Bunkai is the application of a movement, or the set of movements within a Kata. Once a student knows the movements, a black belt will then demonstrate the applications of the Kata to the class to show the students what is happening, so that they can effectively bring the Kata to life.
A good Karate-ka will have a deep understanding of Kata and its background along with its applications. At Stafford Shotokan Karate, we teach the application at three levels to appeal to all levels for students; basic, intermediate and advanced. We teach in this way as each movement in Kata can have a minimum of three explanations for just a single movement.