Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Technique of the Week (April 25th, 2005)

From Sensei Steve Lott, Ueshiro Midtown Karate Dojo, NYC


Isolating the hip when punching - Don’t move the shoulders

As described recently the hip is a major key in generating power. But it is important to be able to incorporate the hip properly when performing a technique so that the move is effective as well as looking clean. This involves using the most valuable tool in the dojo - our old friend the mirror.

The best way to practice this is walking punch. First start out with the mirror on your right side. Take the position of right foot-left hand reverse punch. Do not take yours eyes off the mirror.

The following occur in this order:
1. The right foot remains still
2. The left foot steps out
3. The right foot ( now the back foot ) turns a good 45 degrees which “loads” the right hip for the punch.
4. The punch is delivered using the hip.

But the common error here is in #3. Unintentionally, we turn the shoulders when we load the hip. The shoulders must always remain still and parallel to the opponent. In order to practice this without turning the shoulders try the following:

Begin as above with #1 and #2
It is here at #3 we must be very careful.
Keep a close eye on the mirror as you move here. Very slowly, as the rear foot turns load the hip but make sure that the right shoulder does not rotate backward with the hip. This is called isolating the hip in the technique. Another way of thinking about isolating the hip is to keep a close eye on the fist in the chamber. Remember, eyes on the mirror ! After you step, the hip rotates backward but the fist remains in its exact point in space and does not travel back and then forward.

After you practice 1-4 from this angle - reverse it. Start out with the mirror on your left with left foot forward - right hand extended.

This same isolated hip motion occurs with walking chest block and walking head block.

Just remember to keep your eyes on the mirror and enjoy the show.


Steve Lott