Entangled Wing (Blue #6)

Technique: Entangled Wing
Attack: Front Arm Lock
Attack Direction: 12:00
Web of Knowledge: Locks & Chokes
Family Group: Locks
Official (24 Tech) Location: Blue #6
32 Tech Location: Purple #20
16 Tech Location: Green #15
Form Locations: Not found in forms
Related Tracy Technique: Breaking the Sword

Entangled Wing is the 6th required technique to obtain your Blue Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Entangled Wing is a defense against  a front arm lock, placing it in the Locks & Chokes category of the Web of Knowledge as well as the Locks Family Group in the Chokes & Locks category of the Grappling division.

In Entangled Wing, you will apply sections of different techniques learned earlier to create a defense for a new type of attack.  Entangled Wing also reemphasizes the importance of how a quick reaction can turn a disadvantaged situation into an advantageous one.  A quick reaction with your right elbow strike not only relieves pressure but can also injure your opponent. On the other hand failure to act quickly could result in your wrist or elbow being broke or your being forced to the ground.   Emphasis is placed on contact manipulation to control and injure your opponent, pinning your opponent’s arm is predominantly for control and torque is used to generate power for your strikes.

The Technique


In the ideal phase your attacker is directly in front of you (12:00). Your opponent grabs your right wrist with his right hand and lifts your arm vertically as he places his left forearm inside your elbow joint and completes the lock by grabbing his right wrist with his left hand.

Note: This type of lock isn’t the easiest to describe in words. It is important that you work with an instructor to teach you how to appropriately apply this lock.


Entangled Wing – defense for a figure-four arm lock.

  • Step 1
    • Grab your opponent’s left wrist with your left hand.
    • Step forward with your right foot toward 10:30 into a right neutral bow stance.
    • Deliver a right upward elbow strike, to relieve pressure.
  • Step 2
    • Grab your opponent’s left wrist with your right hand,
    • Pivot counterclockwise into a left neutral bow stance.
    • Deliver a left rear elbow strike to your opponent’s left kidney or ribs.
    • Pulling down on your opponent’s right arm to break his right elbow over the back of your right shoulder.
  • Step 3
    • Pivot clockwise into a horse stance.
    • Deliver a right rear elbow strike to your opponent’s midsection or left ribcage
    • Your left hand checks your opponent’s left arm.
  • Step 4
    • Execute a right front crossover
    • Double cover out toward 6:00.


  • What if…
    • your opponent forces you to your knees?
    • your opponent forces you onto your back?
    • you are falling backwards due to the lock?
    • you are unable to step forward?
    • your opponent steps behind your right foot with his right foot?
    • you opponent steps through with his right foot so that the lock is applied with his right hip up against your right hip?
    • your opponent grabs your right arm with his left hand before entangling his arms with yours?


  • It is far better to quickly counter your opponent’s initial grabbing action than to counter his lock.  Review the Web of Knowledge to see which techniques may be utilized at this point.
  • As your raise your elbow to relieve the pressure on your arm, keep in mind that this elbow strike can be and should be delivered to your opponent’s chin, if possible.
  • Compare the attack in Entangled Wing with the attack of Twisted Twig.  Note their similarities and differences.
  • Compare the Initial movements of Entangled Wing with that of Twisted Twig.
  • Compare the movements of Entangled Wing with Captured Leaves and note the similarities and differences between the two.
  • Compare this type of figure four arm lock to the type that is more commonly thought of where the outside of the attacker’s right elbow is placed against the outside of your right elbow as the attacker’s arm snakes around yours so that their right hand grabs your right wrist.  Note the differences in application of the locks, where pressure is created and consider your method of defense.

Additional Information


In American Kenpo, the term wing is used to represent the elbow. In this technique your opponent’s attack, a figure four arm lock from the front, is such that your opponent’s arms are entangled with your arms. Thus the name Entangled Wing.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Right Front Step Through
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Upward Elbow Strike
  • Left Neutral Bow Stance
  • Left Rear Elbow Strike
  • Fighting Horse Stance
  • Right Rear Elbow Strike
  • Right Front Cross Over
  • Cover out


  • Left Wrist
  • Chin
  • Left Kidney/Rib Cage
  • Left Elbow
  • Midsection (Solar Plexus)/Right Rib Cage

Concepts & Principles

  • Anchoring
  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Angle of Departure
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Backup Mass
  • Bracing Angle
  • Complimentary Angle
  • Contact Manipulation
  • Fulcruming
  • Jerking
  • Obscure Zones
  • Opposing Forces
  • Parallel Forces
  • Pinning Check
  • Positional Check
  • Reverse Motion
  • Torque
  • With

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Entangled Wing was Blue Belt Technique #4.
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal indicates stepping toward 10:00 on the initial step.
  • Both the 1975 Accumulative Journal and the 1987 IKKA Studio Manuals indicate that the left rear elbow strike should go to the opponent’s groin or ribs, depending on your opponent’s height.  Call me naive but I just don’t see the strike hitting the groin.

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

ENTANGLED WING (front arm lock)

  1. With feet together and forced into a right neutral bow, step forward and to your left with your right foot (to 10 o’clock) as you raise your right arm up and overhead (similar to a right upward elbow strike).
  2. Pivot (in place) counter clockwise and dropping low (into a left neutral bow), deliver a left back elbow strike to opponent’s groin or ribs depending upon the height of your opponent as your right arm pulls opponent’s left elbow down and breaks opponent’s elbow across the back of your right shoulder.
  3. Immediately pivot (in place) clockwise (into a horse) and execute a right back elbow strike to opponent’s mid-section or right ribcage, depending upon the circumstance. Keep your left hand in a guard position, checking at your right shoulder.
  4. Right front crossover and cover out to 6 o’clock.

1987 IKKA Studio Manual

ENTANGLED WING (Front arm lock as instructed)

  1. With your opponent applying the lock with force, step forward with your right foot toward 10:30.  Raise your right arm up and overhead (similar to a right upward elbow strike) to relieve pressure, as your left hand pins and checks your opponent’s left hand.
  2. As you pivot counterclockwise, drop into a left neutral bow, while delivering a left back elbow strike to your opponent’s groin or ribs.  (Your target will depend upon the height of your opponent.)  Simultaneously have your right arm pull your opponent’s left arm down and toward you, positioning it at the elbow, and break it across the top of your right shoulder. (This should turn your opponent to his right.)
  3. Immediately pivot clockwise into a horse stance, as you execute a right outward elbow strike to your opponent’s midsection or left ribcage, and maintain your left hand as a positional check at your right shoulder. (Your opponent should bend forward at the waist.)
  4. Execute a right front crossover, and cover out twice toward 6 o’clock.

Speak Your Mind