kenshindoryu wrote:And to follow the argument to a logical conclusion, presumably drop the kata altogether and move towards a purely Shindo yoshin ryu koryu art.
I imagine that Otsuka included the kata in Wadoryu as he saw some value and, as his grandson says, that part of that value was to match the movements to jujitsu technique.
Most, if not all, of the Japanese instructors in the UK have taught bunkai at some point, even if they no longer do so and I well remember those sessions with Mr Suzuki, Mr Shiomitsu and Mr Shinohara in my early years. Perhaps the new grandmaster will bring this practice to the fore once more?
No Jim, if you're going to be 'logical' what should follow my words here:
" is the reality that the Wado ryu has a smorgasbord of paired kata that demonstrate both torimi and ukemi stratagems at afar greater depth, so why not just practice them.?"
would be to understand that our grading and obi systems highlight the fact that the Wado ryu is an experiential learning process, and like any process where we start at the beginning there are incidental elements that, once understood, often become irrelevant in the secondary, tertiary and higher philosophical learning levels. Bunkai is one such, and any bunkai in the Wado ryu - and there were a few initially - became irrelevant in the light of the subsequent stage of Kaisetsu analysis-that deals with analysis beyond the simple technical understanding.
A westerner studying the Wado ryu would know the word Kata as perhaps a more familiar word than gyo, nevertheless much of the Wado ryu’s paired forms from the 10 Kihon Kumite onwards can be classified as gyo with the use of this kanji 形 which indicates the shape, form and style of something living. Whereas Okinawan kata uses the kanji 型 which indicates the ‘mould, type, or model’ of something inanimate. It is not even a fine distinction but it is one that will elude the unwary and the early breakaway groups that still call themselves Wado Ryu despite having only a handful of pennies from the Wado ryu bank.
Any senior grade or lover of Wado ryu - and you claim to be one - should avoid the foolishness of any fanciful bunkai confection to keep the wado waters clear. We are now 50 years - that’s half a century of clear thinking time - onward from the introduction of Wado ryu into the U.K. and European consciousness and yet still the notion of a Japanese martial art form is often confused with its Okinawan relative when one has its Nihon Koryu and warrior legacy and the other its more fundamental self-defence raison d’etre. It is without any doubt - in my mind - that the former is viewed from the mainland as a vital major artery that thrums vibrantly still in the Japanese psyche while the agrarian weaponry and bare handed tode along with its bunkai are just something that has been annexed, much like Tiffin was.