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Buckling Branch

The Attack: left front kick

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Deflecting Hammer, Intellectual Departure, Thrusting Salute, Swinging Pendulum, Hugging Pendulum, Retreating Pendulum, Detour from Doom, Circle of Doom, Rotating Destruction, Deceptive Panther, Defensive Cross, Bowing to Buddha

The Defense:

  1. As you step back with the right foot to 4:30, into a left neutral bow, execute a left downward block to turn him clockwise so his back ends up facing you. Follow immediately with a right ball kick to the groin from the rear.
  2. Plant the right foot to 10:30 in a right front twist, with the toes of your right foot pointing to 1:30. Execute a left knife edge kick to the inside of the right knee. (*)
  3. Plant the left foot to 10:30 in a left neutral bow to 10:30. As soon as your left foot is down, execute a right overhead downward hammer fist to the sternum with a right sandwiching knee to the spine.
  4. Plant your right foot back to 4:30 and pivot clockwise to 4:30 into a right neutral bow to 4:30, as you execute a right outward back-knuckle to the jaw (sliding it up his chest), followed immediately by a left inward heel palm claw to the chin/face.
  5. Hop to 7:00 onto the left foot with a right upward ridge hand to the mastoid to lift him slightly and to fuel a right overhead downward roundhouse kick after he falls back down.

Observations:

  1. The placement of the right foot in step 2 above is awkward, but it's intended to be so. The purpose of this placement is to teach a follow-up move (i.e., the knife-edge kick to the knee) in the event that we end up with our foot mis-aligned during the execution of a technique. The placement of the foot here actually pulls the hip into a good starting position for a knife-edge kick.


 

 


Clutching Feathers

The Attack: for a left hand hair grab from the front

Other Techniques in the same attack group: none

The Defense:

  1. Step back with the left foot to 6:00 into a right neutral bow. As your left hand pins his, execute a right eagle beak (i.e., a punch with the middle knuckle extended out slightly from the fist, for better penetration) to his left armpit.
  2. As you shift into a right forward bow, execute a right vertical outward block transitioning into a right extended outward block while simultaneously delivering a left heel palm to the jaw (*).
  3. Rotate counter-clockwise into a right neutral bow, as you execute a right inward-downward knuckle rake to the nose. You can shuffle forward if necessary for the knuckle-rake.
  4. As the knuckle-rake strikes his face, continue the counter-clockwise rotation ending in a right reverse bow with a right hammer fist to the groin. Follow with a right scoop kick to the groin to initiate your exit.


 


Crashing Wings

The Attack: rear bear hug, arms free

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Captured Twigs, Crushing Hammer, Squeezing the Peach, Spiraling Twig, Squatting Sacrifice

The Defense:

  1. Step to 3:00 with the right foot into a horse stance as both elbows circle upward, outward, and downward to strike the outer forearms
  2. Pull your left foot to 3:00 into a left cat stance, and then shift the left foot to 7:30 as you pivot into a left reverse bow while delivering a left outward elbow to the jaw (*).
  3. Shift the left foot slightly to 6:00. With your left hand on his right shoulder (and your elbow anchored), pivot counter-clockwise into a left neutral bow to 6:00 as you execute a right heel palm to the jaw.
  4. As both hands grab his body, execute a right knee to the ribs (or thigh, depending on what you can reach). Drop him to the ground with his head to 4:30.
  5. As he lands, execute a right front crossover to 4:30, stepping on his right arm. Continue to cover out to 4:30.
  6. If he starts to rise, execute a right slicing knife-edge kick to the base of the skull, followed by a left spinning rear stomp to his right collarbone.

Observations:

  1. In the ideal technique, you are able to move your left leg around and behind his right leg. However, in real life, if he also steps out into a horse stance (or simply widens his base when you step out), this movement can be foiled. Fortunately, the technique will still work. If necessary, on the second step, place your left leg between his (with your thigh against his right inner thigh), and you will be able to execute a takedown when you pivot to execute the heelpalm.
  2. The last move in the technique is an illustration of the "roundhouse-spinning rear kick" combination, done from behind your attacker. We will see this combination many times, and used in many ways, throughout the Techniques.


