Charging Ram (EPAK Purple #8)

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Charging Ram is the 8th required technique to obtain your purple belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Charging Ram is a defense against a tackle from the front with your opponent’s arms extended wide, placing it in the Grabs & Tackles category of the Web of Knowledge as well as the Tackles Family Group in the family groups Grappling division.

In Charging Ram you are introduced to countering a tackle. You get out of the line of attack while checking your opponent’s arm and head.  While employing zone control you you intercept your opponent as he passes by delivering counter strikes with both your hands and feet.

Defense

Charging Ram¹ – defense for a front tackle.

  • Step 1
    • Slide your left foot toward 3:00 to form a right front twist stance facing 9:00,
    • Deliver a left outward palm downward parry to the outside of your attacker’s left arm,
    • Your right hand cocks high.
  • Step 2
    • Pivot counter clockwise to form a right neutral bow stance facing 9:00,
    • Deliver a right inward overhead handsword strike to the back of your opponent’s neck,
    • Left hand covers low.
  • Step 3
    • Slide your right foot back into a 45° cat stance (transitional),
    • Deliver a right front snapping instep kick to your opponent’s solar plexus or left rib cage.
    • Immediately follow with a left front snapping ball kick to your opponent’s face or solar plexus (this should be done in a chicken kick fashion).
  • Step 4
    • Without planting your left foot;
    • Left front crossover and cover out toward 1:30.

Charging Ram² – defense for a front tackle with arms extended apart.

  • Step 1
    • Slide your left foot toward 3:00 to form a right twist stance facing 9:00,
    • Deliver a right outward downward parry to the inside of your opponent’s left arm,
    • Deliver a left outward heel palm parry to the left side of your opponent’s head,
  • Step 2
    • Pivot counter clockwise into a right neutral bow stance facing 9:00,
    • Deliver a right inward overhead handsword strike to the back of your opponent’s neck
    • Left hand checks your opponent’s left shoulder.
  • Step 3
    • Slide your right foot back into a 45° cat stance (transitional),
    • Deliver a right front snapping ball kick to your attacker’s left rib cage.
  • Step 4
    • Plant your right foot forward,
    • Deliver a left roundhouse kick to your opponent’s face.
  • Step 5
    • Without planting your left foot,
    • Left front crossover and cover out toward 1:30.

Additional Information

Name

In American Kenpo, the term Ram is used to symbolize a tackle. In this technique your opponent is charging toward you in an attempt to ram (tackle) you, thus the name Charging Ram.

Attack

In the Ideal Phase your opponent is in front of you (12:00). Your attacker attempts to tackle you at the waistline by charging from the front with his lead low and arms open, either shoulder width or spread wide, in order to grab hold of you.

A tackle is basically a grab in motion and they can pose a problem or be easily defended against depending on your reaction.  Tackling is primarily used to take someone to the ground although it can be used to grab hold of someone and run them into another object.  The person tackling you will most likely be larger or stronger than you and is confident that once you are on the ground they can maintain control over you.

Basics & Maneuvers¹

  • Left Reverse Step Through
  • Right Front Twist Stance
  • Left Outward Downward Parry
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Inward Overhead Handsword Strike
  • Right 45° Transitional Cat Stance
  • Right Front Snapping Instep Kick
  • Left Front Snapping Ball Kick
  • Left Front Crossover
  • Cover Out

Targets¹

  • Outside the Left Arm
  • Back of the Neck (Cervical Spine)
  • Solar Plexus, Left Rib Cage
  • Face, Solar Plexus

Basics & Maneuvers²

  • Left Reverse Step Through
  • Right Front Twist Stance
  • Left Outward Heel Palm Strike
  • Right Outward Downward Parry
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Inward Overhead Handsword Strike
  • Right 45° Transitional Cat Stance
  • Right Front Snapping Ball Kick
  • Left Roundhouse Kick
  • Left Front Crossover
  • Cover Out

Targets²

  • Left Side of the Head
  • Inside the Left Arm
  • Back of the Neck (Cervical Spine)
  • Left Rib Cage
  • Face

Concepts & Principles

  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Angle of Deflection
  • Angle of Deviation
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Angle of Incidence
  • Backup Mass
  • Borrowed Force
  • Continuity of Motion
  • Control Manipulation
  • Contouring
  • Counter Balance
  • Gauging
  • Grafting
  • Line of Attack
  • Marriage of Gravity
  • Point of Origin
  • Preparatory Torque
  • Shortening the Circle
  • Torque

Considerations

  • What if …
    • your opponent’s head is up?
    • your opponent dives for your legs?
    • your opponent wraps his arm or arms around your body?
    • your opponent pins one or both of your arms?
    • your opponent lifts you off the ground and carries you along?
    • you are unable to evade to the sides?

