In the martial arts, kata are the prearranged and choreographed dance-like forms used to convey the intricacies of a particular style to the practitioner. In a sense they are the physical form of an oral tradition, (a form of knowledge transference that many believe extends back several thousand years), training not only the body, but the mind and spirit. Kata are the basis for which modern day karate techniques have developed and hence kata are considered the 'textbooks' of the martial arts.
Kata is often called the mother of Karate. Bunkai is a kind of analysis (meaning, 'to disassemble') - a much neglected form of study within Karate.
These self-defense applications are what give the kata their true meaning and purpose. For the old masters, those of whom may have only practiced one or two kata their entire lives, the repetitions demanded of kata never became a burden because of the meaning, the bunkai. In thousands of schools around the world today, the various kata of Karate are taught and practiced. Unfortunately, not many know, or care to teach, the bunkai, referring to them a mysterious 'secrets.' In Shihan Te: The Bunkai of Kata, these secrets are revealed.