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Kenpo Techniques

The Ultimate List of Kenpo Martial Arts Techniques and Moves

This article gives information about Kenpo Karate, a modern martial art that has become popular in America. Have a look...
Geeta Dhavale
Last Updated: Mar 6, 2018
Kenpo Karate On Street
Being a form of martial arts, the origin of Kenpo Karate can be traced back to China and Japan. This art form is believed to have been originated in the 16th century from karate. Kenpo or Kempo, is the Chinese equivalent of 'Quan Fa', or Japanese 'Kara-te'. Kara-te translates to 'fist principles', and is a defensive art, rather than an offensive one.
Kenpo was introduced to America by late Senior Grandmaster Edmund Parker, who is considered to be the father of American Kenpo Karate. When he first embraced the art, he referred to it as Chinese Kenpo, but later when he brought his own variations in the art, he named it as American Kenpo. He made Kenpo a mixture of Chinese martial arts, Japanese martial arts, and other influences. Parker was a student of James Mitose, who brought karate to the Hawaiian islands.
Dynamic Kenpo
The techniques in Kenpo are completely based on quick body movements. A student uses his body in rapid movements that overwhelms the opponent. Kicks and hand strikes form the foundation of modern Kenpo. Apart from this, it also emphasizes punching, locking, throwing, pressure point manipulations, and blocking.
Kenpo is taught in three levels or stages, known as the Ideal stage, the What-If stage, and the Formulation stage. One has to start with the basic white belt, and then gradually crossing various degrees of difficulties, move to the black belt, that makes a person the master of Kenpo Karate. Different organizations have different belt systems. One has to learn the basic techniques until he becomes reflexive and natural. The movements need to be quick to be effective, and hence, need a lot of practice, passion, and consistency.
List of Kenpo Techniques
Given below is the list of techniques as per the belt ranking system. These techniques are used as a memorization tool for the student. Note that all the Kenpo schools may not have the same sequence, or structure of Kenpo karate techniques.
Yellow Belt Techniques
  • Grip of Death (flank head lock)
  • Obscure Wing (flank left hand shoulder grab)
  • Locking Horns (front head lock)
  • Lone Kimono (front left hand lapel grab)
  • Raining Claw (front uppercut right punch)
  • Crossing Talon (front right cross wrist grab)
  • Triggered Salute (front right hand direct push)
  • Thrusting Salute (front straight right kick)
  • Gift of Destruction (handshake)
  • Thrusting Prongs (front bear hug arms pinned)
  • Delayed Swords (front-right lapel grab)
  • Deflecting Hammer (front right front thrust kick)
  • Sword of Destruction (front left straight or round house punch)
  • Alternating Maces (front two handed push)
  • The Grasp of Death (left flank right arm headlock)
Orange Belt Techniques
  • Shielding Hammer (front hooking left punch)
  • Dance of Death (front straight right punch)
  • Five Swords (front roundhouse right punch)
  • Scraping Hoof (full nelson)
  • Clutching Feathers (front left hand hair grab)
  • Locked Wing (hammerlock)
  • reversing Mace (front straight left punch)
  • Obscure Sword (flank left hand shoulder garb)
  • Crashing Wings (rear bear hug - arms free)
  • Snapping Twigs (front left hand chest push)
  • Leaping Crane (front step through right punch)
  • Circling Wing (rear two-hand choke - arms bent)
  • Calming the Storm (front right roundhouse club)
  • Crushing Hammer (rear bear hug - arms pinned)
  • Striking Serpent's Head (front bear hug - arms free)
  • Captured leaves (flank finger lock)
  • Repeating Mace (front left hand cross push)
  • Twisted twig (front wrist lock)
  • Twirling Wings (rear stiff left hand lapel grab)
  • Checking the Storm (front - right step through overhead club)
  • Buckling Branch (front straight left kick)
  • Attacking Mace (front - right step through straight punch)
  • Sword and Hammer (right flank-left hand shoulder grab)
Purple Belt Techniques
  • Charging Ram (front tackle)
  • Parting Wings (front two-hand push)
  • Obstructing the Storm (front right overhead club)
  • Swinging Pendulum (front roundhouse right kick)
  • Tripping Arrow (front bear hug - arms free)
  • Hooking Wings (front two-hand low push)
  • Sleeper (front straight step through right punch)
  • Spiraling Twig (rear bear hug - arms free)
  • Defying the Storm (front right roundhouse club)
  • Cross of Destruction (rear two-hand choke)
  • Hugging Pendulum (front right sidekick)
  • Thrusting Wedge (front two-hand high push)
  • Darting Mace (front two hand wrist grab)
  • Flashing Wings (front straight right punch)
  • Begging Hands (front tow-hand grab to wrists)
  • Shield and Sword (front straight left punch)
  • Gift in Return (front hand shake)
  • Fallen Cross (rear two-hand choke)
  • Crossed Twigs (rear two-hand grab to wrists)
