While today everyone seems to know what Bunkai is, there was a time say pre 1980 where the word was almost never used.
For everyone who knows that Shotokan does not have effective ‘bunkai’ I have a different opinion.
I was taught the use of the term by Tristan Sutrisno and in the context of the bunkai taught by his father from his father’s studies with Funakoshi in tht 1930’s in Shotokan, and with those in aikido and tjimande. This is the only ‘bunkai’ I ever studied, a very different ‘bunkai’ meaning than elsewhere. His paradigm had the applications using kata for a placeholder for the intended application. Most often the application did not have anything to do with the kata. These Bunkai were taught at Dan level, and a different interpretation at each Dan level.
Of course as an Isshinryu stylist I do not use the Heian Kata.
The application studies I had with Sherman Harrill followed an entirely different paradigm.
By way of example, the following clip is from his aiki bunkai for Heian Yon Dan. This was about 1981.I am with holding my son Victor-Michael .He attended the clinic and learned too.