A lot has been made in recent years about bunkai 分解, the analysis of kata for fighting applications. Even Funakoshi Gichin 船越義 warned of the danger of kata degrading into dance if it lacked consciousness of its original martial aspect. Still, the nature of what is being fought in kata is nuanced. Richard Katrovas elegantly articulated the view of our dōjō:
The kata, I realized only years later, after I’d taught karate for part of my meager living for several years, have little to do with preparing one for combat with other men. They are about the inner battle, the need to express dignity in a world bent on wrestling it away.