Suppose someone catches your hand from behind, locks your arm and controls you. (As can be seen in second 11 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bvm_vhe24hY). Is there a way to release from this state?

3 Answers 3


Those in the video are very close to the techniques I learn. It's actually very easy to get out of any one of the techniques. The difficulty comes when the person performing the wrist lock/arm lock starts to switch technique to adapt to your attempts to escape.

For example take the technique at 0.23. This is supposed to be a bent arm technique, but the person on the left straightens his arm. The correct response to this is to move to an arm bar which they don't do. Instead they keep the now useless technique applied. I'm not impressed by this video as they don't progress from one technique to the next correctly.

For the arm bar you want to either:

A) find a way to bend your arm. or B) sweep/grab the leg.

If the person applying the technique knows what they are doing they will move to a more appropriate technique for a bent arm if you try A. They will also try to position themselves so you can't do B. Most likely though they won't know the family of techniques well enough to leave no openings.

  • 1
    Thanks a lot. Could you please add a video to demonstrate the solution? It can be very helpful.
    – Avi
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 11:40
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    If I can find a partner to film with I could. I can't promise anything though.
    – Huw Evans
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 20:59
  • I am looking forward.... It will be very helpful
    – Avi
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 21:52

For the 'Hug' in the 11th second, honestly, I dont see any controling, as the guy in front is still able to move and he is still able to deliver punches, headbutts (before he was grabbed by his throoat) even can hit the "controlers" groin with hand or knee.

He even supports turning out of the hold while grabbing the throat as your first reflex would be to pull thead back and turn away. I dont think that this scenario works with an resisting partner.


I'm sure the grapplers will have a lot of great counters. Here's a few that immediately come to mind, going from late counter to early counter:

  • If you have the shoulder flexibility that your wrist has to go fairly far up your back, then one option is to drop a bit and drive your elbow of your free arm downward into the person trying to lock you up from that position.

  • Alternatively, if you've got some flexibility on that lock, you can do a leg scoop with your free hand and fall into them. You're risking the locked arm's shoulder, but they're getting your full body weight driven into them in the ground - most folks will let go as they fall.

  • A common solution when you are getting put into that arm lock is to spin INTO the lock (The guy is getting his right arm locked, so he'd spin to the right). However, this is a common solution and usually the one people expect and read well - on the other hand, if you're fast you can get around it.

The better solutions, however are to counter the lock before it gets behind your back:

  • When the wrist crank begins, stepping in and turning right takes some of the pressure off your wrist and allows you to strike/grapple/threaten with your left arm.

  • If you're starting to get cranked down, you can slap the inside of your locked arm with your free hand to force a bend into your elbow and then continue as above.

  • For my style of silat, whenever someone grabs your wrist/hand, we just hammer the hand that grabs us. We'll use a wrist bone or a knuckle, or a weapon.

You'll probably also note that most arts that have any basic familiarity with grappling just don't end up in that starting position - the straight armed choke/lapel grab, because it's just a position that leaves you vulnerable to those kinds of counters and more. (At least, as a static position... you might run through it briefly as you're doing a pull in for a head butt or elbow, or closing for some kind of twist down)

  • Thanks a lot @Bankuei, Is there any vidoes I can see your great solutions?
    – Avi
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 3:59
  • I'll go dig some up and post in a few days.
    – Bankuei
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 18:20
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    Here's an example of rotating out of the hammerlock. What it doesn't show is that this is the most expected way out of it, so the person doing the lock with any intelligence ought to be either slamming you into a wall, the ground, kneeing you, or moving with you when you try to escape: youtube.com/watch?v=YybWfedmHsw
    – Bankuei
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 18:53
  • Thanks a lot again. However, when real hammer lock/ arm lock is done the attacker has 2 locking point: the arm and wrist and it is much more complicated to turn around as seen in TV because of the great pressure in 2 different points in hand. I wish there were some additional techniques.
    – Avi
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 19:17
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    Master Wong (colorfulness aside) shows an example to help deal with the wrist rotation by using your free hand then bodyweight: youtube.com/watch?v=sMC_uLjzEZ0 That said, the easier counters are early on before your arm is behind your back. (I'm also looking for a good example of the elbow drop method I mention, but it shows up mostly in silat and not necessarily a commonly shown technique - and also the fact that the video you linked shows the locker to the SIDE of the person not behind them makes it possible).
    – Bankuei
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 19:35

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