Kenpo Budokan Karate: Beige Belt/Black Stripe: Lessons: 4 – Bear Hug Arms Free [crashing wings]

Wrestler applying the Bear hug hold from behind
Wrestler applying the Bear hug hold from behind (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bear Hugs Arms Free (Crashing Wings)

There you are, walking down some deserted alleyway (of course you forgot the whole lesson on situational awareness), and a brutish looking group of guys comes up and starts harassing you. By and large, unless you are in high school, or in a group defense situation, someone grabbing you from behind should be a relatively rare occurrence. As we discussed in the lesson on the lapel grabs, the person doing the grabbing is at a disadvantage as they are bound to your motions. Before we get into the actual move here, what is the first thing that pops into your mind as a way to react. Your hands are free, and someone is grabbing you violently from behind.

You might shout. And you might want to see who is actually grabbing you – is it an old college buddy playing a prank? Your girlfriend playing rough? Secondly, you probably want to assess the situation – do you have room to move, are they grabbing so tight that it indicates a really strong opponent, or are they holding on tight but not so tight that they seem insurmountable? Are there others around you that are menacing and trying to get at you or is the person behind you pulling you somewhere (into a car for an abduction) or pushing you towards something (a wall to grab your wallet and run)? Depending on the quick analysis of the situation, you will need to react appropriately. If they are just grabbing your wallet, maybe just give up and go. If they are trying to pull you into a car, you better be fighting for your life as the likelihood of survival after entering an abductor’s vehicle is only 30%.

So you’ve decided that you need to act. Let’s look at one possible escape using the Kenpo self-defense technique, crashing wings.


  1. With your right foot step to 3:00 and form a horse stance facing 12:00 as you simultaneously deliver twin inward downward diagonal elbow strikes to the opponent’s forearms.
  2. Slide your left foot toward your right foot and form a transitional close cat stance as your arms cock at your right hip. Your right palm will be facing upward and your left palm facing inward.
  3. Slide your left foot toward 7:30 to go around and behind the opponent’s right leg to form a left reverse bow stance.
  4. Pivot counterclockwise and form a left neutral bow stance facing 7:30 as you deliver a left outward horizontal elbow strike to his face. Have your left arm continue across the opponent’s face and execute a left outward horizontal heel palm claw to his face. Continue the motion and trap the arm under your left arm.
  5. Continue to pivot counterclockwise and form a left forward bow stance facing 7:30 and deliver a right inward downward diagonal hammerfist strike to his groin.
  6. Pivot clockwise and form a left neutral bow stance. Immediately execute a left front crossover and double cover out toward 12:00.


Breaking this down

Some Considerations

What if

Things to Work On

Other things

Concluding Thoughts

Concluding Thoughts

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