Fallen Cross (Blue #13)

Technique: Fallen Cross
Attack: Rear Two Hand Choke
Attack Direction: 6:00
Web of Knowledge: Locks & Chokes
Family Group: Chokes
Official (24 Tech) Location: Blue #13
32 Tech Location: Purple #26
16 Tech Location: 3rd Brown #13
Form Locations: Not found in forms
Related Tracy Technique: Breaking the Cross

Fallen Cross is the 13th required technique to obtain your Blue Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo.  Fallen Cross is a defense against two hand choke from behind, placing it in the Locks & Chokes category of the Web of Knowledge as well as the Chokes Family Group of the Grappling division.

In Fallen Cross you will begin by using your opponent’s own force.  Using borrowed force in combination with fulcruming, you attack your opponent’s thumbs, creating a hyper-extension or break of the thumb as you move away from your opponent.  As you move away from your opponent, counter manipulation comes into play as it ties up your opponent’s weapons, cancels his height zone and aligns his arms for the elbow break.  Both fulcruming and the third hand principle play a dominant role in this technique.  The technique completes with the use of  an upper case lower case moment as you deliver a kicking combination in one count and then a sandwiching strike before covering out.

The Technique


In the ideal phase your opponent is directly behind you (6:00). He applies a two-hand choke with arms extended.  It can be assumed that your opponent is pushing forward on your neck, preventing you from stepping backward.


Fallen Cross – defense for a rear two-hand choke.

  • Step 1
    • Grab both of your opponent’s wrists with both of your hands,
    • Tuck your chin into your chest,
    • Step toward 9:00 with your left foot to form a horse stance facing 12:00.
  • Step 2
    • Turn your head counter clockwise,
    • Step toward 10:30 with your right foot into a transitional right neutral bow stance,
    • and pivot counterclockwise into a left neutral bow stance facing 4:30.
    • Cross your opponent’s right arm over his left arm, at or above the elbows.
  • Step 3
    • Pull your opponent’s arms down and outward,
    • Deliver a right right upward knee kick to your opponent’s left elbow joint,
    • Immediately follow with a right front snapping ball kick to your opponent’s groin.
  • Step 4
    • Plant your right foot toward 4:30 into a right neutral bow stance,
    • Deliver a right inward horizontal elbow strike to your opponent’s jaw,
    • Check your opponent’s arms down at the elbows with your left hand.
  • Step 5
    • Execute a right front crossover,
    • cover out twice toward 12:00.


  • What if…
    • your opponent’s arms are bent?
    • your opponent is pulling you backward as he chokes you?
    • you are unable to step to the left?
    • you are unable to step forward?
    • you are being choked from a seated position?


  • As you step toward 9:00 with your left foot you should be pulling your opponent’s arms downward to hyper extend your opponent’s thumbs against the back of your neck.  As you settle into the horse stance, continue pulling your opponent’s arms forward but rotate his arms upwards and outward to put pressure on his elbow joints, possibly breaking them.  This will not only set his arms in a position that facilitates the next move but it creates an angle of disturbance that control your opponent’s height zone.


  • Many, if not most, schools will teach delivering a left inward horizontal heel palm strike to the right side of the jaw along with the right inward elbow strike, in place of checking your opponent’s arms, in order to create a sandwiching effect. This works under the assumption that your opponent’s arms are pinned against your body as you plant your right foot forward after your front snapping ball kick.

Additional Information


In this technique you will twist or cross your opponent’s arms at the elbow and this makes the arms resemble a cross. The manipulation of your opponent’s crossed arms by pulling them downward to cancel his height zone as you deliver your knee strike resembles a falling cross or a cross that has fallen to your knee.  Thus we have the name Fallen Cross.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Left Side Step Through
  • Horse Stance
  • Right Front Step Through
  • Right Transitional Neutral Bow Stance
  • Left Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Upward Knee Kick
  • Right Front Snapping Ball Kick
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Inward Horizontal Elbow Strike
  • Right Front Crossover
  • Cover Out


  • Both Wrists
  • Both Thumbs
  • Both Elbows
  • Groin
  • Jaw

Concepts & Principles

  • Anchor
  • Angle of Alignment
  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Angle of Deviation

Concepts & Principles (Con’t)

  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Angle of Execution
  • Angle of Incidence
  • Backup Mass
  • Body Momentum
  • Borrowed Force
  • Borrowed Reach
  • Contouring
  • Fulcruming
  • Gravitational Checks
  • Guidelining
  • Jerking
  • Lower Case/Upper Case
  • Marriage of Gravity
  • Obscure Zones
  • Opposing Forces
  • Pin-Point Effect
  • Pinning Checks
  • Pivoting
  • Sandwiching
  • Stabilize Your Base
  • Third Hand Principle
  • Torque
  • With

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Fallen Cross was Blue Belt Technique #10.
  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal you:
    • step toward 10:00 with your right foot.
    • pivot counter clockwise to face 4:00.
    • have a 10:00 angle of departure.

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

FALLEN CROSS   (rear two-hand choke)

  1. With feet together and opponent choking you from the rear with both of his hands, step to your left (to 9 o’clock) into a horse as you grab both of opponent’s wrists with both of your hands (right to right and left to left).
  2. Move your right foot forward to 10 o’clock (into a right neutral bow) and pivot counter clockwise as you cross opponent’s arms with his right arm over his left while now facing 4 o’clock, making sure that the arms are crossed at or above the opponent’s elbows.
  3. While still grabbing opponent’s wrists, have both of your arms force your opponent’s arms down as you deliver a right knee kick up and against the left elbow joint of your opponent (opponent’s left elbow joint should be facing down at this point).   Without hesitation and with your right knee against your opponent’s left elbow, deliver a right front snapping ball kick to opponent’s groin.
  4. As you plant your right foot forward (to 4 o’clock), deliver a right inward horizontal elbow strike (or a right inward downward diagonal forearm smash from 1 o’clock to 7 o’clock, depending upon the circumstance). Have your left hand check opponent’s arms down and toward opponent.
  5. Right front crossover and cover out to 10 o’clock.

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