Delayed Sword (EPAK Yellow #1)

Technique: Delayed Sword
Attack: Right Hand Lapel Grab
Attack Direction: 12:00
Web of Knowledge: Grabs & Tackles
Family Group: Grabs: Shoulder/Lapel Grab
Official (24 Tech) Location: Yellow #1
32 Tech Location: Not found
16 Tech Location: Yellow #1
Form Locations: Not found in forms
Related Tracy Technique: Delayed Sword

Delayed Sword is the introductory technique into Ed Parker’s American Kenpo thus the 1st technique required to obtain your yellow belt. Delayed Sword is a defense against a front right hand lapel grab to the left shoulder placing it in the Grabs & Tackles category of the Web of Knowledge and the Shoulder & Lapel Grab Family Group in the Grabs category of the Family Group Grappling Division

Delayed Sword introduces us to the basic concepts of self defense by having us defend against an attack from the least dangerous of the attack categories, the Grab. You will learn to retreat from the attack to create distance while blocking your attacker’s extended arm with your arm. You then use the striking method of attack with a longer range weapon (kick) to reach an otherwise out of reach target. Finally you learn how to gauge distance with your kicking leg to properly gauge the distance for your handsword strike.

The Defense

  • Step 1
    • Step back toward 6:00 with your left foot to form a right neutral bow stance facing 12:00.
    • Deliver a right inward block.
    • Left hand covers low.
  • Step 2
    • Slide your right foot back into a transitional right 45° cat stance.
    • Immediately execute a right front snapping ball kick to the attacker’s groin.
  • Step 3
    • Plant your right foot forward at 12:00 forming a right neutral bow stance.
    • Deliver a right snapping outward downward diagonal handsword strike to the right side of the attacker’s neck.
  • Step 4
    • Cover toward 6:00.

Additional Information


The name for the technique comes from the sequence of movements.  The handsword strike is delayed until after the kick.


The ideal phase is an attack from the front where the opponent grabs your left lapel/shirt with their right hand.

It is important to know that although grabs are seen as the least threatening/dangerous of the attack categories it is important that you understand the nature of the attack.  An attacker is not going to gently grab your lapel for you and standby waiting for you to defend yourself. An attack is an act of aggression and will be aggressive.  With a grab you will be pushed, pulled, shoved, shaken (not stirred) aggressively. Many times a grab is meant to intimidate the victim but it can be used aggressively in its own right to control you, physically move you or disorient you by shaking you around.  More often than not, the attack is used to set you up for a more serious attack such as a punch thus making your greatest concern in this technique the attacker’s left arm.

Basics & Maneuvers Taught

  • Left Reverse Step Through
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Hammering Inward Block
  • Left Positional Check
  • Right 45° Cat Stance (transitional)
  • Front Snapping Ball Kick
  • Cocking Check (right inward positional block)
  • Outward Downward Diagonal Handsword Strike


  • Right inner wrist or Radial nerve
  • Groin or Bladder
  • Right side of the neck

Concepts & Principles Taught

  • Rebounding Check
  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Anticipate Action
  • Balance Compensation
  • Backup Mass
  • Borrowed Reach
  • Cocking Check
  • Contouring
  • Controlling the Gap
  • Detaining Block
  • Dimensional Zones Concept
  • Marriage of Gravity
  • Point of Origin
  • Positional Check
  • Rebounding Check
  • Torque


  • What if…
    • your opponent’s arm is bent when pulling you forward?
    • your opponent’s arm is straight and locked out?
    • your opponent’s arm is bent but then straightens as it pushes you out.
    • your opponent’s right foot is forward during the grab?
    • your opponent’s left foot is forward during the grab?
    • your opponent is leaning forward during the grab?
    • your opponent throws a right push instead of a grab?
    • your opponent throws a right punch instead of a grab?
    • your opponent grabs you with two hands instead of one?
    • your opponent pushes you with two hands instead of one?
    • your opponent follows the grab with a left punch?
    • your opponent throws a left punch while pulling you towards him?

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • Delayed Sword was originally taught for a right hand punch. After being moved to the #1 Yellow Belt Technique, it was turned into a defense against a right lapel grab.
  • The technique was originally taught under another name with the handsword strike preceding the kick which landed back at 6:00.   Due to many students retreating too soon, often retreating from the handsword strike itself, Ed Parker modified the technique to correct this mistake.
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal, lists the technique as being a defense against either a right hand lapel grab or a right hand punch.
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal has you plant your kicking foot at 11:00 instead of 12:00.
  • Neither the Accumulative Journal nor the 1987 IKKA Studio Manuals indicate an angle of departure.

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

DELAYED SWORD  (right hand lapel grab or right punch)

  1. With your feet together step back with your left foot into a right neutral bow stance as you execute a right inward block  to the right inner wrist of your opponent. Have your right hand guard near your solar-plexus to act as a check as needed.
  2. Immediately deliver (from your right neutral bow stance) a right front snap ball kick to opponent’s groin.
  3. As you plant your right foot down toward 11 O’clock deliver a right outward handsword stride to the right side of your opponent’s neck. (have your right striking hand return back immediately to the blocking position at the opponent’s right wrist.
  4. No cover out is required.

Unfinished Yellow Belt Manual by Ed Parker

DELAYED SWORD (front – right hand lapel grab)

  1. Standing naturally, step back with your left foot toward 6:00 into a right neutral bow stance facing 12:00, while simultaneously executing a right inward block to the right inner wrist of your opponent’s right hand lapel grab. At the same time position your left hand at solar-plexus level as a precautionary check against further action. (Your block should clear your opponent’s right arm, and expose the width of his body.)
  2. Immediately slide your right foot back into a cat stance.
  3. Without hesitation deliver a right front snap ball kick to your opponent’s groin. (Your opponent’s reaction should cause him to bend forward at the waist.)
  4. Plant your right foot forward into a right neutral bow (facing 12:00), to check your opponent’s right knee, as you deliver a right outward handsword strike to the right side of your opponent’s neck. Remember to maintain the position of your left hand as a precautionary check. Immediately slide your right hand (after the strike) to the right wrist of your opponent as an additional precautionary check. (Your opponent’s response should cause him to fall to the ground.)




  1. I need to make a correction, IT’s the Median nerve that the Hammering inward block connects with, not the radial nerve.

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