Wrist locks???

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
427
Location
Cromwell,CT
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.

IMO, I'd avoid the books and tapes and dvds, and seek out someone who does: Aikido, Filipino arts, Japanese JJ, Hapkido, etc. You really need someone to show the fine points of these locks.

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.

Sometimes you just need to not be so gentle. Now, I'm not saying to bust up the guys wrist or arm, but you need to put a little more into it.


Does anyone have any ideas of how to test these safely, but still have a half way realistic struggle?

See my comment above. Like I said earlier, the majority of the time, unless I'm working on a specific lock, ie: doing something from a grab, I usually try to let the lock come to me, rather than me going to look for it.
 

shesulsa

Columbia Martial Arts Academy
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
May 27, 2004
Messages
27,172
Reaction score
461
Location
Not BC, Not DC
... 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?

You're probably missing the angle and you're probably not taking the slack out of the wrist and you're probably not using the meat of the hand or the right body part for pressure.

You may also be dealing with larger guys with thick, stiffer wrists, but there's ways around that.

It's hard to tell you more without seeing what you're actually doing wrong and being able to physically show you more. I'd recommend attending a joint locking seminar by a wing chun school, hapkido school or aikido school.
 

Nishibi Ryu

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
42
Reaction score
0
Location
Australia
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)


Yes I agree, I'm not exactly sure how that refers to what I was saying but I do understand what you are talking about!
 

Nishibi Ryu

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
42
Reaction score
0
Location
Australia
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?

Safe practice and finding out if it works on a non compliant Uki is near impossible. Its a matter of trust and faith in the hundreds of years of practice that has made all techniques what they are. You cannot practice breaking a bone or dislocating a joint you can only take it to a certain point and it is different on everyone. So practicing with someone and taking it to the point of pain is all you can do. Try mixing up the situations and play with it a bit and just realise that it will cause damage if you push too far.
One example of practice I have is for a side wrist lock, I take the hand and show how to apply the lock, it is a static demonstration because you must learn all of the mechanics of the lock. When I have doubters I have to apply it a bit harder and if I get full resistance I use their weight against them. I pull them toward me and as they come forward I am pushing back toward them. It causes a lot of pain and needs to be controlled but gets the point across that it will work on anyone!
 

zDom

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
Messages
3,081
Reaction score
105
Safe practice and finding out if it works on a non compliant Uki is near impossible.

Quoted for truth.

A qualified instructor and a good uke are essential for safe practice.

You, as someone new to joint locks, should avoid demonstrations and/or trials with non-compliant people. The outcome is almost certain to be bad in one way or another.

Trials have been conducted in the past. I recommend leaving demonstrations to experts.
 

Nomad

Master Black Belt
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,206
Reaction score
54
Location
San Diego, CA
Another point we've found is that there are some people who just don't have respond to locks and pain compliance (about 1 in 20 or so from our dojo).

Making them tap with a lock is nearly impossible, even with good technique, because they don't feel the lock in the same way that most do. To perform it correctly on them would involve breaking the limb or dislocating the joint instead... which of course is a viable option in a real encounter, but not so good on your training buddies.

Other than that, I strongly agree with distracting your opponent before doing a lock or throw... preferably by hitting them.
 

Gaius Julius Caesar

Black Belt
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
552
Reaction score
11
Location
Woodbridge, Va
I find that most people who can not get a wrist lock/manipulation to work is they try to apply it with only upper body guidence and power, a good lock?destruction takes using your legs and hips, your center for power and to move the joint. Anther problem is that when they intercept or seize the offending limb, they will guide it up infront of their chest or face.

A good joint lock on the wrist starts at the same plain as the interception/capture happend.

Follow this and it can help.

BTW You can work wrist locks durring free sparring, we have quite a bit but I would not let anyone under 2 year exp. try it as both Uke and Nage have to have good reactions and reflexes for what is going on. Nage needs to let off when he feels Uke is near breaking in movement, Uke has to know how to take airfalls over the arm to let off the pressure and beat Nage's technique to the ground.
 

sgtmac_46

Senior Master
Joined
Dec 19, 2004
Messages
4,752
Reaction score
187
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?

Wrist locks are an excellent low end use of force that can be used to control a subject you have a physical advantage on to avoid having to use greater levels of force. I've used various joint locks dozens upon dozens of times to great effect in my law enforcement career. They are excellent tools in the tool box. They work best when applied with some kind of distraction technique, such as a knee strike or palm heel.

What you've hit on is the fact that wrist locks don't work as well against folks prepared to counter them, and/or those who are physically bigger and stronger. They can be made to work in those situations, but only with considerable practice and understanding of the intricacies of their application, positioning, etc.

Bottom line is that they have much use, but not as a sole set of techniques alone.
 

sgtmac_46

Senior Master
Joined
Dec 19, 2004
Messages
4,752
Reaction score
187
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.

That's absolutely right. Someone using a hand held weapon by the vary nature of it's use apply it in a matter as to commit the wrist, limb to the attack, in a way different that someone who is punching or kicking, making it uniquely vulnerable to a joint lock when swinging a knife, stick or sword.
 
