Buckling Branch is the 10th required technique to obtain your Orange Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Buckling Branch is a defense against a left front kick, placing it in the Kicks category of the Web of Knowledge and the Kicks Family Group in the Family Groups Striking Division of attacks.
Buckling Branch is taught as an answer to one of the what ifs in Thrusting Salute. You will notice that the technique is pretty much identical to Thrusting Salute except you are now blocking outside the left leg instead of inside the right leg. The major difference is this time when you kick your opponent’s groin, from behind, they will bend forward ‘away’ from you rendering a thrusting heel palm strike ineffective thus forcing you to go for another target.
This is a great introductory technique to the equation formula as here you are essentially taking another technique and (1) deleting the final move and (2) suffixing a new final move that (3) alters both the weapon and target of final move to account for the new circumstance.
Buckling Branch – defense for a left front kick.
- Step 1
- Step back toward 4:30 with your right foot to form a left neutral bow stance facing 10:30,
- Deliver a left outward downward block to the outside of your opponent’s leg.
- Step 2
- Deliver a right front snapping ball kick to your opponent’s groin.
- Left hand covers high.
- Step 3
- Plant your right foot toward 10:30 forming a right front twist stance.
- Deliver a left snapping knife edge kick to the inside and back of your opponent’s right knee.
- Step 4
- Plant back into a left front crossover, covering out toward 4:30.
In Ed Parker’s American Kenpo the word “Branch” is used to represent the leg. The name of this technique comes from the buckling of your attacker’s leg (branch) with a kick hence the name Buckling Branch.
The ideal phase consists of your opponent being directly in front of you with their left leg back and delivering a left thrusting step-through ball kick toward your groin or abdomen.
It is important to keep in mind that due to the aggressive nature of this kick and its follow through that your opponent could take full use of his backup mass, momentum and forth to follow the kick with a solid punch (either side) or even another kick. Keep yourself in as safe a position as possible and be alert of your opponent’s movements.
Basics & Maneuvers Used
- Right Reverse Step Through
- Left Neutral Bow Stance
- Left Outward Downward Block
- Right Front Snapping Ball Kick
- Right Front Twist Stance
- Left Knife-Edge Kick (Side Snap Kick)
- Outside of the Left Leg (Peroneal Nerve)
- Inside/Back of the Right Leg
Concepts & Principles Taught
- Angle of Alignment
- Angle of Deflection
- Angle of Departure
- Backup Mass
- Bracing Angle
- Equation Formula
- Formulation Phase
- Marriage of Gravity
- Open Ended Triangle
- Positional Check
- Rebounding Check
- Zones of Sanctuary
- What if …
- your opponent follows his left kick with a left punch?
- your opponent follows his left kick with a right spinning back knuckle strike?
- your opponent follows his left kick with a right spinning back kick?
- your opponent delivers a left step-through knife edge kick instead?
- your opponent starts with his right leg back and shuffles forward with the left kick?
- your opponent delivers his left kick toward your knee?
- your opponent fakes a left kick toward your knee and follows with a high left punch?
- your opponent fakes a left kick toward your knee and follows with a high right punch?
- your opponent does not react to your kick or you miss the kick?
- Deflecting Hammer
- Gift in Return
- Brushing the Storm
- Menacing Twirl
- Circle of Doom
- Intellectual Departure
- In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Buckling Branch was Orange Belt Technique #18
- The 1975 Accumulative Journal indicated the initial step should be toward 5:00 and the angle of departure should be 4:00.
1975 Accumulative Journal
BUCKLING BRANCH (front straight left kick)
- While standing naturally with both feet together, step slightly back and to your right with your right foot to 5 o’clock (left neutral bow); simultaneously blocking opponent’s left kick (from the outside) with a left downward block as your right hand cocks to your right hip, clenched and Palm up.
- Deliver a right ball kick (as you pivot counter clockwise and in place with your left foot) to opponent’s groin (from the rear) while his back is toward you. Upon doing so have your left hand shift to an extended outward but relaxed handsword to act as a check in covering your head area while your right hand opens (palm up).
- Plant your right foot (into a modified right front twist stance for purposes of torque) and deliver a left knife-edge kick to the inside of opponent’s right knee. (Keeping both of your now open hands in a defensive position.)
- Left front cross over and cover out to 4 o’clock.
Unfinished Orange Belt Manual by Ed Parker
BUCKLING BRANCH (Front left step through straight kick)
- While standing naturally with both feet together, step back with your right foot toward 4:30 into a left neutral bow. Simultaneously block your opponent’s left kick (from the outside) with a left downward block as your right hand (clenched and palm up) cocks to your right hip. Instantly recoil your left hand counterclockwise into a vertical position as a positional check. (Your intent is to generate pain to your opponent’s left leg, as well as to increase the width of your deflection.)
- With your opponent’s back turning toward you, deliver a right front snap ball kick to your opponent’s groin (entering from the rear). (This should make your opponent bend over at the waist. Both you and your opponent should be facing 10:30.)
- Plant your right foot forward (again toward 10:30) into a right front twist stance (modifying it if necessary), and deliver a left knife-edge kick to the inside and back of your opponent’s right knee (keeping both of your hands open and in a defensive position). (This kick should buckle your opponent to his knees.)
- Have your left kick flow into a left front crossover, covering out toward 4:30.)