A Look at the Techniques of American Kenpo
and the Ties That Bind Them

What-If Techniques

Locked Wing & Flight to Freedom
If your elbow is blocked in Locked Wing, flow into Flight to Freedom.

Charging Ram & Broken Ram
If your attacker's left arm remains grabbing at you after you check and do the double parries, flow into Broken Ram with the takedown.

Retreating Pendulum & Dance of Darkness
If your attacker throws a right punch after the right kick, flow into Dance of Darkness.

Circle of Doom & Rotating Destruction
Go right into Rotating Destruction from Circle of Doom if a second kick is thrown.

Destructive Kneel & Leap of Death

Opposite and Reverse Techniques

Glancing Spear & Gripping Talon
-Glancing Spear: against a left wrist grab; we move up and back and take the attacker down backwards.
-Gripping Talon: against a right wrist grab; we move down and in and take the attacker down forwards.

Crossing Talons & Crossed Twigs
They are opposites. It illustrates opposite sides of an outward elbow, inward overhead elbow, and knee strike. Plus the direction we are facing in relation to our attacker is opposite as well.

Hooking Wings & Bow of Compulsion
-Hooking Wings is Bow of Compulsion in reverse and up high with some obvious weapon and target changes.
-Hooking Wings: inward strike, back knuckles, upward elbow, downward claw.
-Bow of Compulsion: downward raking claw, upward strike, outward back knuckle, inward strike.

Buckling Branch & Brushing the Storm
The scoop kick and knee takeout at the end of Buckling Branch are the opposite of the same ending of Brushing the Storm, opposite side and opposite weapons.

Locked Wing & Obscure Claws
The main opposite in this technique is the first move. In Locked Wing, you do a left elbow, counter-clockwise claw, circling into a lock on their elbow; in Obscure Claws you a right outward elbow, clockwise claw circling into a lock.

Leaping Crane & Circling the Horizon (in two ways)
1. In Leaping Crane, we strike low, middle, high. In Circling the Horizon, we strike high, middle, high.
2. In Leaping Crane, we stay up while the attacker goes down. In Circling the Horizon, we go down to one knee while the attacker stays up. This comparison is often also given between Leaping Crane and Shield and Mace.

Intellectual Departure & Flight to Freedom
Contains opposite kicks. In Intellectual Departure, we spin counter-clockwise and rear kick. In Flight to Freedom, we spin clockwise and execute a front kick.

Intellectual Departure & Deceptive Panther
Almost completely opposite.
-Intellectual Departure: back kick, back knuckle, side kick.
-Deceptive Panther: side kick, back knuckle, back kick (+ some in there)

Similar Techniques
This section shows how you can note the similarities of numerous techniques in how to use the same general defense against various forms of attack. In addition, you cannot do the same technique for different attacks, so it teaches the concept of altering your targets and weapons.

Clipping the Storm & Parting Wings
This is the same technique. The hand movements are indentical, of course with obvious weapon tailoring. Clipping the Storm is Parting Wings with steps on each strike as opposed to a relatively stationary defense (There is of course movement as you apply the rules of motion, i.e. back-up mass and torque, but the feet really stay in the same general place.)

Buckling Branch & Thrusting Salute
This is the same technique executed against the opposite attack. Difference based on how the attacker is facing.

Fatal Deviation & Entwined Maces
The attacks are opposite (right / left punch compared to a left punch). Both begin with a right inward block into a right outward block. They both continue with a crossover manuever. (Fatal Deviation is a front crossover while Entwined Maces is a rear crossover.)

Leaping Crane & Gathering Clouds
Same technique. The main difference is that Leaping Crane has a kick inserted after the first strike. This alters the targets for the final two strikes.

Calming the Storm / Detour from Doom & Five Swords
Detour from Doom is just Calming the Storm against a round kick rather than a round club. We start with the left block and right punch, set up for the next strike (palm strike in Calming the Storm and right kick in Detour from Doom.) Then the vertical punch andright back knuckle. You will notice an alteration of weapons and targets to account for a change in attacks and position. Detour from Doom features the final moves of Five Swords.

Lone Kimono & Twin Kimono
Essentially the same technique. Lone Kimono begins with us in the centerline and staying there. Twin Kimono has us startng in the centerline and stepping off to 4:30 to cancel their width width zone and give us back the angle of incidence for depth cancellation for the handsword. We strike to the solar plexus as we step because we need something to fill the gap. The ending of both techniques are the same. The real reason we step off is also based on the fact it is unlikely you'll break both of their arms; so we step off in Twin Kimono to get away from any follow-up attacks while stunning them again with the back knuckle.

Raining Claw & Alternating Maces
The same basic motion. Step back with the left foot, right inward block, left strike, right strike. In addition, Raining Claw stays on your attacker's inside while Alternating Maces stays on the outside of your attacker.

Triggered Salute & Gripping Talon
Although the attacks are completely different, Gripping Talon is Triggered Salute on the outside of the attacker's body. In both cases we are cancelling their height using their arm, doing an inward elbow, outward elbow, and then strike to the head.

Thundering Hammers & Intercepting the Ram
Intercepting the Ram resembles a close range version of Thundering Hammers. In both techniques we meet the attack. We also strike to the solar plexus, the kidney and the base of the neck; in that order. Thundering Hammers execute those movements from the side with forearms and fists (longer range weapons), and Intercepting the Ram executes them from the front with knees and elbows (shorter range weapons).

