Wrist locks???

Kyosanim

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After a lot of thinking and reflecting I have been reviewing joint locks I learned, and have found an issue. Maybe the wonderful people on here can help me out?

Just what are wrist locks good for??? I have been trying these on friends with full resistance and I know I'm doing it right, but I find that when the wrist is flexed by way of making a fist the lock becomes impossible.

I even had a friend who does the lock well and is much stronger than I am try it on me, and nothing. You just can't force the lock. In grappling matches we tried it, and still simply making a fist counters the lock. Now when being grabbed by the wrist they work at full resistance, but even in matches I rarely see wrist grabs.

I have also found many people are immune to wrist locks, and many others are just too flexible for the lock to work properly.

Why is such an unreliable technique so wide spread and taught so often.
I realize these are great in jujitsu but if I'm not fighting a jujitsuka then just how do I use these???? I never really questioned what I was taught, but I cannot seem to find a way for these to be useful in practical application other than woman defending against an abusive spouse. I have found elbow locks to be far more reliable and practical in sparring ( meaning we actually managed to get the locks in a match from various positions NOT JUST FROM ONE POSITION ) Thoughts?
 

Makalakumu

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I've used wrists locks while grappling quite a bit. Sure, you can defeat them, but then you just need to move on to something else. Wrists locks work, but they aren't a magic bullet. I wouldn't base an entire system around them.
 

Chris Parker

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Within our schools we have a little saying, "a blow before the throw", meaning that you need to distract before utilising a grappling technique. So if they are able to resist it (by being fully aware of what you are doing), you're not applying it in the right way. I'm not talking about the position of your thumbs, or the Ki finger, or any such thing, but rather that you are applying them when there is the least chance of success.

If you want these to work, hit the other guy first! Hard! Then when he doesn't know what's going on, grab the wrist and go.
 

seasoned

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Wrist locks are in the category of compliance techniques. Subtle hits while maneuvering into position will distract them. Grabbing their arm in a fight is common while blocking, and begins the technique of locks. Palm strikes to their face, or finger flicks to the groin are good.
 
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Haakon

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Wrist locks are one tool in the tool box. If your opponent knows what technique you're going to do and isn't going to go along with it most of them will fail, that's not just limited to wrist locks. How well does a leg sweep work when the person knows you're going to do it?

If you attempt a wrist lock and it doesn't work you move on to something else, but when you get the lock in, you're in control. Police use them every day to control suspects, most people won't know exactly what you're doing or how to counter it.
 

repz

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Wrist locks are good when someone is holding something that leaves their fingers not interconnected (which means they dont have much strength). Like if they grab your shirt, or has some weapon in their hand.

I know in bjj they used to be used in competetiton (i heard now they are starting to be banned, or competitors are complaining about it). They have tapped some people out by surprise, but its not common, and its hard to apply with someone sensitive to body movements that know a manipulation of his joints is coming.
 

MJS

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After a lot of thinking and reflecting I have been reviewing joint locks I learned, and have found an issue. Maybe the wonderful people on here can help me out?

Just what are wrist locks good for??? I have been trying these on friends with full resistance and I know I'm doing it right, but I find that when the wrist is flexed by way of making a fist the lock becomes impossible.

I even had a friend who does the lock well and is much stronger than I am try it on me, and nothing. You just can't force the lock. In grappling matches we tried it, and still simply making a fist counters the lock. Now when being grabbed by the wrist they work at full resistance, but even in matches I rarely see wrist grabs.

I have also found many people are immune to wrist locks, and many others are just too flexible for the lock to work properly.

Why is such an unreliable technique so wide spread and taught so often.
I realize these are great in jujitsu but if I'm not fighting a jujitsuka then just how do I use these???? I never really questioned what I was taught, but I cannot seem to find a way for these to be useful in practical application other than woman defending against an abusive spouse. I have found elbow locks to be far more reliable and practical in sparring ( meaning we actually managed to get the locks in a match from various positions NOT JUST FROM ONE POSITION ) Thoughts?

Locks do work. Chris pretty much echoed my thoughts. I've worked with some people, and yes, they started resisting, so I did something to distract them. :D And yes, the lock worked. Of course, keep in mind, any time someone really resists something, the chances of injury to that person, go up.

Chances are the people you're doing these locks on, know what you're going to try, thus they want to give you a hard time.

As for people not being affected by them....yes, thats always a possibility. I've worked with some people, who I swear their hands were made out of rubber. Like anything, if its not working, I'm not going to keep playing around, trying to make it work....I'm going to move on to something else.
 

tellner

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The emphasis on wrist locks makes more sense in historical context. If you are unarmed and your opponent has a sword control of the weapon hand is more important that, well, pretty much everything. And later on Aikido emphasized pain-compliance and control which puts a premium on wrist locks.

