Wrist Locks Do Work

Did you know that one of the most popular articles on the search engines about wrist locks claims that they don’t work?

You can probably guess what I say to that negative claim — Poppycock!

Wrist Locks Don’t Work (???)

I have used wrist locks for over 30 years … quite successfully, I might add. And I’m not the only one; my guesstimate is that in any given year, you have over two million martial artists, law enforcement officers, executive bodyguards, and correctional institution workers successfully employing some type of joint lock.

If the wrist locks, arm bars, and finger locks don’t work for the people denying their efficacy, then I have only one thing to say — THEY AREN’T DOING THEM CORRECTLY!

Note: By the way, I have found that martial artists who claim that wrist locks don’t work are usually the easiest to lock down. Ironic, eh?


Why Don’t Joint Locks Work For The Naysayers?

My guess is that it’s a question of both use and timing:

1) You can’t use wrist locks for everything, just the way you can’t kick above the waist while fighting someone in a telephone booth or small closet. (Are there any telephone booths left in the world?)

Wrist locks have specific uses … ending a fight, when you can’t beat your opponent to an unconscious pulp — controlling someone who grabs you or your purse or wallet — in conjunction with hits and kicks while ending a fight or dealing with someone who has grabbed you or your purse or wallet.

In other words, you don’t take a punch straight into a wrist lock. The situation is all wrong.


2) The timing of a wrist lock is oh so important. My favorite time to snap on a wrist lock is when my enemy is least expecting it … when they are dealing with my punches and/or kicks — when my opponent is looking the other way — on the off beat, between moves — when my enemy accidentally puts his or her hand almost in the perfect position for me to lock it. (Check for fakes and set-ups.)


3) A lot of anti-wrist lock martial artists make a big mistake when first trying to learn locks. This is what turns them off to joint locking, and what makes them believe that wrist locks don’t work.

When they lock, they focus on the hand or joint that they are locking … and they miss that their opponents still posses another limb and probably two feet.

You’ll get yourself in all sorts of trouble if you try to lock one fist and forget that their is another one already heading toward your face.

Note: Fortunately, if you execute the lock correctly, you can account for the other weapons.

Wrist Locks are great, and they do work, beautifully, if you know how to snap them on fast, and hard. Secure, controlling joint locks are great.

Don’t let anyone tell you that wrist locks don’t work.

Keith Pascal is the author of Wrist Locks: From Protecting Yourself to Becoming an Expert. Of course, he believes that wrist locks work.