French FR English EN

Energy does not come from the hips, but from the Hara!


Energy-not-just-not-the-hip-Bruno-BandelierDoes the energy come from the hips?

Yesterday, I made a video a little unusual. I started a little debate on the starting point of energy when you give a punch (Tsuki). Indeed, I said the following sentence:

When one gives a Tsuki, the energy does not start from the hips but from the Hara (the center of gravity of the body, or the belly).

So it's true that I'm not inventing anything, because this principle is known to all martial arts. Yet we often tend to make the mistake and think that energy comes from the hips. In launching this debate yesterday, I wanted to remove this belief that is often taught wrongly, saying that energy comes from the hips.

I asked the karateka a question:

If I sit on a rotating stool and give a Tsuki without laying my legs down, on the stool does my body rotate in the direction of my punch, or in the opposite direction?

I had some answers to this video, but above all it triggered real debate on our facebook page with quite shared answers ...

That's why I wanted to give the answer in a second video, where I show you that the energy does not come from the hips and I give you the proof with my magic stool:
On a stool, when you put a Tsuki while raising your legs, our body turns in the opposite direction of the given blow.

Indeed, one might think the opposite at first. I have already asked my students, and almost all answered me that the body went in the direction of the punch. The explanation is actually quite simple, and I give it to you now.

Bruno Bandelier energie and hara
In fact, as you will see in the video, the energy starts from the Hara (belly). To leave, this energy will simply rely on the hip (the right hip in this case because I used the right arm). As a result, the right hip will recede, and the rest of the body will follow it to go right. As you understand it, it is not at all wrong to say that the hip has a big impact in the transmission of energy, on the contrary, the hip is very important! But the energy does not start from the hip but from the Hara.

In the end, the hip, legs, floor and shoulders only aim to accelerate the movement of the punch, and allow the energy from the Hara to be transmitted in the fastest way and the powerful possible. To prove it, I made some experiments to show that even without the legs for example, one could have power. To do this, I decided to test by punching in weightlessness (the idea came to me from a comment I received). Well, we're a bit far from the moon, so I managed, so I jumped putting a Tsuki.

The result is that expected, even if the punch has a little less power, it is still powerful and we feel that the force comes from the belly. I also tried with a Mae Geri and the result is the same. Here is the second video:

And you what do you think ? The energy comes from your hips, Hara, soil?
Give me your opinion in a comment below!

Facebook Comments
Guide offered!
"How to succeed your grade passes"


  1. In my opinion, there are several ways to do the same thing. I remember a Japanese who when giving tsuki these was preceded by a thud coming from his heel in the floor. In biomechanical terms we can admit that a rotation of the hips puts the trunk in rotation and adds a speed more like a small tap from a motorcycle gives a big slap. The problem if one is contracted down and up one gets found with two blocks very inert and verterbras to the mediums that will assume a horizontal transfer in the best of cases.Cela becomes painful if one makes series full pots and consequent (40 of each sides) .Suite to this experiment, I force too much on this rotation I have more back pain. But it is possible that more massive trunks or better sheathed do not have this problem. For the concept of hara that we find in hapkido, the Orientals are rather discreet on this subject certain see a "subtle" energy accumulator and a breath but accompanied by visualization however this breathing us but uncomfortable because our culture values ​​flat bellies which are often bellies returned.
    On the high karate of Me Funakoshi the movement of the hips is more limited
    see KArate Kihon from 1935 in pdf on:

  2. I thank you very much for all that you are doing for the world of karate do and the beneficial information that you send to each contact.
    for the question, I think that the force starts from the hara, is oriented by the hip and is stabilized and amplified by the support of the feet with the sole which is also very important.

  3. You're right Bruno. Despite 40 years past, I remember that Sensei Kasé often said: "strong belly", meaning the energy comes from the belly. And we also advised to focus on the part that touched the opponent at the moment of impact.
    In the hall, rue Ste Genevieve at Henry Plée's, there was a punching bag. When one of us hit, foot or fist, the bag was fluttering. By cons when Sensei Kasé hit the bag did not move but the fist or foot penetrated !!!!!