 

 


Crossing Talon

The Attack: right cross wrist grab

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Darting Mace, Begging Hands, Crossed Twigs, Gripping Talon, Glancing Spear, Desperate Falcons

The Defense:

  1. Step with the left foot to 10:30, into a left neutral bow, with a left thrusting inward block as the right hand circles clockwise into a wrist grab and pulls his right hand back and down to your hip.
  2. While maintaining your right hand grab on his wrist, execute a left outward side elbow to the head, followed by a left outward heelpalm/claw to the face as you anchor your left elbow on his spine (to prevent him from rising up.
  3. As raise your left arm overhead, rise up slightly at the knees, and then drop back into your neutral bow stance as your left downward elbow strikes his spine. (*)
  4. From the left elbow to the spine, drop your left heel palm to the base of the skull as you execute a right knee to the face, planting back.
  5. Grab his right wrist with your left hand from above while your left elbow anchors his right arm against your stomach
  6. Execute a left rear crossover to 6:00 and pivot counter-clockwise into a left reverse bow to 6:00. Maintaining your grip as you pivot will snap his right wrist (and possibly even the elbow).
  7. As you complete the pivot, deliver a right looping downward roundhouse kick to the stomach.
  8. Plant your right foot in a right front crossover to 6:00 as you continue to grip his right hand with your left hand. At this point, he is on his back, and your right foot will be under his right arm.
  9. Shift your right hand under his right wrist, with your fingers pointing downward and your palm pointing towards him, grab his right wrist in your right hand and twist your right hand clockwise.
  10. As you execute the twist of your right hand, pivot clockwise out of your right front crossover, and execute a left knife edge kick to the right side of his neck.
  11. Execute a left heel stomp to his right elbow before releasing his right wrist, as you initiate your cover out to 3:00.

Observations:

  1. The 'grab-and-pivot' action in steps five and six of the technique is a standard Aikiexecute move know to Aikiexecute students as "Control Grip #2". If you want to see it in action, check out any Steven Seagal movie. He uses it in most of his movies. Perhaps the clearest example was the liquor store scene at the start of "Hard To Kill".


 

 


Dance of Death

The Attack: for a right step-through punch. The differentiating factor in this attack is that his punch is aimed very low on your torso.

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Attacking Mace, Leaping Crane, Thundering Hammers, Sleeper, Flashing Wings, Shield & Mace, Flashing Mace, Gathering Clouds, Circling The Horizon, Circles of Protection, Taming the Mace, Leap of Death, Circling Windmills, Destructive Kneel

The Defense:

  1. As your left foot steps to 10:30 into a left neutral bow, execute a left inward block followed immediately by a right ridge hand into his groin.
  2. As your left hand travels down his side and along his right leg, step forward with the right foot to 10:30 into a right neutral bow to 10:30 while simultaneously doing a right inward horizontal elbow to his stomach. This will take him down to the ground on his back, with his head pointing more or less to 10:30.
  3. Still in the right neutral bow to 10:30, while anchoring his right leg against your left hip with your left hand, execute a right outward-downward back knuckle to the left inner thigh followed by a right downward finger-flick to the groin. (*)
  4. Bring your right hand to your left hip, and grab his right ankle from above your own left hand (and underneath his heel. Keeping your hands close to your body, bring them from your left hip to your right hip, as you pivot clockwise into a transitory right front twist. This action will force him to turn over onto his stomach, with his head to 10:30, and his feet next to your right side.
  5. Step with the left foot to 1:30, into a left twist stance as you stomp your left foot into his spine.
  6. Step with your right foot to 4:30 into a right neutral bow. Bend down (from the knees, not from the hips), and execute a right heel palm strike to the back of his neck.
  7. With the right foot, execute a right front crossover to 10:30, stomping on his upper spine.
  8. Step off with the left foot, planting the left foot to 10:30 (above his left arm) in a left neutral bow. Shift into a left forward bow as you execute a right heel stomp to his left neck or left collarbone.

Observations:

  1. This is part of a family of techniques made up of Dance of Death, Thundering Hammers, and Sleeper. Each of the three techniques in the family respond to a right punch based on the zone in which the punch is moving, and also on the position of his left (or backup ) hand.
  2. The "finger-flick" in step three is usually taught as a chop. According to Master Richard "Huk" Planas, "You'd have to be Gumby to chop the man here. Execute it as a finger flick".