OP
K

Kyosanim

Orange Belt
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
86
Reaction score
0
Location
Michigan
That's absolutely right. Someone using a hand held weapon by the vary nature of it's use apply it in a matter as to commit the wrist, limb to the attack, in a way different that someone who is punching or kicking, making it uniquely vulnerable to a joint lock when swinging a knife, stick or sword.


And there it is. I have received some fine suggestions on this matter, but this is it. How to get around the already clinched fist when applying a wrist lock. I stay as loose a possible when sparring however the general public does not.

Most low ranks are tense my self included at one point (white - purple). It took a long time for me to loosen up. This natural response makes people hard to wrist lock in a fighting type situation. So how to get around it? There must be a way. Suggestions?
 

shesulsa

Columbia Martial Arts Academy
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
May 27, 2004
Messages
27,172
Reaction score
461
Location
Not BC, Not DC
And there it is. I have received some fine suggestions on this matter, but this is it. How to get around the already clinched fist when applying a wrist lock. I stay as loose a possible when sparring however the general public does not.

Most low ranks are tense my self included at one point (white - purple). It took a long time for me to loosen up. This natural response makes people hard to wrist lock in a fighting type situation. So how to get around it? There must be a way. Suggestions?

Getting a lock on a clenched fist is hard to describe ... but I'll try. :) First, let's try something so you get the idea of what we're going to do:

First - bend your own wrist with an open hand as far as it goes (as though you were doing situps only with your wrist).
Second - bend your own wrist with a clenched fist as far as it goes (as though you were doing curls only with your wrist).

Notice - it doesn't go as far with the clenched fist as it does with an open hand, does it?

The idea is to stroke the back of the wrist and hand toward the knuckles and wrap your fingers over the top of the opponent's (like your hand is spooning or wrapped around the clenched fist). Your other hand would be on the opponent's low forearm. The next two things happen at the same time:

1. Assuming you're defending against an incoming punch, you will turn your body - from the hips and possibly with an adjustment in your foot placement - so that the opponent's arm bends to form the bottom half of a square; you are facing at a 45 degree angle to the outside of the opponent facing you and the opponent's fingers would be pointing in that same direction.

2. Grip that hand and try to curl it down (like you did when you bent your wrist when your fist was clenched). Some leverage on the forearm in the opposite direction will aid in the tension on the wrist.

Note that this is a long-shot if you and your opponent are not decently matched in strength or if you are not superior in strength.

It helps to also explore diminishing your projection - if someone knows you're going to try to lock them, you will not find success easily.

I'll see if I can post some pics later.
 

sgtmac_46

Senior Master
Joined
Dec 19, 2004
Messages
4,752
Reaction score
187
And there it is. I have received some fine suggestions on this matter, but this is it. How to get around the already clinched fist when applying a wrist lock. I stay as loose a possible when sparring however the general public does not.

Most low ranks are tense my self included at one point (white - purple). It took a long time for me to loosen up. This natural response makes people hard to wrist lock in a fighting type situation. So how to get around it? There must be a way. Suggestions?


Once someone has clenched their fist, in order to apply a wrist lock, one must first take his mind off of his clenched fist.........via some sort of distraction. Knee strike to the side of the leg, palm heel to the back of the head, something that causes his brain to stop focusing on the clenched fist.

Here's the reality, though. Someone who has clenched a fist as currently punching at you is making a wrist lock a low percentage technique. If you do manage to catch an arm, a straight arm bar, in my experience, is a much higher percentage technique.

Once a guy is on the ground, one can use the arm being held and turn the armbar in to a wrist lock to assist in handcuffing, for example.
 

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
427
Location
Cromwell,CT
And there it is. I have received some fine suggestions on this matter, but this is it. How to get around the already clinched fist when applying a wrist lock. I stay as loose a possible when sparring however the general public does not.

Most low ranks are tense my self included at one point (white - purple). It took a long time for me to loosen up. This natural response makes people hard to wrist lock in a fighting type situation. So how to get around it? There must be a way. Suggestions?

As I said earlier, if something is not working, move onto something else. In this case you have a few options...1) soften the person up, so that you can get the wrist lock or 2) move onto another lock.
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,163
Reaction score
1,006
Location
Melbourne, Australia
And there it is. I have received some fine suggestions on this matter, but this is it. How to get around the already clinched fist when applying a wrist lock. I stay as loose a possible when sparring however the general public does not.

Most low ranks are tense my self included at one point (white - purple). It took a long time for me to loosen up. This natural response makes people hard to wrist lock in a fighting type situation. So how to get around it? There must be a way. Suggestions?

First off, the idea of grabbing a punch out of the air and applying a wrist lock is difficult to the point of being practicaly impossible to all but the best and luckiest of people. One of the reasons such actions are rather predominant in Japanese systems is that Japanese systems are more focused on grappling and grabbing attacks, and wrist locks are best used against a grabbing hand (when the other guy has generously "given" it to you), or as sgtmac said, when they are holding a weapon.

