The above phrase, “Koshi o hineru“, translates as “Twisting (of the) hips“.
This is something very important in both Karate and Kobudo (and nearly every other Martial Art out there). It is especially important in Kobudo, since you need to swing some extra weight.
But… we have a problem.
There seems to be some people (mostly in Okinawan styles) who are almost obsessed with twisting the hips too much. They even violently shake and twist their hips when they do yoi! If you are not ‘shaking them hips’, you are not doing Karate/Kobudo, according to them.
To me, if you are shaking your hips like that, you are not doing Karate/Kobudo, you are doing belly-dancing!
Sure, twisting of the hips is a crucial part of almost every technique, but it is only one part. If I remember correctly, I once learned that in Yaguy Shingan-ryu Ju-jutsu there is a term known as “ashi-koshi-te“.
“Foot, hip, hand.”
This might be a Ju-jutsu term, but it holds equally true for both Karate and Kobudo. The power (chikara) is generated from the foot, through the knee joint, through the hip joint, through the shoulder joint, through the elbow joint, through the wrist joint, and finally:
Into the target.
Crossing a total minimum of 6 joints.
The hip is only one of them.
If you are obsessed with the hip, you will forget the other 5, and soon you will be belly-dancing! Not only that, but all of your techniques will be lacking in speed, and you will be lacking in defence (when you wind up your hips). Plus, you will telegraph your movement! And worst of all, you can never get proper kime (unless you take that hip-twisting and squeeze it inside your hara)!
Please don’t get me wrong, the hip is actually important. Because out of all of these joints it is the biggest, and thus it has capacity of generating most power.
So my conclusion is this:
The hip joint may stand for a majority of the power, but to get maximum power you can not neglect the other joints. And if the hip movement is exaggerated, it will have a negative effect on the whole.
But hey, it’s easier to just swing the hips and hope that some power comes out!
Plus, you can always get some nice insurance money when you break your lower back from all that twisting!