Captured Leaves (EPAK Purple #6)

Technique: Captured Leaves
Attack: Right Flank Left Hand Finger Lock
Attack Direction: 3:00
Web of Knowledge: Locks & Chokes
Family Group: Locks
Official (24 Tech) Location: Purple #6
32 Tech Location: Orange #25
16 Tech Location: Purple #6
Form Locations: Not found in forms
Related Tracy Technique: Breaking the Sword

Captured Leaves is the 6th required technique to obtain your purple belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Captured Leaves is a defense against a left hand finger lock from the right flank, placing it in the Locks & Chokes category of the Web of Knowledge as well as the Locks Family Group in the Chokes & Locks category of the family groups Grappling division.

In Captured Leaves you use a matching counter to create angles of disturbance and cancellation. As you relieve the pressure you use twirling checks to nullify your opponent’s leverage points and then borrow his force and action to strike your opponent canceling any possible counters.


Captured Leaves – defense for a right finger lock.

  • Step 1
    • Pin the opponent’s left hand against your right hand, with your left hand.
    • Step toward 1:30 with your right foot to form a right neutral bow stance.
    • Deliver a right upward elbow strike (to relieve pressure).
  • Step 2
    • Pivot counterclockwise to form a lhorse stance, facing between 8:00-9:00.
    • Your right hand grabs your opponent’s left hand.
    • Deliver a left rear elbow strike to your opponent’s left kidney.
  • Step 3
    • Pivot clockwise to form a right inverted neutral bow stance facing 1:30.
    • Left hand checks high.
    • Deliver a right rear elbow strike to your opponent’s left rib cage.
  • Step 4
    • Right front crossover and cover out toward 8:00-9:00.

Additional Information


In American Kenpo the fingers are represented by the term leaves. In this technique your leaves (fingers) are captured (locked) by your opponent, thus giving the name Captured Leaves.


In the ideal phase your attacker is to your right flank (3:00) and grabs your right hand fingers with his left hand. He then proceeds to turn your hand palm up (outward hooking parry position) while bending your fingers backwards.

This lock is primarily used for pain compliance as it generates excruciating pain through the arm.  Fingers and wrist joints could be dislocated, tendons torn and more. As with most locks you want to ideally prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Right Front Step Through
  • Left Neutral Bow Stance
  • Left Rear Elbow Strike
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Rear Elbow Strike
  • Right Front Crossover
  • Cover Out


  • Left Fingers
  • Left Elbow Joint
  • Left Kidney
  • Left Rib Cage

Concepts & Principles

  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Angle of Incidence
  • Axis of Rotation
  • Contouring
  • Counter Rotation
  • Fulcruming
  • Matching Counters
  • Open Ended Triangle
  • Opposing Forces
  • Pinning Check
  • Pivoting
  • Pivot Point
  • Path of Execution
  • Torque
  • Twirling Check


  • What if …
    • your opponent grabs with his right hand?
    • your opponent grabs with both hands?
    • your opponent attacks from the front?
    • your opponent follows the grab with a right punch?

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal this was Purple Belt Technique #1
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal has you step toward 11:00.
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal does not indicate an angle of departure.

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

CAPTURED LEAVES (flank finger lock)

  1. With your right fingers twisted by your opponent’s left hand, raise your right hand high (toward 11 o’clock) to relieve the pressure (have your left hand raise and check opponent’ s right hand in the process) as you move your right foot slightly to your left (toward 11 o’clock).
  2. While in place, pivot counter clockwise and deliver a left back elbow (from last checking position) to opponent’s left kidney while in a left reverse neutral bow.
  3. Immediately pivot clockwise into a horse and deliver a right back elbow to opponent’s left ribcage as your left hand guards to the right of your face.

1987 IKKA Studio Manual

CAPTURED LEAVES (Right Flank – Finger Lock)

  1. With the fingers of your right hand twisted by your opponent’s left hand, raise your right hand high (toward 1:30) to relieve the pressure (have your left hand positionally check your opponent’s right hand and arm in the process) as you move your right foot slightly to your right (toward 1:30).
  2. While in place, pivot counter clockwise into a horse stance (facing between 8 and 9 o’clock) and deliver a left back elbow strike (from the last checking position) to the back of your opponent’s left kidney. (Your opponent is on the tips of his toes and his body is turning clockwise to the right.)
  3. Immediately pivot clockwise into a right neutral bow stance and deliver a right back elbow strike to the front of your opponent’s left rib case as your left hand now grabs and controls your opponent’s left arm at the wrist (Your opponent should bend forward at the waist.)
  4. Right front crossover and cover out between 8 and 9 o’clock.


  • Captured Leaves can be used as a counter Broken Gift (G-12).
  • You will find that almost every teaching of this technique will have slightly different angles to step and pivot toward. The reason for this is your opponent’s location. Your opponent being on the right flank is a pretty wide area considering it doesn’t specify front or rear right flank. This means that any position between 12:00 and 6:00 is to be considered the right flank and naturally your angle of movement, delivery and execution will need to adjust accordingly. Within the history of the system itself you can see it change;
    • the 1975 Accumulative Journal has you step toward 11:00, in this case your opponent is approximately at the 1:30 position which is still your right flank, but approaching from the front.
    • the 1987 IKKA Studio Manual has you step toward 1:30 which as your opponent at the current ideal phase position of 3:00 approaching from the side or even the rear.


  • Some variations will break the grip on your hand instead of pinning it to gain control. This is done by placing your left handsword between your and your opponent’s arm and delivering a left outward upward diagonal handsword strike the same direction you raise your hand.

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