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Bunkai Sparring Techniques

Just as students learn throws from the Kata, we also learn striking, blocking, trapping and techniques we use in free sparring. These can also be used in self defense scenarios. Below are the 14 Bunkai Sparring techniques we teach as a part of our training program.

​​​​Historical Bunkai Throws

Zen Budo Karate is a Historical Martial Art, and as such it is crucially important to know the meaning and application of each of the Kata. Most people don't know that Karate also has a significant grappling and throwing element. Zen Budo Karate teaches 14 Historical Bunkai Throws. These are practical, no nonsense self defense throws which are part of the movements in the Kata. Here they are demonstrated by Chris Bowers, Director of Education for Zen Budo Karate.

Kanku Dai

Heian Godan (5)

Heian Yondan (4)

Heian Sandan (3)

Heian Nidan (2)

Heian Shodan (1)

At Zen Budo Karate, we keep as many online teaching tools as we can available. We do this because it is very helpful to parents and students to have as many references as possible so that they can be as prepared for their belt testing as possible. We believe in openness with our students and the martial arts community at large. Open instruction is very helpful so that students can have clear expectations of their learning process and so that they may explore on their own.


Zen Budo Karate teaches the traditional Heian/Pinan Katas, in the Shotokan Style, as well as requiring Kanku Dai (which is a combination of the Pinans) for Black Belt promotion. Black Belts also take an elective Kata (decided on by them and their instructor). Below are the five Pinan Kata done by 9th Degree Hirozaku Kanazawa, of the Japanese Karate Association.

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Zen Budo Karate

holistic Martial Arts for Kids And Adults