Crashing Wings (EPAK Orange #24)

Technique: Crashing Wings
Attack: Rear Bear Hug, Arms Free
Attack Direction: 6:00
Web of Knowledge: Hugs & Holds
Family Group: Holds and Hugs: Bear Hugs
Official (24 Tech) Location: Orange #24
32 Tech Location: Orange #24
16 Tech Location: Orange #16
Form Locations: Short 3, Long 3
Related Tracy Technique: Circling Elbows

Crashing Wings is the 24th and final technique required to obtain your Orange Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. It is a defense against a rear bear hug with your arms free placing it in the Hugs & Holds category of the Web of Knowledge.  Crashing Wings belongs to the Bear Hugs Family Group in the Hugs category of the Family Groups Grappling Division.

In Crashing Wings we learn how to execute a double attack with added strength from gravitational marriage while following one of the shapes in the Universal Pattern. You learn how to use a cat stance to not only transition from point a to point b but to  ‘cat around’ an obstacle, in this case your opponent’s leg, to stabilize your base as well as create an angle of disturbance. We then make use of continual motion and preparatory cocking to set up a series of strikes.


Crashing Wings – defense for a rear bear hug, arms free.

  • Step 1
    • Step toward 3:00 with your right foot to form a horse stance facing 12:00,
    • Deliver right and left inward downward diagonal elbow strikes to your attacker’s forearms.
  • Step 2
    • Slide your left foot toward 3:00 to form a left transitional 45° cat stance.
    • Cock both of your hands to your right hip in a cup & saucer fashion.
  • Step 3
    • Slide your left foot behind your opponent’s right leg, toward 7:30, to form a left reverse bow stance.
  • Step 4
    • Pivot counterclockwise to form a left neutral bow stance facing 7:30.
    • Deliver a left outward horizontal elbow strike to your opponent’s face.
    • Deliver a left outward horizontal heel palm claw to your opponent’s face,
    • Cock your right fist by your right ear.
  • Step 5
    • Pivot counterclockwise to form a left forward bow stance facing 7:30,
    • Deliver a right inward downward diagonal hammerfist strike to your opponent’s bladder.
  • Step 6
    • Pivot counterclockwise forming a left neutral bow stance,
    • Left front crossover
    • Cover out toward 12:00.

Additional Information


Wing is the American Kenpo term used to symbolize the elbow. In this technique you circle your wings (elbows) out and up in order to bring them crashing down on your opponent’s forearms. This crashing of your wings (elbows) into your attackers arms give the technique its name, Crashing Wings.  Incidentally the circling motion of your wings (elbows), gives the related Tracy’s Kenpo technique, Circling Wings it’s name.


In the ideal phase your attacker is directly behind you (6:00) and has both arms wrapped around your waist and your arms are free.

As with all bear hugs, the attacker using the bear hug believes himself to be stronger than you and is confident in their ability to control you with such a move. While bear hugs are often used to control, lift, throw or setup the target for another attacker, a bear hug like this makes it easier for your attacker to interfere with your ability to breathe causing great discomfort and possibly unconsciousness. It allow has a greater chance of causing damage to internal organs or fracturing ribs.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Right Side Step Through
  • Horse Stance
  • Double Inward Downward Diagonal Elbow Strikes
  • Transitional Left 45° Cat Stance
  • Left Reverse Bow Stance
  • Left Neutral Bow Stance
  • Left Outward Horizontal Elbow Strike
  • Left Outward Horizontal Heel Palm Claw
  • Left Forward Bow Stance
  • Right Inward Downward Diagonal Hammerfist Strike
  • Left Neutral Bow Stance
  • Left Front Crossover
  • Cover Out


  • Left & Right Forearms (Medial Nerve)
  • Face (Jaw) or Solar Plexus
  • Solar Plexus, Bladder or Groin

Concepts & Principles

  • Anchor
  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Body Rotation
  • Cat Around
  • Continuity of Motion
  • Gravitational Check
  • Hugging Pin
  • Pivoting
  • Preparatory Cock
  • Solidify Your Base
  • Transitory Stance


  • What if …
    • your opponent’s arms are at chest level?
    • your opponent picks you up off the ground?
    • your opponent doesn’t loosen his grip?
    • your opponent is pushing you forward?
    • you are unable to step to the right?
    • you are grabbed while seated?

Related Techniques

  • Grip of Death
  • Captured Leaves
  • Spiraling Twig
  • Squatting Sacrifice
  • Escape From Death
  • Twirling Sacrifice

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal this was orange belt technique #24
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal has you slide out of the cat stance toward 7:00
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal does not indicate the left outward heel palm claw
  • 1975 Accumulative Journal does not indicate an angle of departure

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

CRASHING WINGS (rear bear hug — arms free)

  1. Step to your right (to 3 o’clock) with your right foot and drop into a horse.  Simultaneously strike down with both of your elbows against opponent’s forearms (after having raised your elbows).
  2. Have your left foot meet your right foot (close cat) as your left and right arms cock to the right side of your waist (right palm up and left palm facing you).
  3. Have your left foot then go around and behind of opponent’s left leg (to 7 o’clock) and into a left reverse bow.
  4. Pivot to your left and deliver a left outward elbow strike (palm down.) to opponent’s Jaw (while in a left neutral bow) and a right hammerfist to opponent’s groin (while in a left forward bow) as your left hand cocks to your left hip.



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