Related Techniques

  • Five Swords (O-9)
  • Bow of Compulsion (P-18)
  • Broken Ram (B-23)
  • Intercepting the Ram (G-20)

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Charging Ram was Purple Belt Technique #9.
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal version teaches the defense with the attackers arms about shoulder width apart, has you clear the arm from the outside as you cock your right hand for the downward handsword strike and finishes with a two front snapping ball kicks
  • The 1987 IKKA Studio Manuals teach the defense with the attacker’s arms wide apart, has you clear the head and arm from inside the attackers left arm then continue the clearing motion of the right arm into the downward handsword strike and finishes with a front ball, roundhouse kick combination
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal indicates planting your right foot at about the 8:00-9:00 position, the 1987 IKKA Studio Manual version does not indicate where to plant your right foot. Later on this was modified to a chicken kick style without planting the foot.
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal indicates a 2:00 Angle of Departure, the 1987 IKKA Studio Manuals indicate a 1:30 Angle of Departure

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

CHARGING RAM (front tackle)

  1. Standing with feet together, shift (by sliding) your left foot to 3 o’clock (into a right neutral bow) and have your left hand parry opponent’s left arm down and out (left downward outward parry). Simultaneously deliver a right overhead downward chop to opponent’s neck as your left hand guards at groin level.
  2. Immediately (dropping into a right 45° cat stance in the transition) deliver a right snapping ball kick to opponent’s left ribcage, kicking toward 9 o’clock.
  3. Plant your right foot slightly forward (between 8 and 9 o’clock) and deliver a left snapping ball kick to left jaw of opponent, kicking toward 8 o’clock.
  4. With your left kick still in the air left front crossover and cover out to 2 o’clock.

1987 IKKA Studio Manual

CHARGING RAM (Front – Tackle with your opponent’s arms extended wide)

  1. From a right neutral bow slide your left foot toward 3:00 into a right neutral bow facing 9:00.  As you redirect your opponent’s left arm down and out with a right outside downward parry, execute a left outward heel palm parry to the left side of your opponent’s head.  As you settle into your stance, execute a right inward overhead handsword to the back of your opponent’s neck, while sliding your left hand to your opponent’s left shoulder as a check. (This should stun or stagger your opponent.)
  2. With your opponent descending, but still moving slightly forward, slide your right foot into a cat stance (facing 7:30) as you immediately snap a right front ball kick to your opponent’s left rib cage. (This kick should inflict pain that will momentarily immobilize your opponent.)
  3. Plant your right foot forward (GAUGING LEG) as you deliver a left roundhouse kick to your opponent’s face. (This should drive your opponent’s head back)
  4. Without planting, flow into a left front crossover and cover out toward 1:30.

Notes

  • It is important to remember that as you move out of your attacker’s line of attack, your opponent’s forward momentum will carry him past you.  Thus your angles of attack will be entirely dependent on your opponent’s position and you may even need to move towards him in order to finish your strikes. Your partner should allow you to practice by moving slow but it is also important that they continue the forward motion at full speed once you are comfortable with the steps so you can adjust accordingly and know what to expect in a real situation.

Variations

Due to the differences in the way your opponent attacks between the older and newer versions of this technique there are two final variations of this technique as Ed Parker continued to teach both variations alternating one or the other as a solution to the “What If…” scenarios.

  • Some schools teach them both with one being a variant or what if solution.
  • Some schools will stick with the older version since Broken Ram sufficiently covers the front tackle with arms wide open.
  • Some will teach the earlier version as the Purple Belt technique and then switch to the newer version when doing the technique with extension in 1st Black.

It is in the best interest of the Kenpo student for the Instructor to teach both variants and for the student to be aware of differences between the two.

The left snapping instep kick to your attacker’s solar plexus could be a left front snapping instep kick to the solar plexus or the abdomen.

Five Swords (EPAK Orange #9)

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Five Swords is the 9th technique required to obtain your orange belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo.  Five Swords is a defense against a right hook punch (roundhouse punch) and is part of the Punches category in the Web of Knowledge as well as the Punches family group in the Family Groups Striking Division.

