Thursday, September 29, 2011

Escaping from a Wrist Hold

               One of the most common types of attacks is for a suspect to grab you.  This could be done for a variety of reasons.  The attacker may be trying to intimidate you.  He or she could be setting you up for a punch or other attack.  Or it could be that the assailant is trying to force you to come with them (see The Most Dangerous Time in a Crime).
               Last month, we looked at how critical footing and balance are to any self-defense move.  Now, we are going to add techniques to escape from a wrist grab.
               Unlike in the movies, most street fights are not glamorous or long kick-boxing matches.  Usually, they turn into a grappling contest, perhaps with a couple of strikes thrown in.
               One common grab is for a suspect to grab your wrist.  The important thing is to be able to escape the hold quickly, before you can be jerked off balance, struck or have someone put you in an arm lock from which escape is extremely difficult.

               When someone grabs your wrist, whether with the same side or opposite hand, the escape technique will be essentially the same.  You want to pull against their thumb.  That is the weak link in a hold.  If you try to escape by pulling or pushing against their palm or four fingers, you will fail.  The best approach is to twist the wrist within their grasp so the thinnest side is pointed towards the thumb and immediately rip it away forcefully.
               Done quickly and without hesitation, this will work.  Another approach uses the strength of your whole arm to break the grip.  Twist your gripped arm upwards, over the attackers arm.  Then grasp your own hand as if shaking your hand and pull sharply to your outside.  This will break the hold even if the attacker is larger and stronger.  It also puts you in an excellent position to strike back at their face with your elbow.
               An attacker may grab you with both hands.  Not to fear, the same basic escape is used.  Usually, when you grab an arm in front of you, both thumbs will align on top.  In this case, grasp your locked arm with your other hand and pull up, towards you while stepping back and twisting away, while maintaining your balance and footing (step back and drop your center of gravity).
               There is one more way to escape a wrist hold.  With your free hand or foot, punch, kick or strike the suspect by stepping into the hold as you counter-attack.  Be prepared to follow up with more strikes as needed until the attacker is down and you can escape.
               Practice with a friend, relative or spouse so that your response becomes instinct and you can do the escapes without thinking.  Remember to keep your feet placed so you do not lose your balance.


Have you wondered how to deal with an aggressive employee or phone threats against a staff member?  Do you have the security system you should?  Are you worried about how your business would handle an emergency situation?  There are lots of worries as a leader in your organization.  Security risks do not have to be one of them. 

Get solutions to your questions.  Contact eric@businesskarate.com. 

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