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Power To Your Technique


The Hips

Hips are the centre of your body, connecting your lower and upper half. They are one of the most important physical components in applying power and getting your body to work as a united whole. Your hip joints have to remain supple and not tense up, since they must be able to move freely from one technique to another. As your skill increases, your hip action should become smaller and subtler than when you were a beginner.

This illustration by Sakamoto-Sensei shows the progression of power during gyaku-zuki.

Your hips are used to deliver the power or energy through your striking limbs. Understand that most of your techniques will use a hip vibration at shodan level and above. Before this, simple hip rotation is used by beginners. When we perform a lower kata, such as Seisan, hip rotation is used for many of the techniques. But when I actually apply these techniques, the rotation usually turns into a vibration. Here's why:

When striking, it’s important to retract your striking limb with your hips after extending it for the blow. The percussion that is caused by the action of pulling releases the energy into the opponent. If you just rotate your hips to deliver your technique and leave the hand there, the blow becomes a push and you lose the percussive effect.

Imagine your body is like a whip and the handle of the whip is your hips. if you just throw the whip out, it’s dead and no real damage is done. But if you snap it back, you hear a loud “crack” as the power is released into your target.


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