Hips Don’t lie

Hips Don’t lie

Not just a Shikira song, funny thing to say in a martial arts blog but please bare with me. Martial arts and it really does not matter what style/system you use should be about effortless motion using the body to its maximum effect but with economy of motion and efficiency of movement. How do we get to this lofty ambition in order to achieve the said goals.

This is a great question and one that we will answer in this blog having said that it is always very difficult through the written word as some things need to be shown and you also need to feel it to give it the clarification and understanding it deserves.

Let’s look at where movement is initiated before we perform any kick/punch or lock on someone. We can say that we must use our core/centre and I am sure that your instructor has shouted this out to you time and time again in your club or dojo and you just went along with it without really fully understanding it.

When we use our centre/core everything we subsequently do will be more powerful and strong, using the body as the whole unit and not separating it into single body parts is our ultimate goal.

Movement should always be initiated from the centre and then expressed by the arms or legs or whatever body part you want. Too many martial artists stand still and work off a platform just relying on arm, leg strength and or leg and arm speed without even thinking about their core. So they step to where they need to go and then just use arm and leg movements not really the best use of your body resources.

So how do we do it, well the moment I point and load my hips, my arms and legs are engaged, I may also put a wave in the action with an up and over motion, now don’t get confused and say to yourself we have this in Karate/Kung Fu/Tae Kwon Do or what ever as it is not the same thing I am talking about or you may have had it in your style/system but it is not taught this way any more due to hundreds of years of copy paste martial arts and the masters not passing it on. (Sad)

I said this would be difficult to explain in a blog as I am dealing with so many people who are at different levels of understanding and remember you learn in the knowledge you have not the knowledge you need, you need a new tool box and so don’t rely on your old one to gain new knowledge.


We all remember the Karate kid films, wow there were so many little pearls of wisdom in those films, any way Mr Miyagi had a mini drum called den-den daiko;

Link to drum 

The stick of the drum is held in the palm of the hands and when you rub your palms together and the two little pellets hit each side of the drum, you do this back and forth. Now this uses centrifugal force a definition of this is; a force arising from the body’s inertia, which appears to act on a body moving in a circular path and is directed away from the centre around where the body is moving.

This still really does not explain it enough as even though the drum is spinning and using it’s core/centre it is still flat and on one plain all be it a circular one. If we could also put a wave in the motion of the drum as it is spinning then we would get closer to using core/centre but there are still more elements we can add to the above to make it an effortless motion with maximum effect, economy of motion coupled with efficiency of movement but I don’t want you all to get too confused so this simple explanation is enough in this short blog but there is more, much more to learn.

So we have looked at the above as something that you are doing on your own, we have not at this stage added an opponent to the mix if we do that we have to take into account the effect it will have on him and all the subsequent movements of him and yourself together when doing any movement.

So it is not just about turning your hips. If you have any questions or would like to train first hand please contact me and I would be happy to explain the principles and how they relate to your martial art practice.

Best wishes and train safe

GM Angelo