Pain compliance depends on the other guy being reasonable enough to stop when he feels uncomfortable. I've always figured if he were reasonable he wouldn't have attacked me. Stuff that makes him incapable of hurting me is a better bet. In other words, break, don't lock. Them move on to whatever you have to do next.
 
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Kyosanim

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The emphasis on wrist locks makes more sense in historical context. If you are unarmed and your opponent has a sword control of the weapon hand is more important that, well, pretty much everything. And later on Aikido emphasized pain-compliance and control which puts a premium on wrist locks.

Pain compliance depends on the other guy being reasonable enough to stop when he feels uncomfortable. I've always figured if he were reasonable he wouldn't have attacked me. Stuff that makes him incapable of hurting me is a better bet. In other words, break, don't lock. Them move on to whatever you have to do next.

Yeah...... I thought as much. It seems to me that they are very based on the assumption that everyone else fights the way you do. Not a smart bet. I just wish I could find a system for these that makes them more reliable because counting on a wrist grab is not working. It just does not happen that way in sparring or other wise. A hapkido black belt from my old school told me that if it does not work make it work. This was spoken in reference to joint locks and pressure points. Thats fine and dandy when your a man bear, but it seems to me that MJS's thinking is more on the right track. I have two pressure points on my head that my dad always used to push when he had me in a head lock.
Thanks to him these don't work so well on me anymore, in fact the barely work at all. I have found many people to be very easily brought down by these. Obvious conclusion not everyone is hurt by the same things ergo making it work is likely to cost me. I see what you guys mean about distraction, but even so if someone is attacking me I'm not going to bother with this. If I lock them at all I have found the elbow and shoulder far more reliable.
 

David43515

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All locks, from finger and wrist locks to full Nelsons and Japanese strangles, can be countered if you apply them at the wrong time. You should never have to force any lock. If you do, it`s probably not the best choice for the situation anyway. Always soften them up with pain, or a sudden loss of balance.

I`ve used wrist locks successfully in fights against trained wrestlers, and I`ve had them fail against people who muscled through them. So I moved on to something else that worked. (A shoulder lock, an elbow to the head, a bite, a push onto thier butt, etc)

Wrist locks work wonderfully when you use them at the appropriate time, just like every other lock, strike, throw, trip, or kick. Wrists are a high percentage move when done correctly because when someone tries to lay hands on you, thier wrists are the closest thing to you.
 

Nishibi Ryu

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I find that you must find the opportunity to use all techniques not just locks. If someone knows you are going to do a right hook or jab or throw or front kick they will resist or avoid all of them and none could be considered effective.

This fixation people have with what works and what does not is rediculous, all techniques are perfect it is us who is not.
When a fist is made a wrist lock works just as well as an open hand if not faster, I tried it on a student last week and he said it came on quicker.
I have also had some kick boxers come in and have had no trouble applying them and they always resist. The more resistance given requires more pressure and speed from you and that damages the wrist that is why you are taught to apply them slowly.
So stop thinking and start doing and wait for an opening to all you have learnt and if that does not work try moving your hips more when you apply it and use less arm strength!
 

Nishibi Ryu

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Another point you should remember when referring to pain compliance not working is that after pain there is breaking or dislocation. So if you take your lock further when it does not work you WILL break something, will your attacker keep coming with a broken wrist, arm etc etc????
If he does the best option is RUN cos he is a nut job!!!
 

elder999

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Just what are wrist locks good for??? I have been trying these on friends with full resistance and I know I'm doing it right, but I find that when the wrist is flexed by way of making a fist the lock becomes impossible.) Thoughts?

A guy reaches into his pocket (or jacket-even more alarming...), probably for a knife or other weapon. Along with the knifehand to his collarbone, a wristlock works well here, in that he wants to take the hand out of his pocket, and his own motion lends itself to making the wrist lock work.
 

FearlessFreep

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Every technique has a counter. The trick is to get the counter in before the technique sets in. Once the technique is set in, it's usually too late to counter directly and you need to do something else to break the technique. However, no counter is perfect either. It's a give and take (or as we say in class "flow and go") If you counter my first technique, my reaction should not be to keep trying to force something that won't work but to flow to something else, preferably something that has opened because of your counter. As mentioned, punches, spits, low kicks, etc..are excellent ways of interrupting someone's attempt to counter what you are doing

But any technique can be countered is you know ahead of time to counter the technique
 

FearlessFreep

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Another point you should remember when referring to pain compliance not working is that after pain there is breaking or dislocation. So if you take your lock further when it does not work you WILL break something, will your attacker keep coming with a broken wrist, arm etc etc????
If he does the best option is RUN cos he is a nut job!!!

