Crushing Hammer (EPAK Purple #5)

Technique: Crushing Hammer
Attack: Rear Bear Hug, Arms Pinned
Attack Direction: 6:00
Web of Knowledge: Hugs & Holds
Family Group: Hugs & Holds - Bear Hugs
Official (24 Tech) Location: Purple #5
32 Tech Location: Orange #30
16 Tech Location: Purple #5
Form Locations: Not found in forms
Related Tracy Technique: Rising Elbow

Crushing Hammer is the 5th required technique to obtain your Purple Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo.  Crushing Hammer is a defense against right roundhouse kick to your body, placing it in the Kicks category of the Web of Knowledge as well as the Kicks Family Group in the family groups Striking Division.

In Crushing Hammer you learn how to counter grab your opponent to prevent further strikes, you learn how flank movements provide access to rear targets, how the proper contouring of your body provides built in checks against retaliation as well as generating power.


Crushing Hammer – defense for a rear bear hug, arms pinned.

  • Step 1
    • Pin the opponent’s hands to your body with your left hand.
    • Step toward 9:00 with your left foot to form a horse stance.
    • Deliver a right back hammerfist strike to your opponent’s groin.
  • Step 2
    • Slide your right foot toward your left forming a right close cat stance (transitional), and then back toward 4:30 (behind your opponent’s left leg) to form a right reverse bow stance.
    • Deliver a right back hammering heel palm strike to your opponent’s groin and grab with a right squeezing claw,
    • Left hand continues to pin the opponent’s hands.
  • Step 3
    • Pivot clockwise into a right neutral bow stance facing 4:30.
    • Deliver a right rear vertical elbow strike underneath your opponent’s chin.
  • Step 4
    • Pivot clockwise into a right forward bow stance facing 4:30.
    • Deliver a left thrusting heel palm strike to your opponent’s left floating ribs.
  • Step 5
    • Pivot counter clockwise into a right neutral bow, facing 4:30
    • Crossover and cover out toward 10:30.

Additional Information


The name of the technique comes from the crushing action of the hammerfist to the groin.


In the ideal phase your attacker is directly behind you (6:00) and applies a bear hug around both arms near your biceps.

It is important to avoid being gripped in a bear hug with your arms in front of you or or your hands in your pocket as it would.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Horse Stance
  • Right Rear Hammerfist Strike
  • Cat Stance (transitional)
  • Right Reverse Bow Stance
  • Right Rear Heel Palm Strike
  • Right Rear Squeezing Grab
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Upward Vertical Obscure Elbow Strike
  • Right Forward Bow Stance
  • Right Thrusting Heel Palm Strike


  • Hands
  • Groin
  • Underneath the Chin
  • Left Floating Ribs

Concepts & Principles

  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Body Alignment
  • Borrowed Force
  • Cating Around
  • Contouring
  • Hugging Pin
  • Pinning Check
  • Pivoting
  • Positional Check
  • Stabilize your Base
  • Transitory Moves
  • Zones of Obscurity


  • What if …
    • your arms are pinned in front of your body?
    • your opponents arms are near your waist?
    • your opponent’s arms are around your throat?
    • your arms are free?
    • your opponent lifts you off the ground?

Related Techniques

  • Captured Twigs (Y-5)
  • Obscure Wing (O-18)
  • Squeezing the Peach (P-11)
  • Escape From Death (G-6)
  • Reprimanding the Bears (2Br-12)
  • Spreading the Branches

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Crushing Hammer was Purple Belt Technique #6
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal;
    • indicates sliding your left foot back between 4:00 & 5:00
    • has you pivot clockwise toward 4:00 for the obscure elbow
    • has you pivot toward 5:00 for the left thrusting heel palm strike
    • does not indicate an angle of departure.

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

CRUSHING HAMMER (rear bear hug — arms pinned)

  1. With feet together, step to your left with your left foot (to 9 o’clock)into a horse. Simultaneously strike to opponent’s groin with your right back hammerfist as your left hand pins opponent’s left arm.
  2. Have our right foot meet your left foot (forming a close cat stance) and then around and behind opponent’s left leg (between 4 and 5 o’clock)into a right reverse bow. Simultaneously strike opponent’s groin with aright heel palm; then grab opponent’s testicles with a right squeezing claw,
  3. Pivot into a right neutral bow (facing 4 o’clock) as your right arm follows the contour of your opponent’s body and your right elbow strikes up to his chin.
  4. Complete your pivot (facing 5 o’clock) into a right forward bow as you deliver a left heel palm strike to left floating ribs of opponent.


  • Crushing Hammer serves as a good backup to Captured Twigs in the event you are unable to rotate in attempting to execute Captured Twigs.  On the other hand Captured Twigs serves as a back to to Crushing Hammer when you are unable to step to the side.


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