Five Swords instructs you how to deal with a right roundhouse punch from which you have no option of retreating from nor moving to the side to avoid. Instead you learn to get inside your opponent’s reach and jam him while employing a variety of handsword strikes.

Defense

Five Swords – defense for a right roundhouse punch.

  • Step 1
    • Step forward with your right foot into a right neutral bow stance facing 12:00 as you buckle the inside of your opponent’s right knee,
    • Deliver a right thrusting inward block to the your opponent’s right biceps,
    • Left hand checks high with a left extended outward block to your opponent’s right wrist.
  • Step 2
    • Deliver a right outward handsword strike to the right side of your opponent’s neck,
    • Left continues checking at your opponent’s wrist.
  • Step 3
    • Pivot clockwise into a right forward bow stance,
    • Deliver a left five-finger thrust to your opponent’s eyes,
    • Right hand cocks to your right hip.
  • Step 4
    • Pivot counterclockwise into a right neutral bow stance,
    • Deliver a right snapping uppercut punch to your opponent’s solar plexus,
    • Left hand covers diagonally above your right arm.
  • Step 5
    • Slide your left leg toward 4:30 to form a right forward bow stance facing 10:30,
    • Deliver a left outward downward diagonal handsword strike to the left side of your opponent’s neck,
    • Bend your wrist outward (pointing fingers downward) to hook the back of your opponent’s neck.
  • Step 6
    • Pivot counterclockwise into a right neutral bow stance facing 10:30,
    • Deliver a right inward downward overhead handsword strike to the back of your opponent’s neck.
    • Left hand covers low.
  • Step 7
    • Right front crossover and cover out toward 4:30

Additional Information

Name

The name Five Swords actually comes from the original version of this technique, where all five strikes after the block were done with handswords.  Due to practitioners not conditioning their hands for fingertip strikes some of the strikes were changed but the name remained the same.

Attack

In the ideal phase of attack, your opponent is directly in front of you. He steps forward with his right foot and throws a right roundhouse punch toward your face.

Basics & Maneuvers Used

  • Right Front Step Through
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Inward Block
  • Right Outward Horizontal Handsword Strike
  • Right Forward Bow Stance
  • Left Five Finger Thrust (spearhand)
  • Right Inverted Horizontal Snapping Punch (uppercut)
  • Left Outward Downward Diagonal Handsword Strike
  • Right Inward Overhead Handsword Strike

Targets

  • Right Inner Knee
  • Right Wrist (Radial Nerve)
  • Right Biceps
  • Right Side of the Neck (Brachial Plexus/Mandibular Angle)
  • Eyes
  • Solar Plexus, Lower Ribs, Stomach
  • Left Side of the Neck (Brachial Plexus/Mandibular Angle)
  • Back of the Neck (1st-5th Cervical Vertebrae)

Concepts & Principles Taught

  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Angle of Deflection
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Angle of Entry
  • Angle of Execution
  • Angle of Incidence
  • Back Up Mass
  • Body Fusion
  • Borrowed Force
  • Buckle
  • Contouring
  • Detaining Check
  • Elongated Circle
  • Grafting
  • Hooking
  • Marriage of Gravity
  • Opposing Forces
  • Pivoting
  • Positional Check
  • Sliding Check
  • Stabilize Your Base
  • Torquing
  • Upside of the Circle


Considerations

  • What if …
    • your opponent throws a right straight punch?
    • your opponent throws a right uppercut punch?
    • your opponent pushes with his right hand?
    • your opponent pushes you with his left prior to punching with is right
    • your opponent throws a left punch after you block his right punch?
    • your opponent throws a left punch after your five finger thrust?
    • your opponent throws a left uppercut after your five finger thrust?
    • your opponent throws a right punch after your uppercut?
    • your opponent kicks with his right foot prior to delivering a punch?
    • your opponent grabs your right arm or lapel and tries to pull you into the roundhouse punch?
    • your opponent attempts a right roundhouse club attack instead of a right roundhouse punch?

Related Techniques

  • Delayed Sword
  • Raining Claw
  • Charging Ram
  • Obscure Claws
  • Detour from Doom
  • Twirling Hammers
  • Dance of Darkness
  • The Ram and The Eagle
  • Bowing to Buddha

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Five Swords was Orange Belt Technique #8
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal indicates moving toward 11:00 on the initial move, sliding the left foot toward 4:00 during the outward downward handsword strike,  delivering a left heel palm strike to the jaw instead of the handsword strike to the left side of the neck
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal does not indicate an angle of departure.