Gift in Return & Brushing the Storm
Basically this is the same technique against different attacks. In Gift in Return we have a mid-range attack and in Brushing the Storm we have a long range attack. We thusly have a low-line defense in Gift in Return and a high-line defense in Brushing the Storm. In both cases we work our way down the attacker's body. The foot manuevers are also virtually identical throughout the techniques. The first hand movements are also virtually the same as well. The left hand checks while the right drives back into the attacker. Then we have the two follow-up strikes in Brushing the Storm. After that, they are almost identical. Gift in Return cancels the attacker's height by pulling through while Brushing the Storm does it with a takedown and a scoop kick.

Triggered Salute & Mace of Aggression
Same technique with obvious target adjustments. Triggered Salute is the mid-line version, Mace of Aggression is the high-line version.

Twirling Hammers & Shield and Sword
Both have the same strikes. Left outward block, right strike to the head / neck, left inward elbow, and right hammerfist to the kidney.

Captured Leaves & Entangled Wing
Same technique against a different lock at a different angle.

Gift of Destruction & Thrusting Prongs
Thrusting Prongs is the inside version of Gift of Destruction. In both cases we lock and break the elbow, knee them and finish with a right inward elbow. In Gift of Destruction we check the attacker's arm in towards their body and stay on the outside of their body while in Thrusting Prongs we lock and check their arm outside (away from) their body and stay on the inside.

Family Relations (Kissing Cousins)
Often examples of these will consist of high-line / low-line versions or just groupings to assist in the learning process.

Dead Hand Techniques
These are the only three techniques in the American Kenpo system where the rear hand is dangling (dead). Each one covers a plane of defense.
-Dance of Death: covers the low-line range of targets.
-Thundering Hammers: covers the mid-line range of targets.
-Sleeper: covers the high-line range of targets.

Mace of Aggression & Triggered Salute
Triggered Salute covers the mid-line range of targets while Mace of Aggression covers the high-line range of targets.

"Hand Shakes" (pleased to meet you)
-Gift of Destruction- Your free hand moves inward to the outside of your attacker's arm.
-Gift in Return- Your hands move downward.
-Gift of Destiny- Moves inward inside your attacker's arm.
-Broken Gift- Moves upward.
-In an effort to show a family grouping, these techniques cover all areas of motion for a hand shake.

Yellow Belt Techniques
Delayed Sword- covers the inside of their right arm and strikes into their neck.
Sword of Destruction- covers the inside of their left arm and strikes into their neck.
Attacking Mace- covers the outside of their right arm.
Alternating Maces- covers the outside of their left arm.
Deflecting Hammer- goes low from left to right for a kick.
Intellectual Departure- goes low from right to left for a kck.
All the major angles are covered in six of the yellow belt curriculum.

Delayed Sword & Intellectual Departure
Intellectual Departure is the low-line version of Delayed Sword. (Block / kick / strike.)

Locking Horns & Dance of Death
Locking Horns is the low-line version of Dance of Death on the opposite side.

Escape from Darkness & Unfolding the Dark
Two techniques that are similar in attack yet Thrust into Darkness is the mid-line version.

Evolving Techniques
(Growth and Grafting and Different Weapons)

Alternating Maces and Calming the Storm
These two cover different weapons. Alternating Maces is for a push, while Calming the Storm is for a deadlier attack, a weapon.

Attacking Mace is found within Evading the Storm
Probably the earliest obvious growth of a technique. Attacking Mace is in Evading the Storm.

Crashing Wings becomes The Bear and the Ram
They have made Crashing Wings applicable in a situation of a two man attack.

Five Swords and Detour from Doom
Detour from Doom is essentially Five Swords for a kick.

Sword and Hammer and Obscure Wing and Obscure Sword
These three techniques are the same. Sword and Hammer was inserted in the system after Obscure Wing and Obscure Sword; so instead of being the original base technique, this is an "ancestral" trace back to a more base technique to teach.

Repeating Mace becomes Reversing Mace becomes Circling Destruction becomes Gathering of the Snakes
At first the technique is set for a single attack and gives a single response, block and strike. Both Repeating Mace and Reversing Mace work with this. Circling Destruction shows how to finish off the attacker with the chops, head twists, and scoop kick. Gathering of the Snakes shows the technique developed to handle two attackers. It is based more off of Circling Destruction than Destructive Fans, yet the latter should not be left out because of that.

Captured Leaves and Entangled Wing
The same technique for different attacks. It does also point the way saying the same technique is applicable to different attacks. Look to Delayed Sword's other uses for this as well.

Circle of Doom handles two kicks in Rotating Destruction
Could be seen as a what if technique, but also as an evolving one due to the similarities.

Raining Claw becomes Circling Fans
The motion of Raining Claw is seen within the initial movements of Circling Fans.

Obscure Wing and Grip of Death and Dance of Darkness is Escape from Death
Probably one of the nicest examples of grafting in our system. It takes two (and a half) techniques and works them into one.

Flashing Mace + Five Swords is The Ram and the Eagle
These two techniques have been grafted together to form a technique applicable to a situation of multiple attackers.

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