Cross of Destruction (Purple #23)

Technique: Cross of Destruction
Attack: Rear Two Hand Choke
Attack Direction: 6:00
Web of Knowledge: Locks & Chokes
Family Group: Chokes
Official (24 Tech) Location: Purple #23
32 Tech Location: Purple #11
16 Tech Location: Blue #15
Form Locations: Not found in forms
Related Tracy Technique: Bridge

Cross of Destruction is the 23rd required technique to obtain your purple belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Cross of Destruction is a defense against two hand choke from behind, placing it in the Locks and Chokes category of the Web of Knowledge as well as the Chokes Family Group in the Chokes and Locks category of the family groups Grappling division.

Cross of Destruction takes advantage of the fact that your opponent’s thumbs are unable to resist the weight of your body twisting against them when a proper fulcrum (your shoulders) is applied. In the first part of the technique your hands and neck/shoulders to twist and lock your opponent’s thumbs where in the latter part of the technique you will use your opponent’s arms to twist, lock and break his elbow joint. Through the course of the technique will will disturb balance, create temporary pain and inflict lasting damage.

The Technique


In the ideal phase your opponent is directly behind you (6:00). He applies a two hand choke with his arms fully extended.

With your attacker’s arms fully extended you are unable to properly perform Circling Wing. This technique serves to fill that gap, providing you with with an alternative option.


Cross of Destruction –  defense for a rear two-hand choke.

  • Step 1
    • Tuck your chin into your chest,
    • Grab your opponent’s wrists with both of your hands,
    • Step toward 9:00 with your left foot to form a horse stance.
  • Step 2
    • Slide your right foot back toward 7:30 into a left neutral bow stance facing 1:30.
    • Cross your opponent’s left arm over your head, crossing his left arm over his right.
    • Pull your right arm toward your right hip
  • Step 3
    • Deliver a right front thrusting ball kick to the inside of your opponent’s right knee cap.
  • Step 4
    • Plant your right foot forward toward 1:30 to form a right neutral bow stance.
    • Pull with your left arm and push with your right arm to twist the opponent’s arms breaking or dislocating his elbow(s).
  • Step 5
    • Right front crossover and cover toward 10:30.


  • What if…
    • your opponent’s arms are bent?
    • your opponent’s elbows are anchored against your shoulders?
    • your opponent’s right leg is forward?
    • your opponent’s left leg is forward?
    • your opponent pulls his arms as you attempt to cross them?
    • you are unable to step to the left?
    • you have something in your hands?


  • Dropping into your horse stance just before grabbing your opponent’s wrists will allow more reach to grab them.
  • Anchoring your elbows after the grab will help break the thumb.
  • When practicing this technique have your partner alter his attack then act accordingly with either Twirling Wings, Circling Wing or Cross of Destruction.
  • Note the possibility of flipping your opponent at the end of the technique. USE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN PRACTICING THIS WITH A PARTNER.


Additional Information


In Ed Parker’s American Kenpo the term ‘destruction‘ has something to do with the left side.  The term ‘cross‘, in this instance, indicates the position your opponent’s arms will be put in. In this technique you will cross your opponent’s arms and use this crossed position to dislocate or break your opponent’s left elbow, thus the name Cross of Destruction.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Left Side Step Through
  • Horse Stance
  • Right Reverse Step Through
  • Left Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Front Snapping Ball Kick
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Front Crossover
  • Cover out


  • Wrists
  • Thumbs
  • Right Knee (inside)
  • Elbows

Concepts & Principles

  • Anchoring
  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Angle of Deviation
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Angle of Incidence
  • Body Momentum
  • Buckle
  • Contouring
  • Counter Manipulation
  • Fulcrum
  • Gravitational Check
  • Marriage of Gravity
  • Opposing Forces
  • Pinning Check
  • Solidify Your Base

Related Techniques

  • Thrusting Salute (O-4)
  • Twirling Wings (P-1)
  • Flight to Freedom (P-24)
  • Fallen Cross (B-13)
  • Twist of Fate (B-16)
  • Gripping Talon (B-20)
  • Escape from Death (G-6)
  • Twirling Sacrifice (G-17)

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Cross of Destruction was Purple Belt technique #19.
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal indicates;
    • moving your right foot back towards 8:0o.
    • a crossover and cover out toward 10:00.

Historical Versions

CROSS OF DESTRUCTION (rear two-hand choke)

  1. With feet together and opponent choking you from the rear with both of his hands, step to your left (to 9 o’clock) into a horse stance as you grab both of opponent’s wrists with both of your hands.
  2. Move your right foot back to 8 o’clock (into a left neutral bow) as your left hand crosses your opponent’s left arm over his own right arm. At this point, your left arm pushes forward as your right pulls in and toward you.
  3. Deliver a right front slap ball kick to the inside of opponent’s right knee cap.
  4. As you plant your right foot forward, after the kick, toward 2 o’clock, pull in with your left arm as you push out with your right arm to cause opponent to break his left elbow with his own right arm. (Make sure that in the process your right hand executes the above mentioned action similar to a right vertical back knuckle thrust.
  5. Right front crossover and cover out to 10 o’clock.

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