Good post Richard, thank you.
The variations of conceptual aspects of a Kata or standard bunkai are fun to 'mess with'...leading to a better understanding of lines of force and directions under the influence of the chemical cocktail that seems to be all controlling in confrontations.
I like to focus any move we are taught to make in Kata or bunkai on the HAPV as listed by Patrick McCarthy. It is useful to explore the most common acts of violence, the most common ways we are likely to be attacked, and to apply the 'Uechi style' against them.
McCarthy sensei emphasizes the importance of understanding principles as opposed to techniques. Something I've always personally believed to be true.
Walter Mattson, 10th Dan, under Takara sensei, told me once that Master Takara teaches in that manner because in a real fight our Uechi response actions won't look anything like what we practice in the dojo.
Again, my view has always been that under the stress of the chemical cocktail, many of the techniques we practice, will not surface in the manner we expect. But the concepts of the technique, will.
I do teach the defense against a street take down or attempt by a big burly opponent to charge because it is a common attack. And the defense I teach is to sense the charge and be able to spin off line of the attack gaining a flanking advantage.
My student who was almost attacked by a 350 lbs disturbed person in a retail store, just recently, felt confident he would be able to spin off the charge if it came, instead of contesting the opponent's size, weight, momentum and strength. But even that can quickly become a disaster if the adrenaline surge will momentarily freeze the victim.
Thinking that blocking or even hitting, kicking a raging bull coming at you, hoping to stop him, is something to be weary of, something I don't recommend unless first gaining a positional flanking advantage.
This should be obvious but in many cases it isn't.
One of my 'gorilla students' [who owns a meat store and handles 300 lbs sides of beef on a daily basis] is about to bring to our dojo a friend of his who knows no martial arts at all, but is a 300 lbs _Neardenthal_ who can pick up a heating boiler expansion tank from a house basement and bring it up the stairs and outside all on his own.
He will come up not to work out but to observe our training. I love to see these people come up because I use them as examples of what a potential attacker might be on the street and to get real with defensive concepts.
This particular person coming up...once beat up two other big guys to a pulp in a street fight...and he just loves to get hit, no matter where on his body, including his face.
These people are the ones that can teach the greatest lessons just by standing there and maybe giving a student a shove now and then.
I think a good teacher must be able to impress upon a student the truth that we can all be vulnerable to unexpected and tragic occurrences, and to understand that the our practice of karate or other martial art, should really be nothing more than remaining a student of our own individual vulnerabilities.
The time to inculcate and address this concept is not when under attack we suddenly find that all the 'pieces of the puzzle' we assumed we knew_ don't quite fit the way we originally thought, and we are down with our face to the concrete ground and your head being kicked like a soccer ball.