Bunkai (分解), stands for "analysis" or "disassembly" and refers to the process of analysing kata and extracting the fighting techniques from the movements these are called Oyo.

Bunkai is performed with a partner where one executes predefined attacks (Uke), and the other responds with defenses, counterattacks, or other actions, based that part of the kata. Bunkai allows the students to understand what each movement in the kata are meant to accomplish. It may also illustrate how to improve technique by adjusting distances, time moves properly, and adapt a technique depending on the size of an opponent.

Some kata have other layers of application that is taught using an Oyo Bunkai, an "application of the kata in ways other than the standard bunkai." Different practitioners will learn or discover alternative applications, the more they train and look at the katas.

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