weeks TOTW is Submitted by Sensei Rick Cupoli, West
the Direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione
use of the hip is central to the execution of karate technique
Hanshi, Kyoshi, Sensei, Sempai and all Deshi,
The use of the hip is central to the execution of karate
technique. It is the primary source of power when executing
our technique after stepping first. There are many instances
in kata where we learn to save the hip; particularly
when executing combination techniques. We are first introduced
to this concept of saving the hip in Fukyugata Ni (F2).
After the elbow smash we perform a low block followed by
a reverse punch. This particular technique is demonstrated
carefully by Hanshi in the Kata Guide.
You will notice upon the completion of the elbow smash,
the hip corresponding to the extended elbow is rotated forward.
If the left elbow is delivering the elbow smash, as in the
first time this technique is used in F2, the left hip is
rotated forward. The technique that follows is a combination
technique that incorporates a left low block followed by
a right reverse punch. When the left block is delivered,
the hip remains stationary. Immediately upon completing
the left low block, the right hip rotates forward which
triggers the throwing of the right reverse punch. The torque
of the hip is saved while executing the low block so that
it can be engaged in the reverse punch. Often times this
detail is left out of the technique resulting in a very
When we advance to Fukyugata San (F3), we are exposed to
this concept of saving the hip throughout the
kata. As an exercise see if you can identify where the horizontal
rotation, or torque, of the hip is saved in F3. If you are
having difficulty, ask your sensei for help. Then, be sure
to practice this element of our techniques to incorporate
power into your delivery.
One extra note. One could say that such combination moves
set up, or, position, the hip to be used in culmination
of the combination move. As I have trained, I have also
noticed that this kind of setup also occurs when stepping
first. Not only does the step root you down, leveraging
your technique against the ground, but it also serves to
torque your hip so it can be utilized in your technique.
Stepping is a technique. So in a way, every time you step
first you are saving your hip for the delivery of your technique.
Let's continue to explore this as we continue to train.
Sensei Rick Cupoli
Shihan West Melbourne Dojo