  4. Following the previous comment: Add the rotation of the wrist to the impact !!
    Have I forgotten another energy?

  5. Hello
    Congratulations for the demonstrations I thank you. It only remains for me to buy a stool for my dojo!
    Efficiency = Hara, hips, heel support and upper limb moving with contraction only to fist right at impact!
    An addition of energy
    Thank you again

  6. Hello Bruno, I do not know where you heard that the energy came from the hip ??

    In karateka memory, I never heard that energy came from the hips. If there are teachers who say it they must stop karate and change their sport (fishing for example).

    I was very surprised that you could make a video about it. In my opinion the work of Hara remains complicated, we must begin to teach students how to breathe to get to release energy. I think you're tackling big chunk for so-called beginners to the black belt. Do not confuse power with energy, they are two completely different things. You should have started with that
    we must not forget that there is a progression in karate and that we must not burn the stages. It is a shame that some teachers no longer respect traditional karate and let themselves be drawn by their own imagination that is no longer related to our elders, I call it more karate Do but karate leisure just like the history of your stool I do not see that he comes to do it in the middle.

    Below, to agree everyone a small extract of sensei Taiji KASÉ

    The importance of the Hara (point located a few inches below the navel) in the Budô has two origins. On the one hand, there is Zen meditation. In Zen, it was found that after the ordinary or pectoral breathing, at the level of the lungs, there was a method to bring down the air by means of the breathing towards the center of the body, until the Hara. This gave greater stability and ease in controlling the inside of the body and the movements improved significantly. On the other hand, there were the Samurai and some experienced that, if instead of using the muscular force of the shoulders, we used a location further down, that is to say towards the Hara, the techniques. were more effective and with more opportunities for success. And as in Japan, there already existed Kendo, Ju-Jutsu, etc. as arts of the Budo, little by little, Karate-do managed to follow this path. For this, he used the breath in the following way: to compress the air towards the Hara, to keep it there compressed and to use this extra energy in the form of explosive force for the realization of the techniques. To breathe correctly towards the Hara and to make this compression makes it possible to generate an explosive force essential for example in the Sambon-Tsuki, Sandan-Tsuki or the works of Hente (successive techniques with the same arm), which could not be carried out efficiently with a breathing at the chest or with the muscular strength of the shoulders. The maximum efficiency is only possible with the explosive force generated by breathing, location and compression in the Hara.

    They allow vibratory movements. Natural movements. The hips always accompany the movements of blockages or attack. Each hip mechanism generates a dynamic impact, increasing the power of attacks and blockages. The hips are for example always in the corner of blockages. This allows a circular hip work that amplifies the depth and power of movement while allowing great muscle relaxation.

    Moral do not confuse power and energy

    • Hello,
      I totally agree on the whole of your comment and if I can afford, I had the chance to follow several training of HandiKaraté and when one is on a wheelchair one can quickly see that we still have a lot of work left.
      Do not put the cart before the horse

    • Hello Alain,

      In fact, I often hear that everything comes from the hips. Certainly the work of the hips is important as you write through Master Kase, but as he says himself, what produces the explosive force is not the hips but the Hara.

      I do not see how my video goes against traditional Karate. I wanted to show that the work of the hips was not everything and that even when we can not use their rotation force, we can still hit hard because this force comes from the Hara and not hips. The experience of the stool serves to separate the Hara from the hips. As the basin is placed on the mobile stool it can no longer be used as support. This allows you to focus on the belly to start his technique. This experience has only a pedagogical purpose that allows to better feel the energy that comes from the Hara.

      The excerpt from Master Kase is very good but does not contradict what I'm saying, on the contrary. He explains that energy is created in the Hara, and that the hips have only vibratory movements that can direct the energy and gain depth.

      Our elders taught us great things but what I remember from Karate-do is that we must always be in learning and thinking. So what Master Kase is saying is fine, but I do not see how that makes everyone agree? Are we no longer entitled to reflect, to think, to give our opinion?

      You tell me about the difference between energy and power, and it's true that it's not the same thing. Energy is a quantity, an ability whereas power is the energy that we deploy in a certain amount of time. When I say that the energy comes from the Hara, according to the speed and the quantity of energy that we deploy we will develop more or less power. This is why we talk about explosive force because the faster the technique, the more we develop a high power. In short, you can have a lot of energy but if it is returned in slow motion we will not be powerful and therefore effective. But I do not see when in my video I confuse the 2 (But it's possible that I made a mixture.) Sorry

      Thank you in any case for your comment argued.


Leave a comment

nec id pulvinar ut elit. ante. efficitur. vulputate,