Obscure Sword (EPAK Orange #22)

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Obscure Sword is the 22nd technique required to obtain your Orange Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. It is a defense against a left hand shoulder grab from the right rear flank. This places Obscure Sword in the Grabs & Tackles category in the Web of Knowledge as well as the Shoulder Grabs family group in the grabs subcategory of the Grappling Division of Family Groups.

This technique stresses the importance of environmental awareness due to the initial attack and defense coming from blind areas.  In Obscure Sword we will learn to use the opposite of purposeful compliance, purposeful defiance, to elicit a specific response from your opponent before using purposeful compliance to unleash our hidden strike.

Defense

Obscure Sword – defense for a right rear shoulder grab.

  • Step 1
    • Pin your opponent’s left hand with your left hand
    • Step forward to 12:30 with your left foot to form a left forward bow stance facing 12:30,
    • Cock your right hand below your left elbow in a handsword position.
  • Step 2
    • As your opponent tugs, pivot clockwise to form a right forward bow stance facing 4:30.
    • Deliver a right outward horizontal handsword strike to your opponent’s throat.
  • Step 3
    • Pivot counter clockwise into a right neutral bow facing 4:30,
    • Deliver a right extended outward block to clear/check your opponent’s left arm,
    • Left hand covers low,
  • Step 4
    • Deliver a left front snapping ball kick to your opponent’s groin, planting back.
  • Step 5
    • Right Front Crossover
    • Cover out toward 12:00.

Additional Information

Name

As we have come to learn the term Sword in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo is the term used to symbolize a handsword strike. In this technique you will deliver a handsword strike from an angle obscurity or rather from an area that your opponent is unable to view, thus the name Obscure Sword

Attack

In the ideal phase, your opponent is behind you and to the right (4:30) and grabs your right shoulder with his left hand.

While the shoulder grab itself isn’t extremely dangerous the fact that your opponent is grabbing you from a blind spot make it that much so. You have no idea what is coming next and have to rely on instinct and feel to know how to react.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Left Forward Step Through
  • Right Reverse Bow Stance
  • Right Forward Bow Stance
  • Right Outward Horizontal Handsword Strike
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Extended Outward Block
  • Left Front Snapping Ball Kick
  • Right Inward Raking Hammerfist Strike
  • Right Front Crossover
  • Coverout

Targets

  • Left Hand/Wrist
  • Throat (Trachea)
  • Left Inner Forearm
  • Groin/Bladder
  • Face

Concepts & Principles

  • Angle of Deflection
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Body Rotation
  • Borrowed Force
  • Counter Manipulation
  • Opposing Forces
  • Pinning Check
  • Pivot
  • Point of Origin
  • Purposeful Compliance
  • Purposeful Defiance
  • Solidify your Base
  • Obscure Zones
  • Object Obscurity
  • Torque


Considerations

  • What if …
    • your opponent pushes you forward?
    • your opponent follows the grab with a right punch?
    • your opponent follows the grab with a right kick?
    • your opponent grabs your right arm with his right hand at the same time?
    • you are unable to step forward?

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal this was orange belt technique #21.
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal has you pivot into a forward bow facing 5:00.
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal does not indicate an angle of departure.
  • Prior to 1975 a version was taught having you plant back from your kick at a further distance as the beginning of a shuffle away from your opponent.

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

OBSCURE SWORD (flank left hand shoulder grab)

  1. With feet together, step directly forward (to 12 o’clock) with your left foot into a left neutral bow facing straight ahead with your right handsword cocked to your heart (palm up) simultaneously pin opponent’s right hand with your left hand to your right shoulder.
  2. Immediately pivot to 5 o’clock into a right forward bow while delivering a right outward handsword to opponent’s throat.
  3. Deliver a left kick to opponent’s groin and plant your left foot back to your former position with your hands in fighting position.

Notes

Variations

Having just kicked your opponent in the groin, forcing them to bend over it is quite common to toss in an additional move before executing a crossover or as you execute the crossover. The common variations are:

  • Right Inward Raking Hammerfist Strike to your opponent’s face.
  • Right Roundhouse Punch (hook punch) to the left side of your opponent’s face.
  • Right Inward Striking Claw to the left side of your opponent’s face.
  • Right Inward Collapsing Heel Palm Strike to the left side of your opponent’s face.

Obscure Wing (EPAK Orange #18)

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Obscure Wing is the 18th technique required to obtain your Orange Belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. It is a defense against a left hand shoulder grab from the right flank and part of the Grabs & Tackles category in the Web of Knowledge.  It also belongs to the shoulder/lapel grab group of the Grabs category in the grappling division.

