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Is Koshi "Hard"?

From time to time, actually more often lately, I find myself trying to explain "koshi" to people from other styles or dojo. I did so recently, with a verbal explanation and short demonstration of koshi movement, and the person I was speaking to said, "That must be hard." I think that it looked like it must be hard to use koshi motion in all techniques all the time.

The fact is that if koshi was hard or difficult, I probably would not do it! In fact, koshi is very, very easy, and it makes it much easier to move freely, with speed and power. It does not take more effort to use koshi. In fact, it is more difficult (strenuous), in my opinion, to move without koshi -- to just use the power of your arms and legs rather than your core (koshi). Koshi-less movement makes me really tired. But with koshi, I have been able to keep up with Karate as I have aged (I am a 53 year old grandfather).

And Koshi is a very natural movement -- like walking and breathing. If it was awkward or unnatural, once again, I probably would not do it. I am not unusually coordinated. I am a terrible dancer. So if I can do koshi motion, anyone can do it... really.

Koshi is also a simple movement. There are not different koshi patterns for each movement. Basically there is just left and right koshi and possibly center, but really these are just the same thing. Once you can apply koshi to one movement, you can learn to apply it to all other movements.

So koshi is not hard in terms of physical exertion, difficulty, or complexity. If it were, I probably would not do it. It is easy, and it makes moving much easier.


Charles C. Goodin