But if you want to know how to handle a clenched fist, well the simple thing is to open it! I tend to rarely give concrete technique here, but essentially I would most often opt for a strike to the metacarpals on the back of the hand. A good solid hit there will tend to at least weaken the fist, if not open it up entirely. Then grab and go! Cool?
 
OP
K

Kyosanim

Orange Belt
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
86
Reaction score
0
Location
Michigan
First off, the idea of grabbing a punch out of the air and applying a wrist lock is difficult to the point of being practicaly impossible to all but the best and luckiest of people. One of the reasons such actions are rather predominant in Japanese systems is that Japanese systems are more focused on grappling and grabbing attacks, and wrist locks are best used against a grabbing hand (when the other guy has generously "given" it to you), or as sgtmac said, when they are holding a weapon.

But if you want to know how to handle a clenched fist, well the simple thing is to open it! I tend to rarely give concrete technique here, but essentially I would most often opt for a strike to the metacarpals on the back of the hand. A good solid hit there will tend to at least weaken the fist, if not open it up entirely. Then grab and go! Cool?


Thanks man thats pretty good idea. In fact I was just trouble shooting this on Saturday, and found a couple of solutions myself. One is to attack the thumb. That seems to get some pretty consistent weakening of the clinched hand. Two there is a pressure point on the upper forearm to grab or strike if the person happens to be sensitive there. I have to say MJS is really right though the amount of trouble shooting I have put into this just to make this technique as effective as I was led to believe it was is ridiculous. And even now its still not the fifty million dollar technique they sell it as. I cannot figure out why they based an entire style of hapkido on these. This thread has kind of run its course, but I think a discussion on joint locks as a whole would be rather interesting as well as a productive topic that most everyone could enjoy.
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,163
Reaction score
1,006
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Thanks man thats pretty good idea.

Not a problem.

In fact I was just trouble shooting this on Saturday, and found a couple of solutions myself. One is to attack the thumb. That seems to get some pretty consistent weakening of the clinched hand.

Yes, attacking the thumb is a good strategy, however it won't be available against, say, a punching attack. If they're just holding their fist out, fine.

There are things I could mention here (oya goroshi, for instance), but really unless you have a teacher who really knows these things they are a little difficult to properly get across here. And there best understood by feeling them being applied!

Two there is a pressure point on the upper forearm to grab or strike if the person happens to be sensitive there.

Within the Ninjutsu-related systems that point is often refered to as Nagare, and has the effect of opening up the hand. It is most often used against a weapon, within the muto dori techniques (unarmed defences against a sword). Again, good, but to really know how to apply this, a teacher should show you. Being slightly off in targeting or angle can make a huge difference.

I have to say MJS is really right though the amount of trouble shooting I have put into this just to make this technique as effective as I was led to believe it was is ridiculous.

Well, if it requires that amount of "trouble shooting", then that tells me that you haven't been exposed to the proper application as of yet. That's not an attack on your teachers, but if such techniques are not a common part of your system (from memory, they're not, are they?), then I think that's understandable. As with any technique, the application is the important thing, and simply taking something from outside of your systems teachings because someone else can make it work often misses a large number of important details, making it harder and harder for you to apply these new techniques.

And even now its still not the fifty million dollar technique they sell it as. I cannot figure out why they based an entire style of hapkido on these.

There is no such thing as a "$50 million dollar" technique. Each technique has an application in which it is ideal, and worth more than any other, and each technique has situations where it is less than useless. The thing is to recognise which is which.

As to why Hapkido based an entire system on these techniques, well that is because it is a perfect expression of Hapkido's philosophy. Hapkido is believed by most to have come from Daito Ryu Aikijutsu, same as Aikido, and as such it is based on grappling methods as many Japanese systems are. That is because it is a perfect match for the requirements, whereas striking and kicking is less effective (culturally and historically speaking).

So in short, although I don't agree that Hapkido bases their entire system on wrist locks, the reason they have a prominence is that it is Hapkido. And if you study Hapkido, you will be shown correct applications, and they will work. But the setting needs to be correct first. Hints online can only take you so far, really.

This thread has kind of run its course, but I think a discussion on joint locks as a whole would be rather interesting as well as a productive topic that most everyone could enjoy.

Yeah, this has been a good discussion, from all here. Very cool.

The big thing that you will need to realise here, though, is that you probably haven't been trying them with the correct application (when, where, how, which is far more than just the physical technique, as it incorporates the rest of the surrounding influences). And for that you will need a teacher who can take you through it fully.
 

zDom

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
Messages
3,081
Reaction score
105
I cannot figure out why they based an entire style of hapkido on these.

Do you mean one specific style of hapkido that is based entirely on wrist locks?

Or are you mistakenly thinking that hapkido, as a rule, is "based on" wrist locking?

Because hapkido is much, much more than just a collection of wrist locks. It seems like a lot of people don't understand that.

My instructor makes clear from Day 1 that wrist locks are a long-term investment, that beginners may not be able to use them effectively until after years of training.

But have you ever notice how freakishly strong the grip of an old man or woman can be even when the rest of their body has become frail? In our latter years when our bones are becoming brittle and striking becomes less and less of a viable option, we will still have these techniques as an option.
 

Latest Discussions

Top