In Obscure Wing we will use a pin to control your opponent’s left hand, then we will make use of contouring and tracking to find our targets from point of origin in obscure zones. You will find that this technique is for the same type of attack as Sword and Hammer.  In Sword and Hammer you go after your opponent’s upper zone first, in Obscure Wing you can assume that the upper zone is protected thus you need to attack the mid or lower zone first instead, making this an effective backup technique for Sword and Hammer.

Defense

Obscure Wing – defense for a right flank shoulder grab.

  • Step 1
    • Pin your opponent’s left hand with your left hand,
    • Step toward 3:00 with your right foot to form a right fighting horse stance,
    • Deliver a right rear elbow strike to your opponent’s solar plexus.
  • Step 2
    • Continue pinning your opponent’s left hand,
    • Deliver right downward back hammerfist strike to your opponent’s groin,
    • Grab your opponent’s groin.
  • Step 3
    • Rip your opponent’s groin upward,
    • Deliver a right upward snapping obscure elbow strike underneath your opponent’s chin.
  • Step 4
    • Right front crossover and cover out toward 10:30.

Additional Information

Name

As mentioned in the last technique, wing is the Kenpo term for an elbow. In this technique you will use an elbow (wing) strike that will travel through a space your opponent can’t see, a blind spot, called an obscure zone.  Put this together and and you are essentially delivering an obscure wing to your opponent, thus the name.

Attack

In the ideal phase your attacker will be directly to your right at the 3:00 position. Your opponent will then grab your right shoulder with his left hand. It is assumed that your opponent is protecting his upper zone.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Right Side Step Through
  • Right Fighting Horse Stance
  • Right Rear Thrusting Elbow
  • Right Downward Back Hammerfist
  • Right Gripping Claw
  • Right Ripping Claw
  • Right Rear Upward Snapping Obscure Elbow
  • Right Front Cross Over
  • Cover Out

Targets

  • Left hand/wrist
  • Solar Plexus/Abdomen
  • Groin
  • Underneath the Chin

Concepts & Principles

  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Back Up Mass
  • Borrowed Force
  • Continuity of Motion
  • Contouring
  • Getting the Upper Hand
  • Marriage of Gravity
  • Obscure Zones
  • Pinning Check
  • Stabilize your Base
  • Settling
  • Torque


Considerations

  • What if …
    • your opponent grabs your shoulder with his right hand instead?
    • your opponent grabs your shoulder with both hands?
    • your opponent throws a right punch while grabbing your shoulder?
    • your opponent grabs your right bicep with his right hand while grabbing your shoulder?
    • your opponent grabs your right wrist with his right hand while grabbing your shoulder?
    • your opponent pulls your toward him?

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Obscure Wing was Orange Belt Technique #16
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal does not indicate an angle of departure

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

OBSCURE WING (flank left hand shoulder grab)

  1. With feet together and opponent’s left hand grabbing your right shoulder, step to your right(to 3 o’clock)with your right foot as you drop into a horse. Simultaneously deliver a right back elbow to opponent’s solar plexus as your left hand pins and checks opponent’s left hand to your right shoulder.
  2. Deliver a right back hammerfist down to opponent’s groin and follow-up with a right hand grab to opponent’s testicles.
  3. Immediately follow-up with a right snapping obscure elbow strike to opponent’s chin; making sure that your right arm follows the contour of your opponent’s body.

Notes

Variations

Lone Kimono (EPAK Orange #7)

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Lone Kimono is the 7th technique required to obtain your orange belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Lone Kimono is for a left hand lapel grab to your right lapel, placing it in the Grabs & Tackles category of the Web of Knowledge as well as the Shoulder & Lapel Family Group in the Grabs category of the Family Groups Grappling division.

Lone Kimono will teach you how to defend against a very common grab and you will find that its overall theme is very similar to Clutching Feathers (Orange 1), showing that multiple attacks may be defended against with similar principles or variations of them.  You will make use of counter manipulation, fulcruming, pinning and the angle of cancellation to maximize the effect of this technique.

Defense

Lone Kimono – defense for a left hand grab to your right lapel.

  • Step 1
    • Pin the opponent’s left hand to your chest with your left hand,
    • Step back with your left foot toward 6:00 to form a right neutral bow stance,
    • Deliver a right upward forearm strike (upward block) under your opponent’s left arm at the elbow.
  • Step 2
    • Circle your arm counterclockwise and deliver an inward downward diagonal forearm strike to your opponent’s left arm.
    • Left hand checks high.
  • Step 4
    • Deliver a right upward outward diagonal snapping handsword strike to your opponent’s throat.
  • Step 5
    • Crossover and cover out toward 7:30.

Additional Information

Name

The name Lone Kimono stems directly from the attack itself.  Lone is referencing the single hand grab to the lapel which is represented by the term Kimono, which is a traditional Japanese garment.

