Glossary of Terms N-R


– N –

Natural Defences – The use of body parts as defensive blocks or deterrents.

Natural Weapons – The use of body parts as offensive weapons.

Negative Orbit – Created by dealing with an attack which then springloads the opposite limb as an attack. For example, in five swords, the double strike to the right arm can create the negative orbit of the attackers left arm towards you.

Nervous System – The systems of cells, tissues, fibres, and organs that transmit nerve impulses to the brain. These are sensory actions and responses to stimuli through the spinal cord, ganglia, and part of the receptors.

Northern Styles – Generally refers to those Martial Art systems practiced in northern China. These systems placed great emphasis on utilizing the feet as weapons, rolling on the floor and stressed an array of acrobatic feats.

North/South Position – This is a groundwork position when your opponent is on their back and you are on your knees with your head on their lower chest in an opposite direction. You can control your opponents posture and manipulate into a lock better by squeezing your knees on either side of his/her head. [also Four Quarter]

Nunchaku – Termed as a two sectional staff, the nunchaku is two short wood pieces joined with string or chain. In old Okinawa, this weapon was for threshing rice.


– O –

Object Obscurity – The use of your limbs to hide the action of another limb. For example, after a right two finger hook is applied to your opponent’s left eye, your left hand can next use your right forearm as a track to zero in on the same target. Not until the left two finger poke is almost on target do you retract your right arm. The last minute replacement of weapons makes the second action obscure. This concept parallels the principle of tracking and is classified as a method of contouring.

Open End Triangle – Refers to the positioning of your body parts so that they form an opened end triangle. Use of these body formations help to funnel, wedge, trap, or prevent an opponent from injuring you.

Opposites & Reverses – Delayed Sword and Sword of Destruction are same technique using opposite hand sides. Techniques can be run on both left and right sides as well as inside and outside (leaping crane run right side against a left or right punch). It’s not necessary to run them on both sides because Mr. Parker devised the techniques so that for every left side defence there is a matching technique on the right side and vice versa with the assumption that the right side is the power side.

Outer Rim Theory – An imaginary egg shaped circle that is used as a visual aid. This egg shaped pattern starts at eyebrow level and ends slightly below the region of the groin. This concept teaches one to confine their defensive and offensive moves to only those areas within the imaginary circle.

Outside Block – When blocking on outside of attackers arm the block should be at or slightly above the elbow (Attacking Mace, Thundering Hammers)

Outside Downward – A type of block requiring your blocking arm to travel from inside out. It is used for attacks that are primarily directed to targets below your waist.

Outward Parry – A block that travels from inside out as it redirects and rides the force of your opponent’s strike.

Over-Reach – To over-extend oneself with a blow or kick needlessly, to reach beyond or above a certain point unnecessarily.


– P –

Paragraphs of Motion – Series of defensive and offensive moves used consecutively on more than one opponent where there is no interruption in the flow of action.

Paranormal Perception – Intuitive awareness is the ability to feel the presence of someone or something without smelling, seeing, or hearing, or to be able to predict what to expect before it happens.

Parry – To ward off a blow or kick. Riding and re-directing the force of the blow or kick.

Parrying Block – Blocking moves that redirect, ride and go with the force of your opponent’s action.

Passive Defensive – Keep hands above attacker’s hands. Gives us control.

Path Against the Line – Entry point to the attacker’s line of attack.

Peach – Refers to the testicles as used in a technique.

Pendulum – Refers to a downward block or strike as used in a technique.

Perceptual Speed – Is the speed at which the senses monitor the stimulus that it receives, determines the meaning of the stimulus, and swiftly conveys the perceived information to the brain so that mental speed can parlay the response.

Peripheral Vision – Is your ability to see 180 degree’s to both sides from the centre of your body.

Perpetual Motion – Continuous movement with no end move; never ceasing. This can be acquired with flowing kata, and multiple attackers.

Phase I – An analytical process requiring that you commence with an ideal or fixed situation. This means that you are to select a combat situation that has been structured with a prescribed sequence of movements and use this ideal technique as a basis to work from. In this phase, the term ideal implies that the situation is fixed and that the “what if” questions required in Phase II are not to be included in Phase I. It is the prescribed reaction of your opponent that completes the ideal technique.

Phase II – Add questions of “what if”. The tone of questioning in this instance slightly alter from “what are they” to “what if”. “What if” you do counter these additional variables, how would your opponent react? At this stage of Phase II, you are programmed to thoroughly analyse probable variations to the model technique. Expected as well as unexpected opponent reactions are projected and evaluated. The principle here is that every movement has a consequence.

Phase III – This phase involves the actual application of your newly found alternatives to the original ideal or fixed technique. Knowing what can additionally happen within the framework of the fixed technique, teaches you how to apply your variable answers to a free and changing environment. It is at this phase that you learn to formulate your variable answers.

Phonetics of Motion – Teaching a move or moves in progressive stages so as to get the maximum force from its execution. It is a method of teaching students movements by-the-number.

Physical Preparedness – All phases of preventive planning to avoid a confrontation.

Physical Speed – The promptness of physical movement–the fluency in response to the perceived stimulus.

Pinning Block – A restraining vice like move to hinder an opponent from taking action.

Pinning Check – A check where you use pressure against your opponent’s weapons to nullify delivery of these weapons. Delayed Sword.

Point of Reference – The point of origin of a specific move or technique sequence which can be referred back to before proceeding to the next move or before going to the opposite side.

