Raining Claw (EPAK Orange #23)

Technique: Raining Claw
Attack: Front Right Uppercut Punch
Attack Direction: 12:00
Web of Knowledge: Punches
Family Group: Punches
Official (24 Tech) Location: Orange #23
32 Tech Location: Orange #23
16 Tech Location: Purple #13
Form Locations: Not found in forms
Related Tracy Technique: Three Wings Claw

Raining Claw is the 23rd technique required to obtain your Orange Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. It is a defense against a right uppercut punch placing Raining Claw in the Punches category in the Web of Knowledge as well as the Punches family group in the Striking Division of Family Groups.

In Raining Claw you start with a right smother block to your opponent’s attack as your left arm circles around into a downward claw to your opponent’s face followed by a continuation of your right arms circle into a vertical back knuckle strike.  This shows you the various blocking and striking positions of the circle as well as using one circular strike to conceal another by making use of the tracking and threading concepts.


Raining Claw – defense for a right uppercut punch.

  • Step 1
    • Step back toward 6:00 with your left foot to form a right neutral bow stance facing 12:00,
    • Deliver a right downward inward block (smother block) to your opponent’s right forearm.
    • Left hand guards high.
  • Step 2
    • Deliver a left overhead claw to your opponent’s face.
  • Step 3
    • Shuffle forward (push-drag),
    • Deliver a right vertical back knuckle thrust to your opponent’s face.
    • Left hand guards low.
  • Step 4
    • Right front crossover
    • Cover out toward 7:30.

Additional Information


The name Raining Claw is based of the type of one of your counter strikes and the direction it comes from. You deliver an overhead claw strike, thus the claw is coming from above as rain would.


The ideal phase places your opponent directly in front of you (12:00). Your opponent delivers a right uppercut punch (front inverted horizontal roundhouse punch) to your abdomen or face.

An uppercut punch as with other attacks coming from this direction are more difficult to defend against and because if this an uppercut punch is usually used by someone with some fighting experience.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Left Reverse Step Through
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Downward Inward Block
  • Left Inward Overhead Heel Palm Claw
  • Forward Push-Drag Shuffle
  • Right Vertical Thrusting Back Knuckle
  • Right Front Crossover
  • Cover Out


  • Right Forearm
  • Face

Concepts & Principles

  • Angle of Incidence
  • Body Momentum
  • Detaining Check
  • Orbit
  • Sliding Check
  • Smothering
  • Threading
  • Tracking


  • What if …
    • your opponent throws a left jab before the right uppercut?
    • your opponent fakes the uppercut and throws a left punch?
    • your opponent throws a left uppercut?
    • your opponent throws a left kick followed by a right uppercut?
    • your opponent grabs your right arm and pulls you into a right uppercut?
    • you are unable to step back?

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal does not indicate an angle of departure

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

RAINING CLAW (front uppercut right punch)

  1. Standing naturally with feet together, step back to 6 o’clock with your left foot (into a right neutral bow) and deliver a right downward inward block to right forearm of opponent’s uppercut. Your left hand is guarding high to protect your head area.
  2. Immediately shoot a left overhead claw to opponent’s face while your right elbow stays close to your body.
  3. Have your right fist circle clockwise and execute a right vertical back knuckle thrust to opponent’s face while shuffling forward with your left hand checking low.


  • The description of the initial block varies. Some say inward downward block, others will say downward inward block. In a nutshell it is a smothering block with your forearm ending in a horizontal position in front of your body. Both are technically correct and it is a matter of how you interpret it. I choose the second interpretation.
    • Inward (block traveling in a) Downward (direction) Block
    • Downward (traveling) Inward Block



  1. First of all congrats on this very comprehensive website. I do have a question: while I like this technique I’m more comfortable performing it stepping forward into him since I’m worried creating distance will allow him to fire his left hook (a very common boxing combo) before you reach him with your left claw. What are your thoughts on this?

    • You don’t feel that you are too close to the opponent if you step forward? I find it hard to execute the technique the way it was written if I am all bunched up. And there is the possiblity of a head butt, I suppose.

  2. The second paragraph on the attack is unfinished.

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