Twisted Twig (EPAK Orange #21)

Technique: Twisted Twig
Attack: Front Wrist Lock
Attack Direction: 12:00
Web of Knowledge: Locks & Chokes
Family Group: Locks
Official (24 Tech) Location: Orange #21
32 Tech Location: Orange #20
16 Tech Location: Purple #15
Form Locations: Not found in forms
Related Tracy Technique: Attack From The Temple

Twisted Twig is the 21st technique required to obtain your Orange Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. It is a defense against a front wrist lock to you right wrist.  Twisted Twig is part of the Locks & Chokes category in the Web of Knowledge and is a part of the Locks family group in the Chokes and Locks category of the Grappling Division of  Family Groups.

In Twisted Twig, your arm is twisted into a wrist lock you will learn how to use the flow of action to turn this disadvantaged position into an advantageous position that opens new targets on your opponent while neutralizing his weapons.


Twisted Twig –  defense for a right bent wrist lock.

  • Step 1
    • Pin the opponent’s left hand with your left hand.
    • Step toward 11:00 with your right foot to form a right neutral bow stance, buckling the inside of your opponent’s right knee,
    • Deliver a right upward elbow strike to your opponent’s chest or face.
  • Step 2
    • Pivot counterclockwise to form a horse stance.
    • Deliver a right outward elbow strike to your opponent’s solar plexus.
  • Step 3
    • Pivot counterclockwise to form a right reverse bow stance.
    • Deliver a right back hammerfist strike to your opponent’s groin
  • Step 4
    • Right front crossover toward 7:30
    • Cover out toward 7:30.

Additional Information


The term ‘twig’ in American Kenpo is a symbolic term that represents an arm. In this technique your arm (twig) is being twisted at the wrist by your opponent, thus the name Twisted Twig.


In the ideal phase your opponent is directly in front of you (12:00). The attacker grabs your right hand and applies a front outward wrist lock to your right wrist.

A wrist lock is a good indication that your opponent is skilled thus it is important to pay close attention to everything going on around you and get out of this hold as quickly as possible.  As wrist lock can be used to control, inflict pain or cause a wrist break.  A wrist lock specifically like the one you will see here could be used to throw you to the ground or even dislocate your shoulder.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Right forward Step Through
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Upward Elbow Strike
  • Right Fighting Horse Stance
  • Right Outward Horizontal Elbow Strike
  • Right Reverse Bow Stance
  • Right Back Downward Hammerfist Strike
  • Right Front Crossover
  • Cover Out


  • Right Inner Knee
  • Face or Chest (Sternum)
  • Solar Plexus
  • Groin

Concepts & Principles

  • Anchoring
  • Angle of Alignment
  • Angle of Entry
  • Continuity of Motion
  • Counter Rotation
  • Hugging Check
  • Flow of Action
  • Fulcrum
  • Join Locks
  • Obscure Zones
  • Opposing Forces
  • Pivoting
  • Sandwiching
  • Solidify Your Base
  • Torque


  • What if …
    • your opponent pulls you forward?
    • your opponent throws you to the ground?
    • you are grabbed across an object?
    • you are grabbed while sitting down?

Related Techniques

  • Obscure Wing
  • Circling Wing
  • Thrusting Wedge
  • Gift of Destiny

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal this was Orange Belt technique #20

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

TWISTED TWIG (front wrist lock)

  1. With feet together and both hands of opponent applying a wrest lock on your right wrist, step forward and to your left (to 11 o’clock) with your right foot into a right neutral bow as you deliver a right upward elbow strike to your opponent’s solar plexus and/or jaw. Your left hand is placed on top of opponent’s right wrist for purposes of checking.
  2. Pivot counter clockwise into a horse as you deliver a right outward elbow strike (palm up)to opponent’s solar plexus.
  3. Follow-up with a right downward hammerfist to opponents groin as you shift into a right reverse bow.  Have your left hand check at shoulder height.



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