9 Planes Project, Part 2 - Joint Destruction

By Melvin Ruth
Published on Nov 15th, 2011

As discussed in my previous article, “Universal Pattern Project Introduction” published in May 2011, I’ve been working with the Universal Pattern that Mr. Parker left for us in the Infinite Insights Book Series, Volume 4 for the past 10 years. In Chapter 8 Mr. Parker introduces and explains the Universal Pattern. He states “To understand the Universal Pattern is to understand movement. To understand movement is to understand the concepts of fighting”, “The variables are endless and it is suggested that you use your imagination to think of other possibilities.” To paraphrase; the only limits to this pattern are the ones we put upon ourselves. Our learning potential is limited to our imagination and understanding of the various levels of this information. On page 163, Mr. Parker states in this book, “It is my intention that a student learns the foregoing thoroughly, fully understand the theoretical concepts, and taking up the challenge of going beyond those established. I encourage you to explore new horizons, express individuality and utilize the pattern as a useful key to creativity. Refrain from impractical ideas. Remember this pattern is only as good as the man using it.”

To me this means take the Universal Pattern off the wall or the floor and use it for all motions and defense ideas. For example, I have viewed it over the body and its limbs, through all dimensions and 9 planes I have trained it in full fighting phases. Even with control it can and does get very brutal. I’ve been fortunate over the last few years to teach my principles and theories in my club, in small groups and overseas. In my club we train orbital changes in the air, on the ground, standing up and in different environments. I’ve categorized my project into three theories; 9 planes of Striking and Defending, Dimensional Sequence of Muscle Movements, and Ground Fighting Strategies (including; Joint Destruction, Close Combat Muscle Manipulation and Close Combat Muscle Destruction). For this article I wish to discuss one of my Ground Fighting Strategies: Joint Destruction.

There are three ways to destroy the joints in the human body during combat. The first way is to separate the joints buy pulling, twisting, or bending the joints in directions that are out of the normal range of motion, the second way is to break the joints, the third way to destroy the joints is to jam them. Even though this is categorized under Ground Fighting Strategies you will find it also applies to stand up.

The most familiar is to separate the joints through arm bars or locks using two points of contact, however, this can be accomplished by the angles in which a joint is opened and struck at one time. The ANGLE OF OPPORTUNITY1 will greatly change the impact of the action. In Ed Parkers Kenpo Karate system we are fortunate to have the Universal Pattern. Using this training aid we can decipher that when orbital changes are made with extension, while punching, we can cause the same damage as a long arm bar, without us being on the ground or in contact manipulation. This allows us to fight more than one opponent at a time, and creates sufficient time to deal with the unknown.

The next stage is joint breaking. This is accomplished by taking the joints in an unnatural direction causing them to the bones to break (fragment and or shatter). This is commonly done by using a part of our body, a manmade or environmental weapon as a lever point and pulling or pushing on the attacker’s limbs at the same time. In Kenpo we do this with blocking with an ANGLE OF INCIDENCE2 on the outside of the elbow. Depending on the attacker’s momentum and the angle in which the move comes, this action may only cause a hyperextension of the joint instead of actually breaking it.

Then we get to one of my favorites, known as Joint Jamming. Joint jamming is done by impacting the area in which the joint fits into the socket. This is done with striking motions hitting the large surface and driving it into the sockets. When struck with force, the ball will go into the socket causing severe damage. If struck with enough force the socket will break in to small pieces. The joint will be jammed into place. When the person attempts to move his/her limb is when the joint fails. This damages the cartilage and, or explodes the socket. The force required depends on the ANGLE OF EXECUTION3 and your desired result. For example, if you wish to destroy the entire shoulder socket with a single blow you could pick up and slam your opponent onto the ground at a 62 degree angle which forces the shoulder joint to jam into the socket. This requires much more effort on your part than choosing another ANGLE OF CONTACT4. Joint Jamming can be done to any ball & socket joints in the body, such as, the shoulders & hips.

For more information on this Strategy please refer to my Joint Destruction Manual, coming soon, for a complete breakdown and descriptions of the specific joints and the angles required. Please feel free to contact me at with any questions.

1 ANGLE OF OPPORTUNITY – An angle which, when taking advantage of any of the “angle” classifications, results in the success of the effects desired and/or intended. ~ Ed Parker’s Encyclopedia of Kenpo

2 ANGLE OF INCIDENCE – The angle at which a weapon, when delivered, strikes perpendicular or at a right angle to the target or surface intended, to bring about maximum results. ~ Ed Parker’s Encyclopedia of Kenpo

3 ANGLE OF EXECUTION – Any angle which, when an attack is executed, produces maximum results. Refer to Angle of Contact. ~ Ed Parker’s Encyclopedia of Kenpo

4ANGLE OF CONTACT – Any angle which when delivering an offense or defense produces the most desired effect. In some cases, a delivery may produce a dual effect. Exact or true right angle contact is not necessarily involved in the execution of these types of moves. ~ Ed Parker’s Encyclopedia of Kenpo

Filed under Techniques and Tutorials

Author Bio :: Melvin Ruth

Melvin Ruth started boxing for the Highland Exchange Club in 1986. He began his formal study of Korean Martial Arts in 1988, Tae Kwon Do in Baltimore County. By 1994, Melvin joined the U.S. Army and National Guard serving honorably through 2004. After returning from various military missions, Melvin began training in Kenpo Karate in 1997. Mr. Ruth received his black belt certification in Kenpo Karate in 2003. Melvin began working with Kenpo 2000 while pursuing his black belt. He is currently refining his Kenpo as a student of Professor Skip Hancock. Mr. Ruth is a partner in M&D's Modern Martial Arts of Bishopville, MD The studio is affiliated with TheMALC and Kenpo 2000. Melvin is the Director of Infrastructure for The Martial Arts Learning Community, Inc. (TheMALC).

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