Flashing Wings is the 3rd technique required to obtain your Blue Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Flashing Wings 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.
Flashing Wings, makes use of your elbows, a medium range weapon and like the related technique Attacking Mace, it teaches you instinctive responses to the varying depth factors related to the dimensional stages of action. You turn a long range encounter that quickly becomes a short range encounter into a medium range encounter. You make use of double strikes balanced with opposing forces and use torque throughout the technique.
In the ideal phase your opponent is directly in front of you (12:00). He steps forward with his right foot as he executes a right straight punch toward your head. It is assumed that after blocking your opponent’s punch, your opponent is extremely close to you thus you react with your close range weapons, the elbows.
Flashing Wings – defense for a right straight punch.
- Step 1
- Step toward 11:00 with your left foot forming a left neutral bow stance.
- Deliver a left inward block to the outside of your opponent’s right elbow.
- Cock your right hand at your right hip.
- Step 2
- Pivot counter clockwise into a left forward bow stance,
- Deliver a right inward horizontal elbow strike to your opponent’s right ribcage.
- Your left hand checks your opponent’s right shoulder.
- Step 3
- Pivot clockwise into a fighting horse stance.
- Deliver a right outward elbow strike to your opponent’s right kidney.
- Deliver a left outward heel-palm claw across your opponent’s face.
- Step 4
- Pivot clockwise into a left reverse wide kneel stance towards 4:30
- Deliver a right outward hooking downward diagonal handsword strike to the back of your opponent’s neck.
- Deliver a left inward downward diagonal handsword strike to the back of your opponent’s neck as you settle into your stance.
- Step 5
- Pivot counterclockwise to form a left close kneel stance.
- Slide your left hand down past your opponent’s right shoulder to pin his right arm against his body
- Deliver a right inward upward (palm up) thrusting handsword strike to your opponent’s throat.
- Your left hand covers low.
- Step 6
- Cover toward 4:30.
- What if…
- your opponent’s left foot is forward?
- your opponent precedes his punch with a left punch?
- your opponent precedes his punch with a right step through kick?
- your opponent executes a right step through club thrust?
- your opponent attempts to tackle you?
- there is a second opponent behind you?
- On the initial step check your opponent’s right knee with your left knee.
- Make sure to fortify your bracing angle on the first elbow strike with a proper forward bow stance.
- Be sure to follow through with your elbow strike, this is necessary to prepare for the outward elbow strike. Focusing on the lower ribs with the tip of the elbow as well as a forward shuffle will will assist with this.
- Your left forearm should act as a sliding check to your opponent’s right arm as you reach to claw your opponent’s face.
- Be sure to anchor your elbow as you execute the right outward downward hooking handsword strike, this will assist with pulling your opponent’s head downward.
- If you properly checked your opponent’s right knee on the initial move, your pivot into the left reverse wide kneel stance should buckle your opponent’s right knee. If possible maintain this buckle as you perform the final move.
- Study the use of Flashing Wings and Attacking Mace at various depth factors, practice grafting these techniques.
- Note the similarities between Flashing Wings and Thundering Hammers, Dance of Death and Sleeper
- There are several variations in how the stances are taught for this technique. Some are differences between the 1975 and the 1987 versions due to Ed Parker’s refinement of the technique.
- In step 3, some teach pivoting into a left close kneel stance, others teach pivoting into horse stance.
- In step 4, some teach pivoting into a left close kneel stance, some teach a left wide kneel stance, some teach a right close kneel stance, the 1975 Accumulative Journal teaches a right wide kneel stance, and most along with the 1987 IKKA studio manuals teach a left reverse wide kneel stance.
- In step 5, some teach a left wide kneel stance.
- A forward shuffle is commonly used in step 2. This shuffle, while not officially documented has been demonstrated by Ed Parker. There are many reasons to use the shuffle and a good class exercise is to work out the advantages of the shuffle and the ideal situations to use it, but also the disadvantages and when not to use it.
- A heel palm strike to the face, more specifically the bridge of the nose, is often taught instead of the inverted handsword strike to the throat.
- This is a variation that I am a huge fan of and have made standard practice. However, I make sure to teach the inverted (palm up) handsword strike to the throat version first as the original technique and then explain why I prefer the heel-palm strike.
In American Kenpo the term Wing is symbolic of the elbow. In this technique the elbow (wing) is used in a flashing manner to deliver a double strike, thus the name Flashing Wings.
