Locking Horns (EPAK Orange #6)

Technique: Locking Horns
Attack: Front Headlock
Attack Direction: 12:00
Web of Knowledge: Chokes & Locks
Family Group: Locks: Headlocks
Official (24 Tech) Location: Orange #6
32 Tech Location: Orange #5
16 Tech Location: Orange #6
Form Locations: Not found in forms
Related Tracy Technique: Headlock

Locking Horns is the 6th technique required to obtain your orange belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Locking Horns is a defense against a front right arm headlock putting it in the Locks & Chokes category of the Web of Knowledge as well as the Headlocks Family Group in the Locks category of the Family Groups Grappling Division.

Locking Horns teaches you how to use checks at leverage points to prevent an action while utilizing multiple methods of increasing power. It also introduces you to a new method of increasing the effectiveness of your strikes.


Locking Horns – defense for a front head lock.

  • Step 1
    • Pull down on your opponent’s choking arm,
    • Tuck your chin in toward your chest and toward your opponent’s elbow.
  • Step 2
    • Step forward with your right foot toward 11:00 forming a right wide kneel stance between your opponent’s legs,
    • Check your opponent’s right knee with a left push-down block above your opponent’s right kneecap,
    • Deliver a right underhand reverse handsword strike to your opponent’s groin.
  • Step 3
    • Clear your opponent’s right arm from around your neck with your left hand, pinning their arm against their body,
    • Quickly stand up into a right neutral bow,
    • Deliver a right vertical obscure elbow strike underneath your opponent’s chin.
  • Step 4
    • Shuffle forward,
    • Deliver a right inward downward diagonal elbow strike to your opponent’s left jaw.
    • Deliver a left inward upward hooking heel palm strike to your opponent’s right jaw.
  • Step 4
    • Cross over and cover out toward 7:30.

Additional Information


The name Locking Horns comes from the manner in which horned animals, such as a the ram, would lock their horns in combat. With you being bent over and your head/neck locked it resembles this action.


The ideal phase has the attacker directly in front of you, his right leg is forward.  You will be in a bent over postion with your right shoulder, neck, head pressed against the right side of your attacker’s body as his right arm locks around your neck, down the left side and under the chin.  He may or may not grab his right wrist with his left hand to further secure the lock.

This is a very dangerous situation to be in and this type of attack can break your neck, cut off blood flow to the brain, or close off the throat keeping you from breathing resulting in unconsciousness, injury, brain damage and even death.

Basics & Maneuvers Used

  • Right Wide Kneel Stance
  • Left Push Down Block
  • Underhand Reverse Handsword Strike
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Left Downward Heel Palm Strike
  • Right Vertical Obscure Elbow Strike
  • Push-Drag Foot Maneuver
  • Right Inward Downward Diagonal Elbow Strike
  • Left Inward Hooking Heel Palm Strike


  • Groin
  • Kneecap
  • Under the Chin
  • Right side of face/jaw
  • Left side of face/jaw

Concepts & Principles Taught

  • Balance Compensation
  • Contouring
  • Leverage Points
  • Marriage of Gravity
  • Pinning Checks
  • Pressing Checks
  • Reverse Marriage of Gravity
  • Sandwiching
  • Solidify your Base
  • Stabilize your Base
  • Torque
  • Zones of Obscurity


  • What if …
    • your opponent’s left leg is forward?
    • your opponent’s legs are spread wide apart?
    • your opponent pulls his legs back out of reach, bearing his weight down on your neck?
    • your opponent grabs you with his left arm instead?
    • your opponent pushes you back while you are in the front headlock?

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • Pre-1975 a close kneel stance was called for in the initial move, this is still often used today as a means to generating power (torque).
  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Locking Horns was Orange Belt Technique #5

Historical Variations

1975 Accumulative Journal

LOCKING HORNS (font headlock)

  1. With feet in line with each other and body bent forward, step forward with your right foot toward 11 o’clock and deliver a right upward vertical reverse handsword to opponent’s groin while simultaneously having your left hand check opponent’s right thigh just above the knee and your chin turned in such a position so as to keep your breathing constant.   (Turn your chin to the right and tuck it against your chest.)
  2. Immediately follow-up with a right vertical obscure elbow strike to opponent’s jaw while keeping in a low right neutral bow.
  3. After snapping the elbow to opponent’s jaw loop your right elbow and strike again (shuffling forward if needed) having it drive from 1 o’clock down to 7 o’clock to the left side of opponent’s jaw as your left heel of palm hooks in and strikes opponent’s right jaw thus causing a sandwiching effect.

Unfinished Orange Belt Manual by Ed Parker

LOCKING HORNS (Front headlock)

  1. With your feet in line with each other and your body bent forward (caused by your opponent applying a front headlock using his left arm to lock you with) simultaneously (1) step forward with your right foot toward 11 o’clock into a right wide kneel stance between your opponent’s legs, (2) deliver a right underhand reverse handsword to your opponent’s groin, (3) have your left hand check just above your opponent’s right knee while (4) turning your chin to the left, and tucking it against your chest to prevent your opponent from cutting off your air supply. (Your opponent should loosen his grip and bend forward at the waist. Depending on the effectiveness of your strike, your opponent’s legs can conceivably move back and away from you.)
  2. Immediately follow-up with a right vertical obscure elbow strike to the underside of your opponent’s jaw, “with” your left hand still checking the knee, and while keeping low in a right neutral bow. (This elbow strike should force your opponent’s head up in preparation for the next strike.)
  3. After snapping your opponent’s jaw upward with your right obscure elbow, simultaneously (1) shuffle forward, (2) deliver a right inward horizontal elbow strike to the left side of your opponent’s jaw, along with (3) a left heel palm strike that hooks in and to the right side of your opponent’s jaw. (The force of this sandwiching effect may cause your opponent to pass out and fall to the ground.)
  4. Right front crossover, and cover out toward 7:30.



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