T Nation

Practical or Not?


Well, of course at a certain point size, strength, and surprise will play a role. A 100 lb woman is not going to control a 300 lb NFL lineman with a wrist lock.

If the two people are relatively close in size and strength though, then they can be very effective if done correctly. The ways that I was taught to utilize them, which is honestly slightly different than how I see them usually taught, were developed from working with incredibly strong and powerful people.

The element of surprise is also a crucial aspect. If I tell someone who is bigger and stronger than me that I am going to wrist lock them and to resist me fully, of course it’s not going to work. On the other hand if it comes as a complete surprise to them my chances go up significantly.

And finally, no technique works 100% of the time, so you must be able to flow to other skills, or escalate to greater levels of force should the need arise.



A situation is organic and you need to be too, you shouldn’t think in ‘techniques’. You have to change constantly to the situation(their reactions) so really you never have a ‘technique’ you try to do, just reactions to improve your position in the altercation.


Well said. But, I maintain that a more practical means to subdue an attacker is the best first line of defense. Knowing that, as you said, no technique works 100% of the time I like to first utilize techniques that have a higher percentage of working. Then the there is a better chance that the encounter will end quickly and in my favor.



(I must add more words)


Thank you! I like your workaround for the small posts. Much better than my “…” lol


A slightly-different-but-related thing: if any of you guys watch high-level college or international wrestling, this is especially true. Once you advance to a certain point, everybody is some basic level of “strong” and “fast” - the guys who do the best are the ones who move fluidly from one move into the next when the first is stopped, or who can effectively use one move to set up their next move.


Honestly, I have been taught many different ways of doing the various wrist locks, some from some of the most noteable small digit proponents out there. At this point it’s less of a “technique” thing and more of a conceptual thing for me.

That said, like I said, Shihan Walt developed some ways of doing some of the common wrist locks (Kote Gaeshi for example) that are slightly different from the ways that I commonly see them taught. He explained to me that having to work with his father and Shihan Charlie his whole life that he had to figure out ways to make them more effective against insanely strong people. I can tell you that doing them these ways does considerably increase the likelihood of pulling them off against strong opponents and makes them much more difficult to defend against as well.

But, that being said, I do completely agree that unless you have trained them to the point where they are weapons that you “own” against resistance, then other more direct means of physical force are probably the way to go, especially against physically superior opponents.


Absolutely. It’s true in any high level combat sport/Martial Art, it just sometimes takes slightly different forms.