Short Form 3 Short Form 3 is the first of the specifically designed technique forms in American Kenpo. Sure, earlier forms feature things that resemble our techniques, but this is the first form designed with a specific purpose surrounding the techniques shown. As the first technique form, it takes the attack that people learn initially: the grab. Of course, there are a variety of grabs included here: we defend against the lapel grab, shoulder grab, wrist grabs, headlock, hammerlock, full nelson, bear hugs and more.

In previous forms, everything has been mirrored as will be mirrored in later forms as well. In the early forms, we simply did each section on the opposite side. In the later forms, each technique is done on the opposite side. Short Form 3 is the only form that is not duplicated within itself, but does feature mirrored mechanics throughout the form. It is also suggested to practice this form on its opposite side to get complete symmetry.

Essentially this form is sort of a Where's Waldo? of Kenpo. Twirling Wings and Grip of Death are done on the opposite side to match moves in other techniques (Destructive Twins and Striking Serpent's Head.) In addition, other techniques are included as opposites like Crossing Talon and Crossed Twigs.

This is also the first form to start in an attention stance following the full salutation. Then we are pulled into Destructive Twins. This is where the left outward block matches the right outward block done in Twirling Wings. Following the first technique, Destructive Twins, we slide back into a cat stance and shoot our hands out like we were about to Thrusting Wedge on an attacker. This is not a technique despite how many people want it to be. It is a transition into Crashing Wings. For this bear hug technique, our hands need to be high to drop the elbows down; so we cock them high in this transition to bring them crashing down.

In Long Form 3 we will tackle the idea of being in a horse stance and having to drop into a wider horse stance as we bring our hands from low to high and back down again.

After Crashing Wings, Twirling Wings on the opposite side is employed by using a 7-Step and the previously popular "cup and saucer" method of cocking our weapons.

For Crossing Talon, we use the fulcrum version where our forearm is parallel to their forearm as you force them over. The technique that is taught as a technique is a breaking version that gives more room for a margin of error. This is an alternative version that doesn't break an attacker's arm; it just causes them to be bent over. At the same time, a majority of our weight will shift onto our left foot as we execute Crossing Talon. Then we cheat the weak and shoot a head butt back as we shoot our hands down to break a full nelson attack from behind. After this is the opening moves of Fatal Cross, which includes us tucking our chin in case we do a front head butt to our pushing attacker.

Grip of Death is done next on the opposite side, and it is done for the purpose of matching a left high anchored elbow in Striking Serpent's Head, the final technique of this form. There really is nothing changed in the next sequence of techniques: Locking Wing, Crossing Twigs, Wings of Silk and Conquering Shield. They complete the 4:30 to 10:30 line that the majority of this form stays on and then hits the 1:30 angle. To cover the remaining 7:30 angle again, we do Striking Serpent's Head, making sure we pivot with the inverted backfist and not after.

For the most part, most students enjoy this form because it is techniques they already know for the most part. It also utilizes elbows for the majority of its defenses as well as marriage of gravity in its techniques. And within this form, most of the strikes are done on the opposite side somewhere. I remember asking Mr. Dennis Conatser on a forum post about the fact that the low left anchored elbow on Crossing Talon is not matched and he replied that the fact that it made me think and become aware of its possible absence is enough to make it "there." Again, this form gives you many keys to discovery and knowledge.

Some ideas to consider:

Foot directions

Attack directions Attack angles Initial "Hand/s" Response