Reversing Mace (EPAK Orange #19)

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Reversing Mace is the 19th technique required to obtain your Orange Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. It is a defense against left step through punch from the front thus part of the Punches category in the Web of Knowledge and the Punches Family Group in the Family Groups Striking Division

In Reversing Mace you will move up the circle and employ the double factor principle in order to move out of your opponent’s line of attack as well as negate his ability to follow up with another strike. In your counter attack you will reverse the motion of your right arm’s defense turning it into an offensive maneuver and finally you will redistribute your weight as you pivot away from your attacker to provide ample support, range and power for your kick.


Reversing Mace – defense for a left straight punch.

  • Step 1
    • Slide your left foot toward 4:30 to form a right neutral bow stance facing 10:30,
    • Deliver a right inward parry to the back of your opponent’s left elbow,
    • Deliver a left vertical outward parry to the back of your opponent’s left elbow,
    • Execute a right outward back knuckle strike as you settle into your stance.
  • Step 2
    • Deliver a right inward downward looping roundhouse kick to the back of your opponent’s left knee.
  • Step 3
    • Without planting your foot, execute a right front crossover and cover out toward 4:30.

Additional Information


With the Kenpo term ‘mace‘ used to represent the closed fist in conjunction with the use of reverse motion, by reversing your mace that you blocked with to deliver a counterstrike, you get the name Reversing Mace.


In the ideal phase your opponent is directly in front of you (12:00). Your opponent proceeds to step forward with his left foot as he delivers a left punch toward your face.

This attack does not necessarily have to be an active step through punch. Your opponent may be in a left neutral bow stance and throwing a left hand punch from this position.  With a left punch being most commonly used to set up another, more powerful, strike your it is important to negate your attacker’s ability to follow up.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Left Reverse Step Through
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Inward Parry
  • Left Vertical Outward Parry
  • Right Outward Horizontal Back Knuckle Strike
  • Right Inward Downward Looping Roundhouse Kick
  • Right Fright Crossover
  • Cover Out


  • Back of the Left Elbow
  • Left Floating Ribs
  • Back of the Left Knee (Peroneal Nerve)

Concepts & Principles

  • Anchoring
  • Angle of Deflection
  • Angle of Deviation
  • Complementary Angle
  • Continuity
  • Double Factor
  • Opposite Motion
  • Pivoting
  • Positional Check
  • Reverse Motion
  • Upside of the Circle
  • Weight Distribution


  • What if …
    • your opponent does not step through?
    • your opponent throws a roundhouse punch instead (hook punch)?
    • your opponent throws a right punch instead?
    • your opponent fakes with his left and follows with a right punch?
    • your opponent throws a left kick before his left punch?
    • your opponent follows his punch with a right outward spinning back knuckle strike?

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Reversing Mace was the 17th required technique for orange belt.
  • Prior to the 1975 Accumulative Journal a right snapping knife edge kick (side kick) was used to buckle the attacker’s left knee.
  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, instructs you to move your left foot toward 5:00 instead of 4:30
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal has you defend with blocks
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal indicates the Angle of Departure as 5:00
  • The 1987 IKKA Studio Manuals have you defend with parries

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

REVERSING MACE (front straight left punch)

  1. From a right neutral bow, slide your left foot counter clockwise to 5 o’clock; simultaneously use a right inward and left vertical outward block outside of opponent’s left punch. Without any loss of motion, the right inward block continues and becomes a right horizontal outward back knuckle as it strikes to opponent’s left ribcage.
  2. Immediately shift your weight on to your left leg and delver a right looping downward roundhouse kick to back of opponent’s left knee complimenting the angle of your opponent’s thigh. (As this kick is executed, kick with the instep of your right foot and make sure that your right ankle is locked straight out.)
  3. Right front crossover and cover out to 4 o’clock.