Returning Storm (Blue #14)

Technique: Returning Storm
Attack: Right Roundhouse/Outward Club
Attack Direction: 12:00
Web of Knowledge: Weapons
Family Group: One-Man Multiple Attacks
Official (24 Tech) Location: Blue #14
32 Tech Location: Purple #27
16 Tech Location: 3rd Brown #7
Form Locations: Not found in forms
Related Tracy Technique: Dance of the Mongoose

Returning Storm is the 14th technique required technique to obtain your Blue Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Returning Storm is a defense against a right roundhouse club and right outward club combination, placing it in the Weapons category of the Web of Knowledge as well as the One Man Multiple Attacks Family Group in the Multiple Attacks division.

In this technique, you will utilize rapid foot maneuvers to first seek a Zone of Sanctuary allowing your opponent to miss with the first strike but then you immediately reposition yourself to defend against the second strike as you penetrate deeply into your opponent’s obscure zone.  You will then use the momentum supplied by your opponent’s outward swing (borrowed force) in a continuous flow of action to make use of opposing forces which enables the push pull effect on your opponent’s arm as well as the spiraling stair case effect to direct him toward the ground.  Both of these control your opponent’s height width and depth zones of protection.

The Technique


In the ideal phase your opponent is directly in front of you (12:00).  Your opponent steps forward with his right foot and delivers a right inward horizontal roundhouse club strike. Upon missing he immediately follows with a right outward horizontal back hand club strike.


Returning Storm – defense for an inward/outward club strike combination.

  • Step 1
    • Shuffle back with your left foot toward 7:30 into a right neutral bow facing your opponent.
    • Bring both of your arms close to your chest, fists up top, into a protective guard.
  • Step 2
    • Step forward with your left foot toward 1:30 into a left neutral bow stance,
    • Deliver a left inward block to your opponent’s right elbow,
    • Deliver a right extended outward block to your opponent’s right wrist.
  • Step 3
    • Grab your opponent’s right wrist with your right hand and pull toward your right hip,
    • Push forward against your opponent’s right elbow downward with your left forearm
    • Slide your right foot toward 10:30 into a left neutral bow stance facing 4:30
  • Step 4
    • Deliver a right front snapping ball kick to your opponent’s right rib cage.
  • Step 5
    • Plant your right foot forward into a right neutral bow stance.
    • Check your opponent’s right arm with your left hand by pushing it down past your right hip,
    • Deliver a right upward lifting stiff-arm back knuckle strike to your opponent’s face.
  • Step 6
    • Execute a right front crossover,
    • Cover out twice toward 12:00.


  • What if…
    • your opponent does not step through?
    • your opponent is swinging the club with two hands?
    • your opponent delivers a left roundhouse club strike instead?
    • your opponent swings on an inward downward diagonal path?
    • your opponent is using a knife?
    • your opponent is using nunchaku?
    • you cannot step back?


  • When stepping forward into a left neutral bow stance, your left foot should be places to the inside of your opponent’s right foot. This will serve to buckle your opponent’s right knee to create an angle of disturbance.
  • Keep constant pressure on your opponent’s right elbow. Your rolling action on your opponent’s elbow coupled with the rotational force of your body should spiral your opponent down into your front snapping ball kick.
  • Be sure to use the Spiraling Staircase Effect learned in Sleeper to aid you when manipulating your opponent.
  • OPINION: While the official target of the kick is the right ribcage, this seems to be a very unlikely target due to the proximity and position of your opponent if the technique is done correctly, moves are kept tight and the ideal phase remains in play.  The best you will be able to do to your opponent’s right ribs would be an upward knee strike making your opponent’s face becomes the likely target of the kick.  Even then, the knee strike is more likely to strike your opponent’s chest.  Considering all the variables and potential outcomes, it would make most sense to list the target of the kick as ‘any available target’.


  • Many schools will substitute the shuffle with a left reverse step through toward 7:30 into a right reverse bow stance in order to move away from the first swing.
  • While it is not in the written description, the technique is more often than not taught with an attempted disarm to occur simultaneously with the kick.  This makes use of the disarm as a preparatory cock of the right hand for the follow up strike. Your left hand will maintain it’s position on your opponent’s right arm.
  • Some schools will teach a one of two variations where you do not plant forward after the right kick to your opponent.
    • In this case you plant your right foot back to point of origin,
    • and you disarm your opponent with your left hand as you execute a left front crossover and cover out.

Additional Information


In American Kenpo the term storm is used to represent a club attack. In this technique your opponent strikes with the club but misses with the inward strike and immediately follows up with outward strike, returning along the path the strike originated from.  Essentially the club (storm) is returning for another strike giving us the name Returning Storm.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Left Reverse Shuffle (push-drag)
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Left Front Step Through
  • Left Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Extended Outward Block
  • Left Inward Block
  • Right Reverse Step Through
  • Right Right Snapping Ball Kick
  • Right Upward Stiff-arm Back Knuckle Strike
  • Right Front Crossover
  • Cover Out


  • Right Wrist
  • Right Elbow
  • Right Rib Cage
  • Face

Concepts & Principles

  • Anchor
  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Angle of Deflection
  • Angle of Deviation
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Angle of Efficiency

Concepts & Principles (Con’t)

  • Angle of Entry
  • Angle of No Return
  • Back Up Mass
  • Body Momentum
  • Borrowed Force
  • Complimentary Angle
  • Contact Manipulation
  • Control Distance
  • Control Manipulation
  • Contouring
  • Counter Balance
  • Have A Back Up
  • Marriage of Gravity
  • Minimize Your Targets
  • Obscure Zones
  • Opposing Forces
  • Path of Action
  • Point of Contact
  • Point of Origin
  • Push-Pull Effect
  • Reverse Motion
  • Spiraling Staircase Effect
  • Stabilize Your Base
  • Transitional Moves
  • Twirling
  • Zone of Sanctuary

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Returning Storm was Blue Belt Technique #11
  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal version you;
    • drop back to 8:00.
    • step forward toward 2:00.
    • slide your right foot toward 10:00.
    • deliver the right kick and plant forward to 4:00.
    • depart toward 11:00.

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

RETURNING STORM (roundhouse and backhand club attack)

  1. With feet together, drop back (by shuffling back) with your left foot to 8 o’clock (into a right neutral bow) and place both of your arms close (positioning them vertically with your fists at the top) to your chest, as your opponent takes a wild step through roundhouse horizontal club strike which misses.
  2. As opponent attempts to strike with a returning backhand club strike, step forward with your left foot to 2 o’clock (into a left neutral bow) and have both of your arms strike vertically so that your left forearm strikes at opponent’s right elbow joint and your right outer wrist at opponent’s right wrist.
  3. Immediately grab opponent’s right wrist with your right hand and push vertically and out with your left forearm as you slide your right foot clockwise to 10 o’clock, keeping constant pressure on your opponent’s right elbow.
  4. Follow-up with a front snapping ball kick to opponent’s right ribcage (kick is delivered toward 4 o’clock).
  5. As you plant your right foot forward (into a right neutral bow), check your opponent’s right arm with your left hand by pushing it down and past your right hip and deliver a vertical upward stiff-arm back knuckle strike to opponent’s face.
  6. Right front crossover and cover out to 11 o’clock.

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