Attack

The ideal phase will put the attacker directly in front of you. Your opponent will step forward with his left foot as he grabs your shirt/jacket with his left hand and straightens his arm.

This type of attack is very common in an argument often used as a means to control, intimidate or move you. It is quite common that this attack is followed by a push, pull or punch so it is important to respond quickly to mitigate any extra danger.

Basics & Maneuvers Used

  • Left Reverse Step Through
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Upward Block
  • Right Inward Downward Diagonal Forearm Strike
  • Right Outward Upward Diagonal Handsword Strike

Targets

  • Left Elbow
  • Left Wrist
  • Throat (Trachea)

Concepts & Principles Taught

  • Anchoring
  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Checking
  • Clearing
  • Counter Manipulation
  • Dimensional Zone Concept
  • Frictional Pull
  • Fulcruming
  • Gravitational Marriage
  • Leverage
  • Pinning Check
  • Pivot Point
  • Reverse Body Momentum
  • Rounding the Corners
  • Squeegee Principle
  • Torque
  • Upside of the Circle


Considerations

  • What if …
    • your opponent pulls you toward him?
    • your opponent throws a right punch before you pin his hand?
    • your opponent throws a right punch after you pin his hand?
    • your opponent grabs you with his right arm?
    • you cannot step back?

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal, Lone Kimono was Orange Belt Technique #6
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal does not indicate an Angle of Departure.

Historical Variations

1975 Accumulative Journal

LONE KIMONO (front left hand lapel grab)

  1. Standing naturally, step back (to 6 o’clock) with your left foot when your opponent grabs your lapel with his left hand. Simultaneously pin his left hand to your chest with your left hand and deliver a right upward strike against his left elbow just above the Joint thus causing the elbow to break as you pivot into a right neutral bow.
  2. Then circle your right arm over and down (counter clockwise) with an inward-downward strike against opponent’s left forearm. Make sure that your opponent’s left arm is driven down and diagonally to your left.
  3. After cocking your right hand slightly toward you with your right palm up, deliver a right outward chop to the right side of opponent’s neck; stance throughout is still  a right neutral bow. Cock your left hand at your solar plexus, ready to check when needed.

Infinite Insights Into Kenpo, Vol 5, page 110 – First printing, June 1987

LONE KIMONO (Front left hand lapel grab)

  1. Standing naturally, step back toward 6 o’clock with your left foot into a right neutral bow (facing 12:00). Simultaneously pin your opponent’s left hand to your chest with your left hand as you deliver a right upward forearm strike against your opponent’s left elbow (slightly above the joint) to cause an elbow break or sprain.
  2. Then circle your right arm over and down (counter clockwise) with a diagonal inward-downward strike against your opponent’s left forearm. Finish with your right palm up “with” your left hand checking high.  Make sure that your opponent’s left arm is driven down and diagonally to your left.
  3. Your opponent is now coming down and toward 7:00. Round the corner as you strike with a right snapping outward handsword to the right side of your opponent’s neck.  Keep your left hand checking the neutral zone.
  4. Right front crossover, covering out between 7:00 and 8:00.

Note:  Although beginning students are not required to do more than step 3, intermediate students are required to continue the sequence by executing step 4.  Examine the relevance of this precautionary maneuver.

Unfinished Orange Belt Manual by Ed Parker

LONE KIMONO (Front left hand lapel grab)

  1. Standing naturally, step back toward 6 o’clock with your left foot into a right neutral bow (facing 12:00). Simultaneously (1) pin your opponent’s left hand to your chest, as you (2) rotate your left hand clockwise to expose and properly position his left elbow, while (3) delivering a right upward forearm strike against his left elbow just above the joint to cause the elbow to break. (This action may cause your opponent to rise up on the tips of his toes.)
  2. Immediately circle your right arm counterclockwise (over and down) and convert it into an inward-downward strike to your opponent’s left forearm. Complete this strike with your right palm up, and your left hand checking high. Make sure that your opponent’s left arm is driven diagonally and down to your left. (This move should now cancel your opponent’s Width and Height Zones.)
  3. With your action forcing your opponent’s head and body down and toward 7:30, ROUND OFF THE CORNER with your right hand and immediately execute a right snapping outward handsword strike to the right side of your opponent’s neck. Be sure to maintain a left hand check in the NEUTRAL ZONE.
  4. Right front crossover, covering out toward 7:30.

Notes

Variation

Thrusting Salute (EPAK Orange #4)

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Thrusting Salute is the 4th technique required to obtain your orange belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo.  Thrusting Salute is a defense for a right front kick placing it in the Kicks category in the Web of Knowledge and the Kicks Family of the Family Groups Striking Division.