 

 


Five Swords

The Attack: a right roundhouse punch

Other Techniques in the same attack group: none.

The Defense:

  1. Step with the right foot to 10:30 into a right neutral bow, as you execute a right inward block (#1) and then a right outward chop (#2).
  2. Pivot clockwise into a right forward bow as you execute a left five-finger-poke to the eyes (#3).
  3. Pivot counter-clockwise into a right neutral bow as you execute a right uppercut to the solar plexus (#4)
  4. Shift the left foot to 4:30 into a right neutral bow to 10:30, as you execute a left outward claw with a right overhead downward chop (#5). (*)
  5. Pivot counter-clockwise into a right forward bow to 10:30 as you execute a left inward five finger claw to the face, to stand him up, followed immediately by a right outward chop to the right neck..
  6. As you pivot counter-clockwise into a right reverse bow, execute a right stiff leg or right side kick to the groin.

Observations:

  1. The base technique is one of the key "Master" techniques in the system. In fact, it is the only one that, in my experience, the Senior Master of Kenpo will identify as such. If you ask them what the others are (and I have done so), the universal answer is that the choice of what you consider key techniques is an individual choice.

 


Gift of Destruction

The Attack: handshake, where he is either pulling you straight back or not pulling at all.

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Gift in Return, Gift of Destiny, Broken Gift

The Defense:

  1. Hop to 10:30 on the left foot into a left crane stance, and as the right hand simultaneously pulls down to your right side, execute a right knee to the stomach with a left inward heel palm to the right elbow (*)
  2. Plant the right foot to 10:30, right neutral bow as you execute a right knee check with a right inward horizontal elbow to the left jaw as the left hand checks his right arm.
  3. Execute a left rear crossover to 4:30 into a right neutral bow, as you execute a right downward back-knuckle to the chest with a simultaneous left heelpalm/claw to the face.
  4. Follow this with a right outward back-knuckle to the nose, and then a right inward hammer fist to the left jaw hinge with a simultaneous left inward five-finger-eye-poke.
  5. Pivot counter-clockwise into a horse stance as you deliver a right downward and outward hammer fist to the chest

Observations:

  1. As with the Rod techniques, the four "Gift" techniques follow the in-out-up-down pattern of defenses that derives from the patterns of the Forms. In Gift of Destruction, we are using the "in" response of the family, with the left inward heel palm to the attacker's elbow.


 

 


Glancing Salute

The Attack: for a right hand cross push. This technique is particularly effective if he is taller than you, or if his push is downward.

Other Techniques: Triggered Salute, Repeating Mace, Obscure Sword, Snapping Twig

The Defense:

  1. As you step with the left foot to 10:30, into a left neutral bow, execute a left inward block with a right outward block in a diagonally downward direction to guide his right arm to your right hip.
  2. As you pivot counter-clockwise into a left forward bow, the left hand checks his right arm while you execute a right heel palm to the jaw.
  3. With the right hand, hook the back of his neck as your right knee strikes the stomach. (*)
  4. Plant the right foot to 12:00 in a right neutral bow, as you execute a right knee check simultaneously with left heel palm to the right face and a right inward sandwiching elbow.
  5. Bring the left foot up to the right foot in a transitory attention stance, and then step with the right foot (between his legs) to 1:30 into a right reverse bow (causing his left leg to buckle) while your left hand checks his depth and your right downward heel palm strikes his groin.
  6. As you execute a right front crossover to 7:30, into a transitory right front twist, execute a right knee kick to his inner right knee, cross your right hand under your left hand, and then execute a left finger hook to the eyes.
  7. Continue your cover out to 7:30

Observations:

  1. The final hand action in step six is very similar to the form and purpose of the hand action in Dance of Darkness (in Ling Form 4).


 

 


Grip of Death

The Attack: left flank headlock

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Grasp of Death, Locking Horns

The Defense:

  1. As be pulls your head down and around, step with the right foot to 10:30 into a right close kneel stance as you execute a simultaneous right hammer fist to the groin with a left hammer fist to the kidney. If possible, have your left knee collapse his right knee when you step into the right close kneel.
  2. Pivot counter-clockwise to 6:00, into a left forward bow to 6:00 as you execute a left hair grab (with an anchored elbow) with a right heel palm to the chin (*)
  3. Step with the left foot into a transitory left front twist stance to 10:30. Your left foot should sweep his right foot.
  4. As his right foot is still in the air, execute a right rear crossover to 6:00, followed without pause by a left front crossover to 7:30, ending in a left reverse bow to 1:30. This action will buckle his left leg, probably breaking his left knee.