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

FIVE SWORDS (front roundhouse right punch)

  1. While standing naturally with feet together, step forward and slightly to your left (to 11 o’clock with your right foot (still in a neutral bow) and deliver a right Inward strike to Inside of opponent’s right punch using your left hand to check.
  2. Immediately strike to opponent’s right neck with your right outward chop.
  3. Left finger thrust (palm down) to opponent’s eyes as your right hand cocks to your right hip. This is done while you pivot into a right forward bow.
  4. With left hand now guarding horizontally and open (palm down), deliver a right uppercut to opponent’s solar plexus as you pivot to a right neutral bow.
  5. Immediately have your left foot slide counter clockwise (to 4 o’clock) into a right forward bow as your left heel of palm strikes to left jaw of opponent (striking in an outwardly fashion). Without hesitation and while shifting into a right neutral bow have your left hand hook and pull opponent’s head down as you deliver a right overload downward handsword to back of opponent’s neck.

Infinite Insights Into Kenpo, Vol 5

FIVE SWORDS (Front right step through roundhouse punch)

  1. While standing naturally, have your right foot step forward into a right neutral bow (facing 12:00), checking the inside of your opponent’s right knee with your right knee.  In the process, execute a right inward block to the inside of your opponent’s right wrist, while using your left hand to check high.
  2. Immediately strike to the right side of your opponent’s nect with a right outward handsword.
  3. Pivot into a right forward bow (facing 12:00) as you execute a left horizontal finger thrust (palm down) to your opponent’s eyes while your right hand cocks to your right hip (fist clenched and palm up).
  4. Having caused your opponent’s head to move away from you, pivot into a right neutral bow as you strike with a right uppercut punch to the stomach.  In the process your left hand becomes a cocking check (it is guarding horizontally, palm down near your right bicep).
  5. With your opponent now bent over, immediately have your left foot slide counter clockwise (to 4:00) into a right forward bow as your left outward handsword strikes to the left side of your opponent’s neck.  Your right hand acts as a check for potential danger from your opponent’s left arm during your circular wind-up for your next move.
  6. Without hesitation, and while pivoting into a right neutral bow, have your left hand hook around the left side of your opponent’s neck, pulling his head down, followed by a right inward handsword to the back of your opponent’s neck.
  7. Right front crossover, covering out between 4:00 and 5:00.

Unfinished Orange Belt Manual by Ed Parker

FIVE SWORDS (Front right step through roundhouse punch)

  1. While standing naturally, step forward with your right foot into a right neutral bow (facing 12 o’clock), and check the inside of your opponent’s right knee with your right knee. Simultaneously with your right neutral bow, execute a right inward block to the inside of your opponent’s right forearm, while your left hand checks high at your opponent’s wrist. (The effect of both actions is to expose the width of his body.)
  2. Immediately strike to the right side of your opponent’s neck with a right outward handsword. (This action should help to nullify the Height, Width, and Depth Zones of your opponent.)
  3. Pivot into a right forward bow (facing 12:00), as you execute  a left five-finger thrust (palm down) to your opponent’s eyes, and your right hand cocks at your right hip (fist clenched and palm up). (The effect of this poke should snap your opponent’s head back and away from you.)
  4. Having your opponent’s head to move away from you, and his midsection to jut forward, take advantage of this anticipated response by (1) pivoting into a right neutral bow, (2) executing a right uppercut punch to your opponent’s stomach, as (3) your left hand becomes a COCKING CHECK (guarding horizontally and palm down) near your right biceps. (This action should result in your opponent bending over at the waist.)
  5. With your opponent now bending over, immediately slide your left foot counterclockwise toward 4:30, and into a right forward bow (facing 10:30), as you execute a left outward handsword strike to the left side of your opponent’s neck. (Your right hand acts as a positional check against any potential danger from your opponent’s left arm.) have your left hand (during the interim) hook to the left side of, as well as on top of, your opponent’s neck, to aid you in pulling his head down if necessary.
  6. Without hesitation, and while pivoting into a right neutral bow,have your left hand hook around the back of your opponent’s neck (to force his head down), followed by a right inward handsword to the back of his neck.  At the time your right handsword strikes, your left hand should be checking low.
  7. Right front crossover, and cover out toward 4:30.

Notes

Variations