Thrusting Prongs (EPAK Orange #20)

Technique: Thrusting Prongs
Attack: Front Bear Hug, Arms Pinned
Attack Direction: 12:00
Web of Knowledge: Hugs & Holds
Family Group: Holds and Hugs: Bear Hugs
Official (24 Tech) Location: Orange #20
32 Tech Location: Orange #19
16 Tech Location: Purple #10
Form Locations: Not found in forms
Related Tracy Technique: Knee Lift

Thrusting Prongs is the 20th technique required to obtain your Orange Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. It is a defense against front bear hug with arms pinned. Thrusting Prongs is part of the Hugs & Holds category in the Web of Knowledge and belongs in the Bear Hugs family group which is part of the Hugs & Holds category in the Grappling Division of Attacks.

In Thrusting Prongs, you will learn to use a new hand strike against a front target of your opponent from an obscure zone. From here, you maintain control of your opponent’s width and depth while you throw another obscure strike to open him up and then complete the technique.


Thrusting Prongs – defense for a front bear hug, arms pinned.

  • Step 1
    • Step back slightly toward 6:00 with your right foot to form a modified left forward bow stance,
    • Deliver right and left thrusting prong strikes into your opponent’s groin/bladder area.
  • Step 2
    • Check your opponent’s right arm with a left crane hook,
    • Execute a right thrusting knee kick to your opponent’s groin,
    • Deliver a right rear elbow block.
  • Step 3
    • Without planting your foot, deliver a right knife edge kick to the inside of your opponent’s left knee.
  • Step 4
    • Scraping your right foot down your opponent’s left shin,
    • Deliver a right downward stomp to your opponent’s left instep.
    • Deliver a right inward elbow strike to your opponent’s face.
  • Step 5
    • Execute a right front crossover
    • Cover out toward 7:30.

Additional Information


Prongs is a symbolic reference to the protrusion of your thumbs from your fists during the initial move. You actually thrust your prongs (thumbs) into your opponents bladder area, an obscure zone, thus providing the name Thrusting Prongs.


In the ideal phase your opponent is directly in front of you (12:00) and stepping forward with his right foot puts you in a bear hug with your arms pinned to your sides. Your attackers arms will be wrapped around your upper arms, approximately at biceps level.

A front bear hug is usually attempted only by someone who confident that he is physically larger and stronger than you. While completed bear hugs can be defended against, the ability to do so is often hindered by the attacker’s planned follow up. Upon completing a bear hug, your attacker may pick you up off the ground, throw you to the ground, run you into an object, head butt you, crush your ribs and more. Therefore, as with any attack it is in your best interest to react and neutralize your opponent before the bear hug is completed.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Right Reverse Step Through
  • Left Forward Bow Stance
  • Twin Thumb Thrusts (front underhand thrusting thumb strikes)
  • Right Upward Thrusting Knee Kick
  • Right Rear Elbow Strike
  • Right Thrusting Knife Edge Kick
  • Right Downward Stomp Kick
  • Right Inward Horizontal Elbow Strike
  • Right Front Crossover
  • Cover Out


  • Groin or Bladder
  • Right Arm
  • Groin, Bladder or pubic bone
  • Left Inside of the Knee
  • Left Inside of the Shin
  • Left Instep
  • Left side of the face or ribs

Concepts & Principles

  • Anchoring
  • Back Up Mass
  • Contouring
  • Hugging Pin
  • Marriage of Gravity
  • Obscure Zones
  • Point of Origin
  • Preparatory Cock
  • Torque


  • What if …
    • you are unable to step back?
    • your opponent lifts you off of the ground?
    • your opponent attempts to throw you to the ground?
    • your arms are pinned in front of you?
    • your opponent steps forward with his left foot?

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal this was Orange Belt Technique #19
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal and the 1987 IKKA Studio Manuals incorrectly state that you deliver your elbow strike to the right side of your opponent’s face or rib cage. It should read left side.
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal does not indicate an Angle of Departure

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

THRUSTING PRONGS (font bear hug — arms pinned)

  1. Step back with your right foot (to 6 o’clock) into a left modified for ward bow, having only your right foot move back and not the upper body. Simultaneously thrust both of your thumbs (keeping thumbs together) up and to opponent’s groin.
  2. Strike opponent’s groin with your right knee as your left hand circles over and on top of opponent’s right arm (forming the shape of the crane) and pins (with the assistance of your anchored left elbow) your opponent’s right arm to you, while cocking your right hand to your right hip.
  3. With knee in groin immediately deliver a right knife-edge kick (to 2 o’clock) to the inside of opponent’s left shin.
  4. Scrape opponent’s shin with your right foot and convert the scrape into a right stomp to opponent’s right instep while simultaneously delivering a right inward horizontal elbow strike to right side of opponent’s face or ribs (depending on the size of your opponent).



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