Observations:

  1. Although there are only two other techniques in the Kenpo system that deal with headlocks, the stepping pattern at the end of the extension for this technique (steps three and four) is used throughout the system, in a variety of situations. There is actually a family of techniques (to be identified in a later Belt level) that uses the front-crossover/rear-crossover/front-crossover stepping pattern.


 

 


Locked Wing

The Attack: hammerlock

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Flight to Freedom

The Defense:

  1. As you step back with the left foot to 4:30 into a right neutral bow to 10:30, counter-grab his right hand with your right hand.
  2. Pivot counter-clockwise to face 6:00 in a left neutral bow as your left horizontal outward elbow strike his left face and then continues into an outward claw to the face. The outward action continues into a left wrap-around of his right arm (as you continue to maintain your grip with your right hand).
  3. Pivot clockwise to face 10:30 in a horse stance, as your left arm breaks his right elbow.
  4. Step back with the right foot to 3:30 into a transitory left forward bow, and then execute a right knee to his face (or chest, depending on his size) with a simultaneous right overhead heel palm to the neck. At this point, the left arm should still be wrapped-around his right arm. (*)
  5. Plant the right foot to 10:30 into a right neutral bow. Your right hand checks his left shoulder as your left arm unwraps so your left hand can grab grabs his right face (or right shoulder)
  6. Shift your left foot slightly to 1:30 as you maintain a right neutral bow. Flip him (face up) onto your right knee by having both hands push away from your body as they continue to hold him. This will cause tremendous torque on his neck.
  7. As he is on your right knee, with a figure-8 motion execute a right inward downward elbow to the jaw, a right outward downward claw to the face, and a right inward downward hammer fist to the collarbone, allowing him to drop him to the inside of your right leg.
  8. Step with the right foot to 12:00 into a right close kneel with a left knee to the throat.
  9. Spring up onto the right foot with a left stomp to the face, and cover out.

Observations:

  1. For maximum effectiveness in the arm break in step three of this technique, drop your weight by bending at the knees as you pivot. This will have you using two power principles (Torque and marriage of gravity).
  2. For maximum effectiveness, keep the circle of your hands small as you force him to flip over in step six. Many students actually lift him up due to the size of the circle their hands go through, and this is unnecessary.


 

 


Locking Horns

The Attack: for a front headlock

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Grasp of Death, Grip of Death

The Defense:

  1. Step with the right foot to 12:00 into a right neutral bow as you execute a right ridge hand to the groin with a left hand check to the knee. Without shifting your stance, execute a right upward vertical elbow to the chin and a right downward elbow with a left inward sandwiching heel palm to the right jaw. (*)
  2. Execute a left front crossover to 12:00 into a transitory left front twist as you execute a right horizontal back-knuckle to the ribs with a left pushdown to the solar plexus (above the right hand). Follow this with a right knee kick to the right inner thigh and a right heel stomp to the right foot.
  3. Execute a left rear crossover to 12:00 into a transitory right front twist as you execute a left stomp to the left foot.
  4. Without pause, execute a slight right front crossover to 10:30 to perform a right stomp to the right foot.

Observations:

  1. If you look carefully, you will see the same stepping pattern in steps two and three as we used in the extension of Grip of Death.

 


Lone Kimono

The Attack: for a one hand lapel grab

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Delayed Sword, Conquering Shield, Dominating Circles, Falling Falcon

The Defense:

  1. As you step back with the left foot to 6:00 into a right neutral bow, pin his left hand with your left hand while simultaneously doing a right inward and downward block to the outside of his left elbow.
  2. Without changing the stance, execute a left outward horizontal chop to the left neck as the right hand cocks back high. (*)
  3. Step up to 12:00 with the left foot into an attention stance, and execute a right downward rake to the nose with a right knife edge kick to the right knee.

 


Obscure Sword

The Attack: left push to your right shoulder from slightly to your right rear.

