Gift In Return (Purple #17)

Technique: Gift In Return
Attack: Right Front Handshake
Attack Direction: 12:00
Web of Knowledge: Hugs & Holds
Family Group: Hugs & Holds - Hand Hold
Official (24 Tech) Location: Purple #17
32 Tech Location: Purple #10
16 Tech Location: Blue #11
Form Locations: Not found in forms
Related Tracy Technique: Betraying Stick

Gift In Return is the 17th required technique to obtain your Purple Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Gift In Return is a defense against a right handshake from the front, placing it in the Hugs and Holds category of the Web of Knowledge as well as the Hand Holds Family Group in the Hugs and Holds category of the family groups Grappling division.

In this technique you surprise your opponent by faking pain and then striking him in the groin with his own hand while moving you out of the line of attack and canceling his weapons by controlling his zones of protection. Controlling his height prevents him from kicking, controlling his width prevents use of his opposite arm and leg and controlling his depth will neutralize his power. Lastly this technique moves you to the rear of your opponent which allows you to strike a variety of targets, force compliance and humiliate your opponent without risk to yourself.

The Technique


In the ideal phase your opponent is directly in front of you (12:00). He takes your right hand with his right hand.

As mentioned in the first handshake technique, a handshake is generally a gesture of good will and makes you feel at ease by giving you a sense of trust in the individual.  A negative use of the handshake could simply be its deceptive nature.  By offering you the hand you become at east and then your opponent takes advantage of this to attack you.  Gift In Return can be used as an answer to some of the What-If Scenario’s as it serves well if your opponent is pulling you toward them or attempts to follow the handshake with a left punch.


Gift in Return – defense for a handshake.

  • Step 1
    • Step forward to 11:00 with your left foot to form a left neutral bow stance to the outside of your opponent’s right leg,
    • Deliver a left push down block to your opponent’s right arm,
    • Drive your opponent’s right hand into his groin with your right hand.
  • Step 2
    • Shift your left hand around the back of your opponent’s right leg to grab your opponent’s right wrist with your left hand.
    • Slide your right foot toward 10:30 to form a left neutral bow stance facing 4:30.
    • Pull your opponent’s right arm upwards with your left hand.
    • Push down on your opponent’s right hip with your right hand.
  • Step 3
    • Deliver a right snapping knife edge kick to the back of your opponent’s left knee.
    • Release your left hand grasp,
    • Maintain the check with your right hand.
  • Step 4
    • Plant your right foot between your opponent’s legs
    • Deliver a left knee strike to your opponent’s tail bone.
  • Step 5
    • With your left foot in the air execute a left front crossover
    • Cover toward 10:30.


What if…

  • your opponent’s right leg is forward?
  • your opponent’s left left is forward?
  • your opponent attempts to throw a left punch?
  • your opponent yanks you forward?
  • your opponent attempts a shoulder throw?
  • your opponent grabs with both hands and attempts to crush your fingers?
  • your opponent thrusts a club at you with his right hand?


  • Practice this technique with multiple attackers who are positioned behind you and your opponent to see how their position alters your choice between Gift of Destruction and Gift in Return.
  • It is important that you remain close enough so that your left leg is hugging your opponent’s right leg and that your right shoulder is hugging your opponent’s right shoulder to help neutralize other attacks.
  • Note the relationship between Gift in Return and Dance of Death.
  • When pulling your opponent’s arm between his lefts, turning his wrist counter clockwise (palm down) will turn his elbow up bracing it against his groin
  • Try to note the reason for kicking your opponent’s left knee instead of his right.
  • Adjust your Angle of Alignment for the knee strike as you plant your foot from the knife edge kick this ensure Angle of Incidence.
  • Depending on circumstance you may need to plant your left foot after the knee strike. In this case just proceed with the left front crossover and cover out.

Additional Information


The term gift in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo is used to represent a handshake. In this technique you will be returning your opponent’s gift (handshake) to him which gives us the name Gift in Return.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Left Forward Step Through
  • Left Neutral Bow Stance
  • Left Push Down Block
  • Modified Right Push Down Block
  • Right Step Through Knife Edge Kick
  • Left Knee Strike
  • Left Front Crossover
  • Cover out


  • Right Hand/Wrist
  • Groin/Testicles
  • Back of the Left Knee
  • Tailbone (coccyx)

Concepts & Principles

  • Angle of Alignment
  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Angle of Departure
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Counter Manipulation
  • Environmental Weapons
  • Hugging Check
  • Jamming
  • Leveraging
  • Opposing Forces
  • Point of Origin
  • Purposeful Compliance
  • Reverse Marriage of Gravity
  • Stabilizing Your Base
  • Zone of Sanctuary

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Gift In Return was Purple Belt technique #18
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal indicates sliding your right foot toward 10:00 and that the angle of departure is also 10:00

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

GIFT IN RETURN (front hand shake)

  1. With feet together and opponent squeezing your right hand with his right, step forward and to your left (to 11 o’clock) with your left foot (left neutral bow) to outside of opponent’s right leg but hugging and checking opponent’s leg with your left leg. Simultaneously deliver a strike to opponent’s groin with both his and your right hand with your left hand assisting you by thrusting down on opponent’s right forearm.
  2. Shift your left hand around and back of opponent’s right leg and grab opponent’s right wrist as your right foot shifts clockwise to 10 o’clock (into a left neutral bow). Immediately pull up with your left hand and push down against opponent’s right hip with your right hand to put pressure on opponent’s testicles as well as limit opponent’s leverage, thus nullifying his ability to kick.
  3. Immediately deliver a right step through knife-edge kick to the back of your opponent’s left knee while releasing your left hand grasp.
  4. Without any hesitation plant your right kicking foot along side of your left foot and deliver a left knee kick to opponent’s tail bone.
  5. With your left foot in the air (or after it plants forward, depending on circumstance), left front crossover and cover out to 10 o’clock.

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