Blue Belt Techniques
  • Conquering Shield (front left stiff arm lapel grab)
  • Ranking Mace (front two-hand lapel grab - pull in)
  • Squeezing the Peach (rear bear hug - arms pinned)
  • Thundering Hammer (front straight right punch)
  • Wings of Silk (read two arm lock)
  • Flashing Mace (front straight right punch)
  • Flight to Freedom (hammerlock)
  • Repeated Devastation (full nelson)
  • Gripping Talon (front left hand direct wrist grab)
  • Circling the Horizon (front step through punch)
  • Gathering Clouds (front straight right punch)
  • Shield and Mace (front straight step through right punch)
  • Brushing the Storm (flank right overhead club)
  • Menacing twirl (left hand rear belt grab)
  • The Back Breaker (flank step through right punch)
  • Retreating Pendulum (front right rear kick)Gathering Clouds (front straight right punch)
  • Twin Kimono (front two-hand lapel grab - push out)
  • Returning Strom (roundhouse and backhand club attack)
  • Bow of Compulsion (front wrist lock - against chest)
  • Entangled Wings (front arm lock)
Green Belt Techniques
  • Escape from Death (right rear arm choke)
  • Broken Gift (handshake)
  • Intercepting the Ram (front tackle)
  • Securing the Storm (front right roundhouse club)
  • Snaking Talon (front two-hand push)
  • Destructive Twins (two-hand choke - pull in)
  • Broken Ram (front tackle)
  • Taming the Mace (front step through right punch)
  • Heavenly Ascent (front two-hand choke - arms straight)
  • Circles of Protection (front step through overhead right punch)
  • Circle of Doom (front straight right kick)Taming the Mace (front step through right punch)
  • Clipping the Storm (front right thrusting club)
  • Obscure Claws (flank left hand shoulder grab)
  • Capturing the Storm (front right overhead club)
  • Cross of Death (front two-hand cross choke)
  • Gift of Destiny (handshake)
  • Twist of fate (front two-hand push)
  • Twirling Sacrifice (full Nelson)
  • Kneel of Compulsion (flank step through right punch)
  • Leap from Danger (rear two-hand push)
Advanced Green Belt Techniques
  • Glancing Wing (front left uppercut punch)
  • Encounter with Danger (front two-hand push)
  • Squatting Sacrifice (rear bear hug - arms free)
  • Circling Destruction (front step through left punch)
  • Detour From Doom (front right roundhouse kick)
  • Circling Fans (front straight left and right punch)
  • Glancing Spear (front direct left wrist grab)
  • Thrust into Darkness (right punch directly from the rear)
  • Desperate Falcons (front two-hand grab to wrists)
  • Unfurling Crane (front left and right punch)
  • Unfolding the Dark left step through punch from right rear flank)
  • Leap of Death (front straight right punch)
  • Fatal Deviation (front-right and left punch combination)
  • Falling Falcon (front-right direct lapel grab)
  • Dominating Circles (front-offset hand grab to right)
  • Escape from darkness (left rear flank - right step through punch)
Brown Belt Techniques
  • The Ram and The Eagle (front right punch and left rear collar grab)
  • The Bear and The Ram (front right step through punch and rear bear hug - arms free)
  • Courting the Tiger (left and right arm grab)
  • Falcons of Force (left and right shoulder grab)
  • Grasping Eagles (right front lapel grab and rear right arm garb)
  • Snakes of Wisdom (left and right shoulder grab by two men at sides)
  • Marriage of the Rams (left and right shoulder grab - close)
  • Parting of the Snakes (front right punch and rear attempt)
  • Reprimanding the Bears (front right punch and rear bear hug - arms pinned)
  • Gathering of the Snakes (front left punch and rear right punch)
  • Raining Lance (front overhead step through knife attack )
  • Glancing Lance (front knife thrust - with your arms down)
  • Piercing Lance (front knife thrust - with your arms up)
  • Entwined Lance (front right knife thrust)
  • Thrusting Lance (front knife thrust)
  • Blinding Sacrifice (front two-hand choke or grab attempt)
Black Belt Techniques
  • Dance of Darkness (right front kick followed by right punch)
  • Destructive Kneel (front step through right punch )
  • Fatal Cross (teo-hand attempted low grab or push)
  • Escape from the Storm (right flank, overhead right club)
  • Defensive Cross (right front kick)
  • Unwinding Pendulum (right front kick followed by right punch)
  • Circling the Storm (right front club poke)
  • Reversing Circles (left roundhouse kick followed by left punch)
  • Capturing the Rod (right front pistol against your chest)
  • Bowing to Buddha (right front roundhouse kick)
  • Prance of the Tiger (right flank step-through uppercut punch)
  • Broken Rod (rear right hard pistol)
  • Defying the Rod (right front pistol)
  • Twisted Rod (right front pistol)
  • Twirling Hammers (front step through left punch)
These techniques are subject to change in each Kenpo school.

As you proceed and acquire expertise, you have to use combinations of the basic techniques for self-defense, as you never know the attacking strategy of the opponent.