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Triggered Salute, Glancing Salute, Repeating Mace, Snapping Twig

The Defense:

  1. As you step forward with the left foot to 12:00 into a left neutral bow, pin his hand with your left hand.
  2. Without pause, pivot clockwise to 5:00 into a right forward bow with a right outward chop to the throat, followed by a left/right chicken kick to the groin (planting the left foot back, and the right foot to 5:00) (*).
  3. As you land, execute a right rake to the nose and a right hammer fist to the collarbone as a single motion.
  4. Execute a left rear crossover to 7:00 into a transitory left rear twist stance as you execute a right lifting forearm strike under the chin
  5. Unwind counter-clockwise (he is now behind you) into a horse to 10:30, as you execute a right back elbow to the sternum, followed immediately by a right hammer fist to the groin
  6. Shift the left foot counter-clockwise to 4:30 into a left reverse bow, causing his right leg to buckle
  7. Pivot counter-clockwise to 5:00 into a left neutral bow (he is now in front of you, with his back to you), as you grab his shoulders and follow with a right knee to the spine
  8. Plant the right foot to 5:00 into a right neutral bow, as you execute double heel palms to the shoulders to throw him on his face
  9. Execute a left rear crossover to 5:00 into a transitory left rear twist, followed by a right rear heel stomp 5:00 (to his groin).
  10. As you cover out to 12:00, the right foot drags down the thigh and calf.


 

 


Obscure Wing

The Attack: left grab to right shoulder from your right rear

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Sword & Hammer, Obscure Claws

The Defense:

  1. As you step with the right foot to 3:00 into a horse stance, execute right elbow to the stomach, followed by a right hammer fist to the groin, and finally a right obscure upward elbow to the chin. (*)
  2. Slide the right foot between his legs to 7:30 into a right reverse bow as you execute a right hammer fist to the groin.
  3. As he bends over from the hammer fist, execute a left inward heel palm to the mastoid as he bends with a right reverse back knuckle over his right shoulder. Your hands are now framing his head. Your right hand grabs the neck, and you execute a right knee to the face.
  4. Plant the right foot straight down, in a right neutral bow, as the left hand also grabs the neck. Without pause, step back with the left foot to 7:30 into a right forward bow, as you pull down on his neck with both hands and flip him on his back, with his feet to 1:30
  5. Execute a left front crossover to 1:30 into a left front twist as the left foot sweeps the head and the face.
  6. Hop and pivot counter-clockwise, to deliver a right downward roundhouse kick to the solar plexus or groin.
  7. Execute a right ball kick to his jaw to initiate a cover out to 7:30.

Observations:

  1. The takedown in step four of this technique is the "two-step" version of the same takedown that occurs in the extension of Destructive Twins.


 

 


Raining Claw

The Attack: right front uppercut.

Other Techniques in the same attack group: none.

The Defense:

  1. As you step back with the left foot to 6:00 into a right neutral bow, execute a right inward downward block. Pivot clockwise as you deliver a left overhead claw to the face, and pivot counter-clockwise as you execute a right vertical back knuckle to the face (*).
  2. Pivot clockwise as you execute a left five-finger-eye-poke, and pivot counter-clockwise with a right half-fist to the throat, without pulling the left hand back.
  3. As you shift your left foot to 4:30 into a right neutral bow to 10:30, execute a left outward claw to the face with a right outward back knuckle to the solar plexus
  4. As you shift your left foot to 3:00 into a right neutral bow to 9:00 (you are now on his left side), your right hand grabs his left wrist from below in a hammerlock position, as the left hand checks his left shoulder.
  5. Drop down into a right wide kneeling stance, hitting his face on your right knee. As your left hand grabs his left wrist from above, deliver a left knee to face.
  6. Plant left foot to 6:00, then step with the right foot to 6:00 into a left neutral bow to 12:00, as you pull his left wrist down along his spine. This will pull his head down while dislocating his left shoulder and tearing muscles groups in the arm.
  7. Shift into a left close kneeling stance as you deliver a right knee to the neck.
  8. Leap up and turn clockwise to deliver a left heel stomp to the head

Observations:

  1. If you are quick enough on the left overhead claw, this technique can easily be adapted to multiple uppercuts.
  2. As noted in the Kenpo Zone section of this web site, this technique is a modification of Five Swords.
  3. The basic technique (just step 1) is a version of Alternating Maces.


