Snapping Twig (EPAK Purple #2)

[property_details details=”1″]

Snapping Twig is the 2nd required technique to obtain your purple belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Snapping Twig is a defense against a left hand direct push from the front, placing it in the Pushes category of the Web of Knowledge as well as the Pushes Family Group in the family groups striking division.

Snapping Twig places a heavy emphasis on Opposing Forces which can be found in all but the last step.  The technique starts off by using opposing forces to create a fulcrum effect that negates and attacks your opponent’s primary weapon.  Next we use opposing forces by counter manipulating our opponent with a frictional pull and borrowing that force as we deliver our strike. Finally we use opposing forces to sandwich our opponent between two two simultaneous strikes.

Defense

Snapping Twig – defense for a left push.

  • Step 1
    • Step back toward 6:00 with your left foot to form a right neutral bow stance facing 12:00.
    • Deliver a left inward hooking heel palm strike to the inside of your opponent’s left wrist, pinning their left hand to your chest.
    • Deliver a right inward hooking heel palm strike to the outside of your opponent’s left elbow.
  • Step 2
    • Hook over over top of your opponent’s left arm with a right crane hand,
    • Shuffle forward (push-drag) toward 12:00,
    • Pull your opponent’s left arm downward and past your right hip,
    • Deliver a left thrusting handsword strike to the left side of your opponent’s neck.
  • Step 3
    • Continue the motion of your right arm in a counter clockwise direction,
    • Left hand maintains either a detaining check on your opponent’s neck or a sliding check down your opponent’s left arm,
    • Deliver a right inward downward diagonal raking hammerfist strike across the bridge of your opponent’s nose.
  • Step 4
    • Continue the counter clockwise motion of your right arm,
    • Shuffle forward (push-drag) toward 12:00,
    • Deliver a left inward horizontal heel palm strike to the right side of your opponent’s jaw,
    • Deliver a right inward horizontal elbow strike to the left side of your opponent’s jaw.
  • Step 5
    • Right front crossover and cover out toward 7:30.

Additional Information

Name

In American Kenpo the term twig is used to represent the arm. In this technique your initial moves create a snapping effect on opponent’s left twig (arm) by hyper-extending the elbow, thus giving us the name Snapping Twig.

Attack

In the ideal phase your attacker is directly in front of you (12:00). He then proceeds to step forward with his left foot while pushing to your chest with his left hand.

A push is often stems from a verbal confrontation. Single arm pushes are usually meant to intimidate or knock the target off balance in preparation for a followup strike with the opposite arm. A technique like Snapping Twig aims to cancel any followup strikes in the initial move.

Basics & Maneuvers

  • Left Reverse Step Through
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Left Inward Horizontal Heel Palm Strike
  • Right Inward Horizontal Heel Palm Strike
  • Right Forward Bow Stance
  • Right Hooking Crane Head Strike
  • Left Outward Thrusting Handsword Strike
  • Right Neutral Bow Stance
  • Right Inward Downward Diagonal Raking Back Knuckle Strike
  • Forward Push-Drag Maneuver (Shuffle)
  • Left Inward Horizontal Heel Palm Strike
  • Right Inward Horizontal Elbow Strike

Targets

  • Inside Left Wrist
  • Outside Left Elbow
  • Left Side of the Neck (Brachial Plexus)
  • Bridge of the Nose
  • Left Jaw
  • Right Jaw

Concepts & Principles

  • Anchor
  • Angle of Cancellation
  • Angle of Disturbance
  • Backup Mass
  • Body Momentum
  • Borrowed Force
  • Continuity of Motion
  • Counter Manipulation
  • Frictional Pull
  • Fulcrum
  • Opposing Forces
  • Orbital Adjustment
  • Point of Origin
  • Rounding the Corners
  • Sandwiching
  • Sliding Check
  • Solidify your Base
  • Wrenching


Considerations

  • What if …
    • your opponent steps forward with his right foot?
    • your opponent pushes you with both hands?
    • your opponent grabs you and pulls you with his left hand?
    • your opponent follows the push with a right punch?
    • you are unable to straighten your opponent’s arm on the initial strike?

Related Techniques

Historical Notes

  • Snapping Twig was Purple belt technique #4 in the 1975 Accumulative Journal
  • The 1975 Accumulative Journal does not have you shuffle with the left heel palm strike and right inward horizontal elbow to the jaw.

Historical Versions

1975 Accumulative Journal

SNAPPING TWIG (front left hand chest push)

  1. Standing with feet together, drop back with your left foot (to 6 o’clock) into a right neutral bow as you simultaneously hook in (to your left) with the heel of your right palm to outside of opponent’s left elbow joint while hooking In (to your right) with the heel of your left palm to inside of opponent’s left inner wrist (utilizing opposing forces) to cause an elbow break.
  2. Have your right hand (while forming the shape of the crane) hook opponent’s left arm counter clockwise and out (to your right) while simultaneously executing a left thrusting chop (palm down) directly to the throat of your opponent; this is done as you shuffle forward with a push drag maneuver. Without any loss of motion continue the counter clockwise motion of your right hand so that the knuckles of that hand executes an inward diagonal rake across the bridge of opponent’s nose in order to cause a break.
  3. Continue the same counter clockwise motion of your right arm and execute a right inward horizontal elbow strike to opponent’s left jaw as your left heel of palm strikes to opponent’s right jaw thus creating a sandwiching effect.

Notes

  • While this technique is for a left hand chest push, it is often incorrectly taught as a push to the right shoulder.  The technique works for a push to the right shoulder but the attack in the ideal phase calls for a push to the chest.

Variations

  • Step 2 is also taught with a clockwise pivot into a forward bow stance instead of a shuffle forward as the pulling downward of your opponent’s arm should bring them into proper striking range for your next move.
    • If you pivot clockwise into a right forward bow stance on step 2 then you must pivot counter clockwise into a right neutral bow stance on step 3
    • Keep in mind some of the following about the shuffle forward;
      • The shuffle will close the gap for the next strike in the event that you are unable to pull them enough with the hooking crane head.
      • The shuffle forward adds body momentum and backup mass to the power equation as you catapult your body forward.
      • It allows you to check/buckle your opponent’s knee.
    • Keep in mind some of the following about the pivots;
      • If your opponent stepped in far enough during the attack, the shift into a right forward bow can also serve to check/buckle the knee.
      • The pivot in the opposite direction of the handsword strike will speed up the execution of the handsword strike
      • Torque is generated and released for the raking hammerfist strike in step 3.
  • Step 4 is sometimes split into two distinct steps with pivoting clockwise at the waist or into a right forward bow with the left heel palm strike as step 1 followed by shuffling forward with the right inward horizontal elbow strike being the second.
    • This “may” stem from when this technique was on the orange belt sheet, thus a beginner level technique, to simplify the moves for novice students. With purple belt being an intermediate level in the 24 technique system there is no reason to not expect students to be able to double strike at this stage.
  • In Step 4, the shuffle forward is sometimes omitted as you will notice in the 1975 Accumulative Journal version.  As with step 2 it will assist in closing the gap as your back knuckle strike if executed properly and with force could put them out of range but it also adds another power building dimension to the strikes at this step.

Reversing Mace (EPAK Orange #19)

[property_details details=”1″]

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.

Defense

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

Name

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.

Attack

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

Targets

  • 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


Considerations

  • 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.

Notes

Variations