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Kenpo Category Completions

The Kenpo Karate system includes category completions. These are cross-references to show you the various ways you can use a weapon, a particular strike or kick, how patterns of strikes can be reversed, etc. For instance, the Dragon’s Tooth strike, also known as the Middle Knuckle Strike, is shown in one technique as a straight vertical thrust, in another as an inverted strike and yet another technique shows how you can use it with an upward movement like an upper-cut. The point is to give you all the ways you can do a movement or a pattern or a particular strike; or how a kick can use the same method of execution as a strike (for instance, how you can chop with the foot and hand).

Here I present to you several examples of category completions in Kenpo. If you explore the system further, you can find many of them on your own.

Mace of Aggression and Triggered Salute

Both Mace of Aggression and Triggered Salute make use of inward and outward elbows. How the use of these strikes differ between techniques has to do with targets and position of the strikes in relation to your opponent’s hand (s). In Mace of Aggression, the elbows are delivered after the initial strike of the technique, to the opponent’s face; so they attack the high zone. They also are delivered above the opponent’s hands, which are pinned to your chest because he’s grabbed your lapels. This, by the way, brings in the rule of “get on top”. When someone grabs you, you must get on top of the attack by pinning, etc.

In Triggered Salute, the opponent has pushed you on the left side of your chest or on your left shoulder. This time, after you initially strike him, you proceed with an inward and outward elbow to the body; so you are striking the mid-zone with the elbows. And the strikes occur under the opponent’s hand or arm. This is after you’ve disturbed his depth zone with a heel palm strike, pinned his hand to your chest and manipulated his body with a frictional pull on the arm. Consider the following illustrations.

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In the technique Mace of Aggression, the attacker grabs you by the lapels.

In the technique Mace of Aggression, the attacker grabs you by the lapels.

You pin his hands to your chest to get on top and have control and strike his face and stomp his right foot as a cross-check.

You pin his hands to your chest to get on top and have control and strike his face and stomp his right foot as a cross-check. The stomp and strike involve marriage with gravity.

Continuing the movement of your striking arm, you use frictional pull on his arms to pull his face in and down.

Continuing the movement of your striking arm, you use frictional pull on his arms to pull his face in and down.

For travel and angle of execution and line of entry, your right arm continue back to chamber.

For travel and angle of execution and line of entry, your right arm continue back to chamber.

You deliver an inward elbow to the face.

You deliver an inward elbow to the face.

You reach back with the same hand, again, to get travel.

You reach back with the same hand, again, to get travel.

You deliver an outward elbow to the face.

You deliver an outward elbow to the face.

As stated, in Triggered Salute, you change the zone where those elbows are delivered.

The attacker pushes your left shoulder or left side of your chest.

The attacker pushes your left shoulder or left side of your chest.

With your left hand you pin his hand to your chest as you step in and deliver a heel palm to the face, driving his face up and back, disrupting both height and depth zones.

With your left hand you pin his hand to your chest as you step in and deliver a heel palm to the face, driving his face up and back, disrupting both height and depth zones.

You come down his arm with yours for frictional pull as you chamber for the elbow strike.

You come down his arm with yours for frictional pull as you chamber for the elbow strike.

Again, you chamber for line of entry and angle of execution and travel.

Again, you chamber for line of entry and angle of execution and travel.

Inward elbow

Inward elbow

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So, as you can see, in Triggered Salute, those elbows hit the body rather than the face as you did in Mace of Aggression. Also note that Triggered Salute ends with a vertical back-knuckle to the face (not shown).

Leaping Crane and Fatal Deviation

Leaping Crane and Fatal Deviation both make use of a combination of a hammerfist strike and an inward elbow strikes but differ in the order these strikes are executed. In Leaping Crane, the hammerfist or back-knuckle is delivered before the inward elbow, while in Fatal Deviation, the elbow is delivered first and then the hammerfist is used.

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In Leaping Crane, as the punch comes in, you parry with your left, rake through the bicep muscle with the knuckles of your right hand and leap briefly to a one-legged stance.

In Leaping Crane, as the punch comes in, you parry with your left, rake through the bicep muscle with the knuckles of your right hand and leap briefly to a one-legged stance.

You side kick his right knee to put him down on one knee.

You side kick his right knee to put him down on one knee.