 

 


Repeating Mace

The Attack: left push to the center of your chest

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Triggered Salute, Glancing Salute, Obscure Sword, Snapping Twig

The Defense:

  1. As you step back with the left foot to 4:30 into a right neutral bow to 10:30, execute a left hook to the wrist with a right back knuckle rake to the left kidney, followed without pause by a right looping downward roundhouse to the left calf (*) with a right stomp to his left heel. (He falls to his left knee, facing 10:30).
  2. Execute a left front crossover to 11:00 into a left front twist stance while delivering a right hammer fist to the sternum from above his left shoulder.
  3. Pivot clockwise into a left neutral bow to 11:00 as you execute a left heel palm to the left jaw
  4. Continue to pivot clockwise with a right spinning rear kick to the stomach, knocking him on his back with his head to 4:30.
  5. Hop to 9:00 on the left foot in a left crane stance with a right heel scoop to the left inner knee
  6. Plant the right between his legs, and immediately follow with a left rear crossover into a left rear twist that is also a left stomp to the groin.
  7. Step with the left foot to 10:30 to initiate a cover out to 10:30. On the right front crossover, have the right foot scrapes the shin.


 

 


Reversing Mace

The Attack: left step-through punch, with you in a right neutral bow

Other Techniques in the same attack group: - Sword of Destruction, Shielding Hammer, Shield & Sword, Circling Destruction, Twirling Hammers

The Defense:

  1. As you slide your left foot to 4:30 into a right neutral bow to 10:30, execute a simultaneous right inward block with a left outward block, followed immediately by a right horizontal outward back knuckle to the ribs.
  2. Move into a left crane stance as you execute a right downward looping roundhouse kick to the back of the left knee. (*)
  3. Step with the left foot to 10:30 into a transitory left rear crossover to 10:30, and then step out of the stance with a right side kick to the inner right knee, turning him to face 6:00 and dropping him to your right side on his right knee.
  4. Plant the right foot to 10:30 on the inside of his right knee, and execute a left rear crossover to 10:30 into a left rear twist stance as you execute a right hammer fist to the sternum from above his left arm, causing him to raise his left arm
  5. As you untwist counter-clockwise, capture his left arm with your right arm. This will break his left elbow as you finish your unwinding action. As you finish your pivot in a left neutral bow to 10:30, execute a left outward back knuckle to the right mastoid (you are behind him).
  6. Your left hand circles around and over his head to grab his right face as you step with the right foot to 12:00 and pivot counter-clockwise to 6:00 into a left neutral bow to 6:00.
  7. Execute a right punch to the spine as the left hand rips the face
  8. Execute a right knee to the lower spine (grabbing his shoulders if necessary), and a right stomp to the left ankle as you cover out.


 

 


Scraping Hoof

The Attack: for a full nelson

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Repeated Devastation, Twirling Sacrifice

The Defense:

  1. Attention Stance: Punch back into his face (with your hands traveling upward and inward on the same plane as your shoulders), then punch straight down as you straighten your back to deliver a head-butt to his face.
  2. With the right foot, execute a heel kick to his inner left knee, and then a side kick to his inner right knee before scraping your right foot down the length of his sin, ending in a right heel stomp to his right instep. (*)
  3. Step with the right foot to 7:30 into a right reverse bow to buckle his left leg. It is optional to execute a right hammer fist to his groin and/or a left claw to his face simultaneous with the leg buckle.
  4. Without pause from the prior step execute the following in rapid succession: a right front crossover to 4:30 (buckling his right leg), a left rear crossover to 4:30 (dropping him to his back, with his head to 4:30), and a right front crossover to 4:30 (which is used to deliver a right heel kick to the groin)
  5. With the right foot, initiate a cover-out to 10:30, stomping on his right ankle as you cover out.

