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.
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.