Position – (1) a command used while teaching to have a student assume his original starting position, (2) a set or arranged posture used in class for training purposes other than mentioned, or when fighting, and (3) how your or your opponent’s body is angled.

Positioned Block – The formation of various defensive postures that automatically check incoming action. The structured positions in and of themselves act as checks.

Positioned Check – A check where you place the hand or leg in a defence position or angle to minimize entry to your vital areas.

Positions of Readiness – These are positions that can be assumed prior to, during, or after combat. Having knowledge of these positions can greatly enhance your strategy by lessening the effects of your attacker as well as assuring a more successful attack. They vary in hand and leg positions which would depend upon the fighting experience of your opponent.

Postural Positions – Assumed body positions for purposes of defence or offence.

Power – Is the culmination of several principles–the sum total of which maximizes the expenditure of energy. It is the magnification of force aided by concentrated focus. Its capacity is proportionate to the physical strength, force, or energy exerted, in additions to the speed it is rendered.

Practical Kenpo – The use of logical moves in the Kenpo system that are realistic and not fanciful or impractical moves.

Practitioner – One, who learns, teaches and practices the Martial Arts.

Predetermined Labelling – Wrongfully believing a person to be what he really isn’t which can throw you when action occurs.

Preparatory Considerations – The mental planning of logical preventive measures to avoid danger which can eliminate a physical encounter from occurring.

Pre-set Movements – Movements that are methodically thought out prior to their application which usually works as they were conceived.

Principles – Comprehensive and fundamental rules stemming from theories which through devoted analysis, develops into proven characteristics that make them doctrine.

Primitive Stage – That stage of learning where moves are crudely executed.

Prone Positions – Lying flat or prostrate in a horizontal position.

Prongs – Refers to the thumbs as used in a technique.

Psychological Strategy – The ability to use the brain instead of the brawn to cope in an on the spot physical encounter and through verbalization totally avoid a confrontation.

Pulling – (1) bringing an object or person to you, (2) the ability to control a strike so as to come within a fraction of an inch from hitting the target.

Pushdown Block – A particular blocking method that uses the heel of the palm to control the opponent’s strike that is normally directed to targets below the waist.

Push Hands – This is a two person training exercise to practice internal movement of energy [Chi]. In the range of motion, we can use leverage, reflex, sensitivity, timing, coordination, positiong, and redirection. The developing of ‘Listening Power’ utilises five key steps with eight gates [trigrams].


– Q –

Quadrant Zone Theory – This theory is more concerned with specific areas of the body that need to be protected–not attacked. The theory divides each of the zones of height, width, and depth into areas. A vertical imaginary rectangle is then superimposed over the height and width zones to create four quadrants or zones which are often referred to as gates.

QiGong – This is rythmic breathing forms that aligns breath with fluid movement. Meaning ‘Life Energy Cultivation’, QiGong practitioners are in a calm mindful state. This art can also be used when meditating and for healing. [also Chi Gung & Chi Kung]


– R –

Raking – The execution of a body weapon in a sweeping manner so that it grazes the target with penetrating force. It involves increasing the depth of your circular path so that your natural weapon gouges the surface of your target. It, too, is similar to a slice with two exceptions: the force is greater and the depth more penetrating. Executed properly, a rake may employ several parts of a natural weapon so that it produces a corrugated effect when making contact with the target.

Ram – Refers to a charging attack as used in a technique

Range – That distance which exists between you and your opponent.

Rank – The training level at which you are positioned in the arts. This is verified by the colour of the belt you wear.

Reactionary Postures

And Positions – Postures and positions that result from being struck. Positions that often occur in response pain.

Rebounding – Moving from one block/strike to another. For example, Delayed Sword into Sword of Destruction into Shielding Hammer.

Recoil – To spring return a strike to your opponent off your own body. This has more depth to the strike than conventional circling to the target. In internal arts, this can be a way to ‘gather’ your own Chi and give back. Can be used off your opponent to themselves or in multiple attackers, although this is more ‘bouncing’.

Reeling Silk – Reeling Silk are spiral movements led by Dan Tien to lower your centre. With this winding of motion, we can shift our energy from inside our bones to the tips of our limbs. Reeling Silk teaches us the adequate amount of force we need. We can then use expansive power (Yang) and coordinate with shrinking power (Yin). [also Jian Si Jing]

Regulate – Part of the formulation process where you can govern the speed, force, speed and force, or the intent and speed of your action.

Reverse Motion – Returning on the same path of an initiated move.

Ricocheting Block – A defensive move that uses the first block to launch into a second block. This term is often interchangeably used with a ricocheting blocking strike where a block is built into an aggressive strike.

Riding Check – A deflection of movement by keeping contact through the check. The inital point of contact remains at that point as both limbs are propelling forward. [Shield & Sword]

Rod – Refers to a gun attack as used in a technique

Rolling Check – A check where you use pressure by rolling against your opponent’s weapons to nullify delivery of these weapons.

Rotational Force – Moves that use revolving action to contribute to power. Torque is a product of rotating force. An example of this is the roundhouse kick used in the Kenpo technique “Shield and Sword”.

Round housing – Any weapon that makes contact with its target before reaching the apex of the circular path in which it is travelling.

Rules – Generally refer to those moves that are to be followed to the letter. Such moves can only restrict flexibility and, therefore, ideas rather than rules are stressed in Kenpo.

Running the Table – A term used in the game of billiard where the player hits one ball after another into the side pockets until the table is completely cleared which is comparable to blocking opponents every strike while you strike in response, thus defeating your opponent.