Observations:

  1. This is the first technique in the full-nelson family that you should attempt. The other two techniques are meant for situations when Scraping Hoof has already failed, or when you realize that you waited too long to try it.
  2. I have a cute story regarding the initial punch in this technique. When I was teaching this to some of my Junior Black Belts, I described it as follows: "Imagine that you're trying to punch the back of your own head, but you're too dumb to find it". One of my young ladies, Angela, said: "Sensei, you could also say that you're trying to tie your hair back". I replied: "Angela, since I have short hair, I never would have thought of that, but you just gave me the perfect explanation".
  3. On the "punch straight down", many students try to bring their arms down to their sides on this technique by dropping their elbows to the sides. This is a very weak move, and will likely end in the failure of the technique. For maximum power, bring your fists straight down your center-line to below your belt, while also rolling your shoulders forward. If your attacker was unfortunate enough to have interlocked his fingers behind your neck (even partially), you will have a good chance of breaking several of his fingers with this move.
  4. By now, the stepping pattern in step four of this technique should now be familiar to the readers of this page. We encountered it earlier in this Belt with Grip of Death and Locking Horns. Notice how the different body positions of yourself and the attacker lets the same move be applied to yield different results.


 

 


Shielding Hammer

The Attack: hooking left punch

Other Techniques in the same attack group: - Sword of Destruction, Reversing Mace, Shield & Sword, Circling Destruction, Twirling Hammers

The Defense:

  1. As you step back with the left foot to 6:00 into a right neutral bow, execute a right extended outward block followed by a right inward rake to the nose (shuffling forward if necessary). Have your right hand circle into a right outward horizontal elbow to the solar plexus. (*)
  2. As you execute a left front crossover to 12:00 into a transitory left front twist stance, execute a left vertical punch to the chest with a right downward hammer fist to the groin.
  3. Untwist clockwise into a left neutral bow as you execute a right upward heel palm/claw to the jaw/face, with a left heel palm to the chest.
  4. Pivot clockwise to 4:30 into a left close kneel, and use a left rear kick to the groin to initiate your cover out.

Observation:

  1. In transitioning from the right outward horizontal elbow to the solar plexus in step 1 into the right downward hammer fist to the groin in step two, most students take their elbow off of their attacker in order to add some additional power to their hammer fist. This is an error. By doing so, you break contact with your opponent, you lose your check on his depth, and you give him a (brief) chance to recover. Execute NOT remove your right elbow from his body when you execute the hammer fist. Instead, push outward with your elbow as you allow the forearm and hand to pivot downward into his groin, using your elbow as the point of the pivot. The effect is devastating. You can practice this by placing your elbow against a wall, and rolling your hammer fist downward as you execute your crossover into the wall.


 

 


Striking Serpent's Head

The Attack: front bear hug, arms free

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Thrusting Prongs, Tripping Arrow

The Defense:

  1. As you step back with the right foot to 6:00 into a left neutral bow, execute a right inward downward heel palm strike to his left jaw hinge, followed immediately by a left crane strike to the mastoid.
  2. As you pivot clockwise into a left forward bow, grab his hair with your left hand and deliver a right half fist to the throat. If you are just doing the base technique, finish with a left knee to the groin. (*).
  3. Withdraw your left foot back to its starting point, putting you in a cat stance as you execute a left downward claw to the face
  4. Slide your left foot to 9:00 into a transitory horse stance as your left hand grabs his right wrist, and without pause slide your right foot to 11:00 into a right neutral bow, buckling his right knee. As you plant your right foot execute a right inward horizontal elbow to the ribs and have the right hand come up his back (still under his right arm) to grab his hair from behind.
  5. Drop into a right wide kneel stance pulling down with your right hand to drop him onto your right knee, and as the left hand checks, execute a left overhead hammer fist to the heart and then a right overhead hammer fist to the face.
  6. Withdraw your right foot to 6:00, allowing him to fall to the ground, pivot counter-clockwise, and deliver right downward looping roundhouse kick to the face/ribs.

Observations:

  1. On step five, when you pull your right hand down, many students make the mistake of pulling so that their hand rotates outward from their body. This results in your attacker's weight coming down on the outside of your right knee, buckling your knee, and possibly causing you a serious injury. To avoid this, when you pull down, bring your right hand across your chest (from right to left), causing your attacker to be drawn over your knee in a bridge position.

 

 


Thrusting Prongs

The Attack: front bear hug with the arms pinned

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Striking Serpent's Head, Tripping Arrow

The Defense:

  1. As you step back with the right foot to 4:30 into a left forward bow gouge your thumbs into the sides of his groin.
  2. Simultaneously execute a right knee to the groin, a left crane hook to the outside his right arm (coming from below his arm) and a right heel palm thrust to the left jaw/neck.
  3. Execute a right side kick to his left shin that becomes a right scrape/stomp to the left instep as you also deliver a right inward horizontal elbow to the face. (*)
  4. Slide the right foot clockwise to 9:00 into a transitory left front twist. The right hand hooks the right side of his head as the left hand checks his arm and you execute a right knee to the face.
  5. Pivot counter-clockwise to 9:00 (this is a slight shift) into a left neutral bow, as you quickly deliver a right scooping heel kick to the jaw (or groin) followed by a right side kick to the left knee.


