kata are utilized in the bunkai.
Here's a video of Shisochin bunkai by Higaonna sensei that shows many of the same interpretive problems:
|Attack to the back of the head|
or neck to end the sequence.
So what's the lesson here? Well, in the first place, there's probably a good argument not to put any videos of yourself on the Internet. There's probably good reason not to put anything into words, too, or to state an opinion contrary to generally held beliefs, but I've been out on that limb before. So the real lesson, it seems to me, is that when bunkai doesn't look like kata, it's not the right bunkai. Oh, and it should make sense too. And be real.