Leaping Crane (Purple #3)

Technique: Leaping Crane
Attack: Right Step Through Punch
Attack Direction: 12:00
Web of Knowledge: Punches
Family Group: Punches
Official (24 Tech) Location: Purple #3
32 Tech Location: Orange #29
16 Tech Location: Purple #3
Form Locations: Long Form 5
Related Tracy Technique: Springing Tiger

Leaping Crane is the 3rd required technique to obtain your purple belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Leaping Crane is a defense against a right step through punch from the front, placing it in the Punches category of the Web of Knowledge as well as the Punches Family Group in the family groups striking division.

Leaping Crane introduces you to two new basics, a leap as a raking middle knuckle strike. In the first move you will couple a foot maneuver (leap) with a cross check (inward parry) to evade the attack. With the nature of the leap, it is vital to properly gauge your distance if you wish to properly control your opponent.  It also shows you how to maneuver directly into a transitional stance that properly lines up your next move by putting your right foot at the proper angle of delivery.  From that point onward it s a matter of controlling your opponent with each strike to set him up for the next.


LEAPING CRANE – defense for a right straight punch.

  • Step 1
    • Leap to to your left toward 9:00-10:00 forming a left one-leg stance,
    • Deliver a left inward parry to the outside of your opponent’s right arm, above the elbow.
    • Deliver a right inward horizontal raking middle knuckle fist strike to your opponent’s right lower ribs.
  • Step 2
    • Maintain a positional check on your opponent’s right arm with your left hand,
    • Maintain a positional cock with the right hand,
    • Deliver a right snapping knife edge kick to the outside of your opponent’s right knee.
  • Step 3
    • Plant your right foot toward 1:30, inside your opponent’s right leg, to form a right neutral bow stance,
    • Deliver a right outward downward diagonal back knuckle strike to your opponent’s left kidney.
  • Step 4
    • Deliver a right inward horizontal elbow strike to the right side of your opponent’s head (mastoid, face or jaw).
    • Simultaneously, deliver a left inward hooking heel palm strike to the left side of your opponent’s head (mastoid, face or jaw).
  • Step 5
    • Right front crossover and cover out toward 7:30.

Additional Information


The initial defensive move of this technique has you leap away from the attack. Upon landing you land on one foot only into a one-legged stance which in many systems is called a crane stance as it resembles a very common pose of the crane. Therefore, the leaping action into the crane stance is what gives us the name Leaping Crane.


In the ideal phase your attacker is directly in front of you (12:00). Your opponent steps forward with his right foot as he delivers a right straight punch to your head or body.

A step through punch provides your opponent with more power behind their punch due to body momentum and backup mass from the actual forward motion.  While this can be advantageous it can also be detrimental.  If enough force is thrown into the strike while moving forward, there is a point of no return that once reached commits the attacker to the strike.  If you are no longer in the Line of Attack, your opponent can be easily controlled, redirected or taken off balance.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Right Leap
  • Left One Leg Stance
  • Left Inward Parry
  • Right Inward Horizontal Raking Middle Knuckle Strike
  • Right Snapping Knife Edge Kick
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Outward Back Knuckle Strike
  • Right Inward Horizontal Elbow Strike
  • Left Inward Horizontal Heel Palm Strike


  • Outside the right arm
  • Right lower ribs
  • Outside of the right knee
  • Left Kidney
  • Right side of the head (mastoid, face or jaw)
  • Left side of the head (mastoid, face or jaw)

Concepts & Principles

  • Aiming
  • Angle of Deflection
  • Angle of Deviation
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Angle of Incidence
  • Back up Mass
  • Body Momentum
  • Borrowed Force
  • Contouring
  • Gauging
  • Marriage of Gravity
  • Minor-Major Concept
  • Opposing Forces
  • Positional Check
  • Reverse Motion
  • Sandwiching
  • Solidify Your Base
  • With


  • What if …
    • your opponent does not step through with the punch?
    • your opponent steps with the left leg instead?
    • your opponent throws a right kick before the punch?
    • your opponent throws a left jab before the punch?
    • you are unable to move to your left?

Related Techniques

  • Gift of Destruction
  • Hugging Pendulum
  • Shield and Mace
  • Gathering Clouds
  • Circling the Horizon
  • Destructive Fans
  • Prance of the Tiger

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal this was purple belt technique #5
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal has you hop toward 9:00 incorrectly “into a right one leg (crane) stance with your right foot cocked…”. It should be a left one-leg stance as the stance is determined by the supporting leg.
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal has you plant forward toward 1:00

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

LEAPING CRANE (front step through right punch)

  1. With feet together, hop to your left (to 9 o’clock) into a right one leg (crane) stance with your right foot cocked to the inside portion of your left knee as your left hand parries inward and your right middle knuckle fist rakes horizontally (toward yourself) , striking your opponent’s right ribs in the process, if possible. End the move of your right hand by having it cock horizontally across your waist with your right fist clenched, palm up, and to the side of your left hip.
  2. Deliver a right snapping knife-edge kick to outside of opponent’s right knee to buckle him (in and toward himself).
  3. As you plant your right foot (toward 1 o’clock) between opponent’s legs, deliver a right back knuckle to opponent’s left kidney, utilizing marriage of gravity.
  4. Immediately deliver a right inward elbow strike to opponent’s head as your left heel of palm strikes to opposite side of opponent’s head thus causing a sandwiching effect.


  • Although the kick is a right snapping knife edge kick, you do not want to snap the kick back as you are planting forward and you want to make sure you buckle your opponent’s knee which would technically make the kick a right thrusting knife edge kick.


  • This technique is often taught with an additional step after the sandwiching heel palm and elbow strikes which is as follows:
    • Grab your opponent’s head, hair, shirt, collar or shoulder,
    • Deliver a right inward downward diagonal handsword strike to your opponent’s throat or the right side of your opponent’s neck.


  1. One variation I learned concerns the raking middle knucke fist. This strike can be nullified if the attacker is wearing a heavy jacket or coat. In this instance, you strike for the point just behind the swell on the lower side of theupper part of the right elbow joint using the thumb knuckle, raising it slightly so that it projects over the top of the fist. Swing so that you are striking just behind the swell of the joint with the thumb perpendicular to the attacker’s arm.

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