 

 


Thrusting Salute

The Attack: right front kick

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Deflecting Hammer, Intellectual Departure, Buckling Branch, Swinging Pendulum, Hugging Pendulum, Retreating Pendulum, Detour from Doom, Circle of Doom, Rotating Destruction, Deceptive Panther, Defensive Cross, Bowing to Buddha

The Defense:

  1. As you step back to 4:30 with the right foot, into a left neutral bow, execute a left downward block, followed by a right front ball kick to the groin.
  2. Plant the right foot to 10:30 in a right neutral bow. As you are landing, deliver a right heel palm to the jaw that slides through to allow the right forearm to check the right shoulder (*).
  3. Execute a left front crossover to 10:30, into a transitory left front twist as you deliver a simultaneous left vertical punch to the solar plexus and right downward heel palm to the stomach
  4. Pivot clockwise into a left neutral bow, as you deliver a left horizontal inward elbow to right face, followed by a right chopping punch to the pelvic bone.

Observations:

  1. The transition from the forearm check in step 2 into the downward heel palm to the stomach should match the transition in Shielding Hammer. Execute NOT let your right elbow come off of his torso until you are going to deliver the right chopping punch in step four.


 

 


Triggered Salute

The Attack: for a right push to the left shoulder

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Glancing Salute, Repeating Mace, Obscure Sword, Snapping Twig

The Defense:

  1. As soon as his right hand touches your left shoulder, have your left hand pin his (with your elbow anchored), as you step with the right foot to 10:30 into a right neutral bow delivering a right knee check with a right heel palm to the chin.
  2. Execute a right downward crane hook to his arm (scraping along the right bicep), a right inward horizontal elbow to the solar plexus, a right outward horizontal elbow to the right ribs that becomes a right horizontal back knuckle to ribs/kidney, and finally a right uppercut to chin. (*)
  3. Execute a left overhead claw to the face as the right hand back cocks to the chest, followed by a right uppercut to the chin.
  4. Execute a left rear crossover to 12:00 into a transitory right front twist with a simultaneous a left inward claw to the face and right outward elbow to the solar plexus
  5. Step with the right foot step to 1:30 into a right reverse bow, buckling his right leg buckle as you also deliver a right hammer fist to the groin.
  6. As you cover out to 7:30, deliver a right knee to the inner right knee or thigh.

Observations:

  1. In the transition between step two and step three, notice the hand pattern - this is Alternating Maces and Raining Claw.


 

 


Twisted Twig

The Attack: a right front wrist lock in a gooseneck grip. He is facing you, and your fingers are pointing to you.

Other Techniques in the same attack group: Captured Leaves, Bow of Compulsion, Entangled Wing, Wings of Silk.

The Defense:

  1. As you step with the right foot to 10:30 into a right neutral bow execute a right upward elbow to the solar plexus as your left hand checks in front of your chest.
  2. Pivot counter-clockwise into a horse stance as you deliver a right outward elbow to the solar plexus
  3. Execute a left rear crossover to 1:30 followed immediately by a right rear crossover to 1:30, ending in a right reverse bow with a right downward hammer fist to the groin (*).
  4. Execute a left crane hook to the neck (from his left side) with a right vertical upward back knuckle to the face.
  5. Execute a counter-clockwise right crane hook to the head followed by a right knee to the face.
  6. Plant the right foot straight down, and then step with the left foot to 1:30 into a right forward bow to 7:30 as you pull down with both hands to flip him on his back with his feet towards 7:30, and follow with a right inward downward raking back knuckle to the nose.
  7. Leap to his left (i.e., to 6:00) and twist counter-clockwise through 180 degrees landing in a right close kneel to 1:00 to deliver a left knee to the right collarbone with a left downward punch to the face.
  8. Leap off to 4:30 onto the left foot and twist counter-clockwise to deliver a right downward looping roundhouse kick to the sternum.

 

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