In Thrusting Salute we are introduced to the zones of sanctuary as we create a notable angle of deflection with a well placed downward block.  It also stresses the importance of anticipating a follow up strike from your opponent.

Defense

  • Step 1
    • Step toward 4:30 with your right foot forming a left neutral bow stance,
    • Deliver a left outward downward block to the inside of your opponent’s right leg.
  • Step 2
    • Execute a right front snapping ball kick to your opponent’s groin.
    • Left hand covers high.
  • Step 3
    • Plant your right foot toward 10:30 buckling your opponent’s right knee as you form a right neutral bow stance.
    • Deliver a right thrusting heel palm strike to your opponent’s jaw
  • Step 4
    • Cover toward 4:30

Additional Information

Name

The name Thrusting Salute is derived from the manner, thrusting, in which you deliver the heel palm strike (salute) to your opponent.

Attack

The ideal phase consists of your opponent being directly in front of you with their right leg back and delivering a right thrusting ball kick to your body.

A thrusting ball kick can be used in an assortment of ways both offensively and defensively.  The fact that this is an aggressive thrusting ball kick implies a follow through or step-through as your opponent’s weight and momentum, coupled with your deflection, would put him beyond a point of no return thus forcing a commitment to the kick.

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 marriage of gravity to follow the kick with a solid punch that would have a lot of force behind it.  Always keep yourself in as safe a position as possible and be alert of your opponent’s movements.

Basics & Maneuvers Used

  • Right Rear Step Through
  • Left Neutral Bow
  • Left Outward Downward Block
  • Right Front Snapping Ball Kick
  • Right Neutral Bow
  • Right Thrusting Heel Palm Strike

Targets

  • Inside the right lower leg (Saphenous Nerve)
  • Groin
  • Inside the right knee
  • Jaw

Concepts & Principles Taught

  • Angle of Alignment
  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Angle of Deflection
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Angle of Deviation
  • Backup Mass
  • Body Momentum
  • Borrowed Force
  • Borrowed Reach
  • Marriage of Gravity
  • Rebounding Check
  • Torque
  • Zones of Sanctuary


Considerations

  • What if …
    • your opponent snaps his kick back instead of stepping through?
    • your opponent kicks with a right roundhouse kick instead?
    • your opponent kicks with his left foot instead of his right?
    • your opponent attempts a left kick when planting down?
    • your opponent attempts a left punch when planting down?
    • your opponent attempts a right punch when planting down?

Related Techniques

  • Obscure Sword
  • Twin Kimono
  • Cross of Destruction
  • Begging Hands
  • Defying the Storm
  • Fallen Cross
  • Falling Falcon
  • Menacing Twirl
  • Leap of Death

Historical Notes

  • In the 1975 Accumulative Journal this was technique #13
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal has you step back toward 6:00 prior to the downward block and plant your right foot toward 11:00 after the kick.

Historical Variations

1975 Accumulative Journal

THRUSTING SALUTE (front straight right kick)

  1. While standing naturally with feet together, step back with your right foot (to 6 o’clock) into a left neutral bow as you deliver a downward block to the inside of opponent’s right kicking leg.
  2. Have your left foot pivot counter clockwise, in place, as you kick forward with the ball of your right foot to opponent’s groin. Simultaneously have your left hand check high (left extended outward but relaxed handsword) for possible head shots.
  3. As you plant your right foot forward toward 11 o’clock (between opponent’s legs and into a right neutral bow), deliver a right torquing heel of palm thrust to opponent’s jaw while your left hand checks near your right ribcage

Unfinished Orange Belt Manual by Ed Parker

THRUSTING SALUTE (Front right step through kick)

  1. Standing naturally, step back with your right foot to 4:30 (to get you out of the Line of Attack) into a left neutral bow, as you deliver a left downward block to the inside of your opponent’s right kicking leg. Instantly recoil your left hand counterclockwise into a vertical position, to act as a positional check (hand open). (Your downward block should deflect your opponent’s right kicking leg out and away from you.) During this action, your right hand cocks near your right hip (palm up and fist clenched).
  2. Immediately execute a right front snap ball kick to your opponent’s groin. (Do not be surprised you if your opponent violently bends forward at the waist.)
  3. Plant your right foot forward, toward 10:30, and into a right neutral bow (inside of your opponent’s right knee so that your right knee can check or buckle his right knee). Simultaneous with the plant (while capitalizing on your forward momentum and gravitational marriage), execute a right torquing heel palm strike to your opponent’s jaw, as your left positional check relocates near your right ribcage. (This action should cause your opponent’s head to snap back, and possibly cause his entire body to move away from you.)
  4. Right front crossover, and cover out toward 4:30.

Notes

Variations