Basics & Maneuvers
- Left Front Step Through
- Left Neutral Bow Stance
- Left Thrusting Inward Block
- Left Forward Bow Stance
- Right Inward Horizontal Elbow Strike
- Fighting Horse Stance
- Outward Horizontal Elbow Strike
- Outward Horizontal Claw
- Left Reverse Wide Kneel Stance
- Outward Downward Diagonal Hooking Handsword Strike
- Inward Downward Diagonal Handsword Strike
- Left Close Kneel Stance
- Inward Upward Diagonal Thrusting Handsword Strike
- Left Front Crossover
- Cover out
- Right Elbow
- Right Knee
- Right Ribcage
- Right Kidney
- Back of the Neck (Cervical Vertebra)
- Throat (Trachea)
Concepts & Principles
- Angle of Cancellation
- Angle of Deflection
- Angle of Disturbance
- Backup Mass
- Body Momentum
- Borrowed Force
- Bracing Angle
- Checking (hugging, positional, sliding)
- Complimentary Angle
- Continuity of Motion
- Counter Balance
- Depth of Penetration
- Figure Eight Pattern
- Marriage of Gravity
- Obscure Zones
- Opposing Forces
- Preparatory Cock
- Reverse Motion
- Rounding the Corners
- Stabilize Your Base
- Zones of Obscurity
- Attacking Mace (Y-9)
- Parting Wings (P-9)
- Thundering Hammers (P-10)
- Entangled Wing (B-6)
- Flashing Mace (B-17)
- Gripping Talon (B-20)
- Circling the Storm (2Br-13)
- In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Flashing Wings was Blue Belt Technique #2
- The 1975 Accumulative Journal does not indicate what stance you land in on your initial step, due to the fact that it is toward 11:00, you are executing an inward block and you pivot into a forward bow on following step, you can safely conclude that it is a left neutral bow.
- The 1975 Accumulative Journal indicates pivoting into a right wide knee stance as you deliver your handsword strikes.
- The 1975 Accumulative Journal indicates pivoting into a left wide kneel stance as you deliver the inverted handsword strike to the throat.
- The 1975 Accumulative Journal has your angle of departure as 5:00
1975 Accumulative Journal
FLASHING WINGS (front straight right punch)
- Standing naturally with feet together, step to your left on a 45° angle with your left foot (to 11 o’clock) as your left inward blocks on the outside of opponent’s right arm and your right arm cocks to your right hip (fist clenched and palm up).
- Shift into a left forward bow as you deliver a right inward horizontal elbow strike to opponent’s right ribs (with your left hand guarding and employing the bracing angle concept) which follows through and by-passes opponent’s ribs.
- Shift clockwise into a horse as you execute a right horizontal outward elbow strike to opponent’s right shoulder blade (just under it) as you simultaneously execute a left horizontal outward heel of palm claw across opponent’s face.
- Continue to pivot clockwise into a right wide kneel (facing 5 o’clock) as you deliver a right hooking chop (out and diagonally down while anchoring your right elbow) and left chop to the back of opponent’s neck.
- Shift counter clockwise into a left wide kneel as your left hand checks and pins opponent’s right arm to himself and your right hand chops (thrusting with the palm up) to opponent’s throat.
- Left front crossover and covet out to 5 o’clock.
1987 IKKA Studio Manuals
FLASHING WINGS (Front right step through punch)
- Standing naturally, have your left foot step toward 11 o’clock into a left neutral bow, and simultaneously execute a left inward block at or above the outside of your opponent’s right elbow, as your right hand cocks to your right hip (fist clenched, palm up). Your left knee should positionally check your opponent’s right knee.
- Pivot into a left forward bow, as you deliver a right inward elbow strike to your opponent’s right lower ribcage. Your elbow strike should follow through after making contact, and clear your opponent’s ribs, as your left hand slides and checks your opponent’s right arm just below the shoulder. (Your opponent should bend forward at the waist).
- Pivot clockwise into a horse stance, as you execute a right outward elbow strike to your opponent’s right kidney. Simultaneously deliver a left outward heel-palm claw across your opponent’s face (making sure that your left forearm is a sliding check as it travels up the right arm of your opponent). (Your opponent’s head should snap back and turn to his right.)
- Immediately pivot clockwise into a left reverse wide kneel (with your body facing 4:30, but with your head looking toward 12 o’clock), while delivering a right outward hooking handsword to the back of your opponent’s neck. Make sure that your right arm travels diagonally, down and with your elbow anchored. Within the same flow of motion, and as you settle into your stance, follow with a left inward handsword strike to the back of your opponent’s neck. (This should drive your opponent’s head downward.)
- Pivot counterclockwise into a left close knee stance, as your left hand slides down and past your opponent’s right shoulder to check and pin his right arm to his body. Simultaneously with this action execute a right upward thrusting handsword (palm up) to your opponent’s throat. (This should snap your opponent’s head back.)
- Execute a left front crossover and cover out twice toward 4:30.