Obscure Wing (EPAK Orange #18)

Technique: Obscure Wing
Attack: Right Flank Left Hand Shoulder Grab
Attack Direction: 3:00
Web of Knowledge: Grabs & Tackles
Family Group: Grabs: Shoulder Grab
Official (24 Tech) Location: Orange #18
32 Tech Location: Orange #16
16 Tech Location: Purple #12
Form Locations: Not found in forms
Related Tracy Technique: Japanese Strangle Hold

Obscure Wing is the 18th technique required to obtain your Orange Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. It is a defense against a left hand shoulder grab from the right flank and part of the Grabs & Tackles category in the Web of Knowledge.  It also belongs to the shoulder/lapel grab group of the Grabs category in the grappling division.

In Obscure Wing we will use a pin to control your opponent’s left hand, then we will make use of contouring and tracking to find our targets from point of origin in obscure zones. You will find that this technique is for the same type of attack as Sword and Hammer.  In Sword and Hammer you go after your opponent’s upper zone first, in Obscure Wing you can assume that the upper zone is protected thus you need to attack the mid or lower zone first instead, making this an effective backup technique for Sword and Hammer.


Obscure Wing – defense for a right flank shoulder grab.

  • Step 1
    • Pin your opponent’s left hand with your left hand,
    • Step toward 3:00 with your right foot to form a right fighting horse stance,
    • Deliver a right rear elbow strike to your opponent’s solar plexus.
  • Step 2
    • Continue pinning your opponent’s left hand,
    • Deliver right downward back hammerfist strike to your opponent’s groin,
    • Grab your opponent’s groin.
  • Step 3
    • Rip your opponent’s groin upward,
    • Deliver a right upward snapping obscure elbow strike underneath your opponent’s chin.
  • Step 4
    • Right front crossover and cover out toward 10:30.

Additional Information


As mentioned in the last technique, wing is the Kenpo term for an elbow. In this technique you will use an elbow (wing) strike that will travel through a space your opponent can’t see, a blind spot, called an obscure zone.  Put this together and and you are essentially delivering an obscure wing to your opponent, thus the name.


In the ideal phase your attacker will be directly to your right at the 3:00 position. Your opponent will then grab your right shoulder with his left hand. It is assumed that your opponent is protecting his upper zone.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Right Side Step Through
  • Right Fighting Horse Stance
  • Right Rear Thrusting Elbow
  • Right Downward Back Hammerfist
  • Right Gripping Claw
  • Right Ripping Claw
  • Right Rear Upward Snapping Obscure Elbow
  • Right Front Cross Over
  • Cover Out


  • Left hand/wrist
  • Solar Plexus/Abdomen
  • Groin
  • Underneath the Chin

Concepts & Principles

  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Back Up Mass
  • Borrowed Force
  • Continuity of Motion
  • Contouring
  • Getting the Upper Hand
  • Marriage of Gravity
  • Obscure Zones
  • Pinning Check
  • Stabilize your Base
  • Settling
  • Torque


  • What if …
    • your opponent grabs your shoulder with his right hand instead?
    • your opponent grabs your shoulder with both hands?
    • your opponent throws a right punch while grabbing your shoulder?
    • your opponent grabs your right bicep with his right hand while grabbing your shoulder?
    • your opponent grabs your right wrist with his right hand while grabbing your shoulder?
    • your opponent pulls your toward him?

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Obscure Wing was Orange Belt Technique #16
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal does not indicate an angle of departure

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

OBSCURE WING (flank left hand shoulder grab)

  1. With feet together and opponent’s left hand grabbing your right shoulder, step to your right(to 3 o’clock)with your right foot as you drop into a horse. Simultaneously deliver a right back elbow to opponent’s solar plexus as your left hand pins and checks opponent’s left hand to your right shoulder.
  2. Deliver a right back hammerfist down to opponent’s groin and follow-up with a right hand grab to opponent’s testicles.
  3. Immediately follow-up with a right snapping obscure elbow strike to opponent’s chin; making sure that your right arm follows the contour of your opponent’s body.



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