Hot Water Heater supply disconnect help

I am planning to install a Grundfos reticulating pump and before i bust my hot water heater I am hoping to get some advice from you fine folks.
I am not sure how to disconnect the hot water pipe on the hot water heater. The hot water supply is attached to the heater with a coupling however the supply pipe is copper and soldered to a joint that screws into a coupling. I am not sure how to remove the coupling without breaking the soldered joint. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
TIA
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The best bet is to cut the copper pipe in a spot where you will have room to install ( solder) in a union or whatever fitting you need to do the rest of the job, once the pipe is cut you can easily unscrew the rest from the heater.
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Mikey S.
http://www.mike721.com
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