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Land in toward him and deliver a back-knuckle to the kidneys to arch his back and bring his head up.

Land in toward him and deliver a back-knuckle to the kidneys to arch his back and bring his head up.

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And then the inward elbow.

And then the inward elbow.

In Fatal Deviation, we see the reverse of this hand strike to elbow strike and instead do the elbow and then the hand strike.

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You block the right punch.

You block the right punch.

You block the left punch

You block the left punch

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You cross over and strike.

You cross over and strike.

You drive a knee into his thigh to open him up.

You drive a knee into his thigh to open him up.

Elbow high...

Elbow high…

Hammerfist strike low.

Hammerfist strike low.

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Glancing Spear and Destructive Fans

In Glancing Spear and Destructive Fans you are using an initial sweep and then a follow up strike or kick to take the opponent down. In Glancing Spear, you sweep the leg and then kick him down. In Destructive Fans, you sweep the leg and then punch him down. That is the category completion and cross-reference.

He grabs your left wrist with his right hand.

He grabs your left wrist with his right hand.

You pin his hand from underneath with your right hand.

You pin his hand from underneath with your right hand.

You step back and pull him back. And chamber.

You step back and pull him back. And chamber.

You deliver an outward elbow to the ribs.

You deliver an outward elbow to the ribs.

You strike his arm on the way to poke his eye. His own arm can be used as support for your strike.

You strike his arm on the way to poke his eye. His own arm can be used as support for your strike.

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With your left foot, you sweep his right leg.

With your left foot, you sweep his right leg.

You spin 360 to sweep his right leg with your right leg.

You spin 360 to sweep his right leg with your right leg.

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You immediately kick him with the same leg.

You immediately kick him with the same leg.

In Destructive Fans, the same sweeps to the legs are used but the finishing move to take him down is a punch. Notice, too, that the sweep is a complete circle and the punch is a straight line; in Kenpo it is said you can stay on the circle, reverse the circle and/or cut the circle in half. This technique is an example of using a circle and then “cutting it in half” with a linear strike, mixing circular and linear movements as is done so much in Kenpo.

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You parry the punch with an outward parry. This means somewhere in the system you parry a punch with an inward parry.

You parry the punch with an outward parry. This means somewhere in the system you parry a punch with an inward parry.

You parry then with an inward parry. This means in the system there is a technique with an outward parry as your second move in the technique. Also notice the circular pattern in this zone.

You parry then with an inward parry. This means in the system there is a technique with an outward parry as your second move in the technique. Also notice the circular pattern in this zone.

The circle continue right into a punch to the body.

The circle continue right into a punch to the body.

You sweep the right leg with your left foot.

You sweep the right leg with your left foot.

Spin...

Spin…

...and sweep the leg with your right foot, all the way through.

…and sweep the leg with your right foot, all the way through.

Punch him down.

Punch him down.

Notice here with the technique Tripping Arrow, that the sweep with the leg and the “strike down” are done simultaneously.

James grabs Joe in a bear hug from the front with arms free, with the intent of throwing him or something to cause damage.

James grabs Joe in a bear hug from the front with arms free, with the intent of throwing him or something to cause damage.

Joe steps to the left in a horse, to get a base so he can't be lifted, pulls down on James right shoulder/arm to cancel his right leg and strikes in and down with his right to create space.

Joe steps to the left in a horse, to get a base so he can’t be lifted, pulls down on James right shoulder/arm to cancel his right leg and strikes in and down with his right to create space.

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Stepping to the left has also opened the path for Joe to get his right foot behind James for a sweep.

Stepping to the left has also opened the path for Joe to get his right foot behind James for a sweep.

Joe sweeps with the right leg and strikes James down simultaneously with the right hand. This is category completion also for the sweep on Circling the Horizon when you kneel and sweep and strike up; here you strike down horizontally.

Joe sweeps with the right leg and strikes James down simultaneously with the right hand. This is category completion also for the sweep on Circling the Horizon when you kneel and sweep and strike up; here you strike down horizontally.

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So, as you can see category completions are meant to show you the various ways something can be done; how patterns can be reversed or how a particular strike can be done along a different pattern. Kenpo is a complete study of motion and this is why there is so much material in the system. Doing your own exploration of the system will render all kinds of revelations and insights.

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