We look at all manipulation techniques as flowing between Pain Compliance and Joint Compliance. Joint Compliance is a mechanical positioning of the body in such a way that the body moves (or doesn't) in a particular way. Pain or not, biomechanics are biomechanics and the body just works certain ways. Some techniques (or usually some parts of the dynamic application of a technique) will apply one or the other, or both. So we train to recognize at the various points what sorta of compliance we are affecting (if any, there are points sometimes where you will have neither and you must be aware of that because that's usually a good time to throw in some other distraction to get the opponents mind elsewhere)
 

FearlessFreep

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A hapkido black belt from my old school told me that if it does not work make it work.

NO! If it does not work, move on to something else. Not all techniques work for all people, not all techniques work on all people. As a general rule, most techniques will work for most people but that's only a very, very general broad rule. The problem is not usually the mechanics of the technique itself but the application at that point in time (your skill, their resistance, their strength, etc...)

Example, there are pressure points in the arm that can assist a technique. People who work with their arms a lot or have thick arms are harder to get to activate those pressure points. So a technique that works against those pressure points is going to be much harder to get to work.

In class, with partners, work the technique until you understand the mechanics and application of the technique well enough that you can get it to work on your partners. In the wild, if it ain't working, MOVE ON!
 

zDom

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I was pitching to a friend the other day and figured out that fastballs don't work! He kept knocking them out of the park!


Ok, not really — but I'm using this to make a point.

The first half has already been dealt with above: if they KNOW what's coming, it really REALLY reduces the chances of success.

But the other half is: I have no experience pitching. I mean, I've seen it done on TV all the time, had some friend show me how to throw a fastball ...

and I could PROBABLY strike out my little sister with it. Albert Pujols? Uhhhh I don't think so.

What I'm getting at is, you don't really know the ins and outs of wrist locking so YOUR chances of success are even lower.

I reckon I might be able to make one work on your friends. But then, I wouldn't even TRY to force a particular lock: if they resist me going THIS way, I go THAT way for a lock.

Which, by the way, is what those long series of joint locks you see in hapkido clips on youtube are REALLY about: in combat, we aren't likely to switch to a second lock if the first one is working.

Nor are we likely to persist in a lock if it is being resisted — we take that resistance to add power to another lock going in the direction the resistance is moving toward.


And for what its worth, I call them "wrist locks" as verbal shorthand, but I really think of them all as

"wrist breaks that I can stop short of breaking if I want to be nice"
 

tellner

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A hapkido black belt from my old school told me that if it does not work make it work. This was spoken in reference to joint locks and pressure points.

If it doesn't work do something else. While you're sitting there trying to make reality conform to your style's fantasy the other guy will be doing the tarantella on your head.
 

shesulsa

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My limited experience is that most folks don't perform wrist locks correctly unless this is the core of their art - either the emphasis is on torque with the arm in a position where turning out is an easy option or not enough slack is out of the wrist, the angles are wrong, etcetera.

It is a tool in the box. They won't work on everyone, so don't use them on everyone. It is truly stated that beyond the pain the recipient may not feel is joint damage rendering the joint either seriously debilitated or unusable (save the population that has herculean strength either due to extreme training or the influence of chemicals).

Locks are not a panacea - nothing is a panacea, not even a gun. But they are also not worthless.
 
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Kyosanim

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We look at all manipulation techniques as flowing between Pain Compliance and Joint Compliance. Joint Compliance is a mechanical positioning of the body in such a way that the body moves (or doesn't) in a particular way. Pain or not, biomechanics are biomechanics and the body just works certain ways. Some techniques (or usually some parts of the dynamic application of a technique) will apply one or the other, or both. So we train to recognize at the various points what sorta of compliance we are affecting (if any, there are points sometimes where you will have neither and you must be aware of that because that's usually a good time to throw in some other distraction to get the opponents mind elsewhere)

I like many of the answers I have received on this thread. I'm not sure if I'm dealing with more seasoned martial artists or just ones who are more grappling oriented, but are there some specific tricks anyone can recommend or perhaps helpful books? I no longer study at my former dojang. Also just to be clear I'm not knocking wrist locks as i have found many openings for them, but I just can't seem to get the lock to stick. I have tried attacking the tendons in the wrist to apply these locks with some success, but not what I'm looking for. Perhaps I'm just being to gentle when I perform them, but I really don't want to go any harder in practice for fear of injury. Does anyone have any ideas of how to test these safely, but still have a half way realistic struggle?
 

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