Is there a style of Martial Arts that requires a person to be double-jointed or is performed better if double-jointed?

enter image description here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njWL8woekB8
You must watch to get the range of mobility possible.

Lockration Ronda Rousey in the process of making Sarah Kauffman double-jointed.

This commentary remark suggest that the fighter on her back is being put into a hold that over extends her joint.

Would double-jointed ability make a person immune to certain holds or perform holds that others cannot?

(fcfighting.com) http://lockration.blogspot.com/2013/02/looking-for-fight-ufc-157.html

  • 1
    No, none that I can think of. Maybe you can invent one. :) Feb 26, 2019 at 20:12
  • 1
    Welcome to the site. What exactly is the purpose of your question?
    – slugster
    Feb 26, 2019 at 23:39
  • @slugster pure interests if having double-jointed abilities could increase performance or give a mechanical advantage in martial arts?
    – Muze
    Feb 26, 2019 at 23:45
  • 2
    There are many myths about double jointedness - including whether or not it is a thing. Please describe what you mean by the term.
    – Andrew Jay
    Feb 27, 2019 at 21:57

4 Answers 4


Double-jointedness, as a physical condition, is neither desirable nor of advantage in martial arts, and I speak here both from a medical and a first-hand experience perspective. And I clearly distinguish here between what is achieved by flexibility exercises and what is an unusual physical condition.

  • It does in no way prevent you from being submitted in joint locks. It may enable you to escape in cases others cannot - given a lack of control. You have somewhat more of a leeway, especially in MMA, where you cannot exercise additional control by means of a jacket. But this does not make up for the negative aspects of it. You feel pain and your flexibility is not endless. Submission techniques are designed so that they can accommodate hyper-flexibility quite well, so well-applied techniques will result in submission nevertheless.

  • It is often accompanied (or even caused) by connective tissue defects, meaning that your muscles have to compensate for your weaker connective tissue (including ligaments) to reach the same level of stability in your joints and spine. Common results are sprains, back pain and prolapsed discs, and (very early) osteoarthritis where other people do not have the same problems given the same muscular structure and strain. In other words: Your body ages comparatively faster with regard to joints. This is clearly a negative implication in the context of martial arts.

  • One of the few upsides is that you less often have ruptures of ligaments since they are often "just" overextended instead, but this does not really help you in any way in martial arts apart from when something that should not go wrong does go wrong, i.e. by not having to go through lengthy chirurgical and rehabilitation procedures as often as others do.

In other words: As a physical condition proper (i.e. not simply in form of flexibility achieved by exercise), it is a pathological condition you have to make up for by more muscular stability. In a world of weight-classes, this is mostly a disadvantage both in weight and training time. Additionally, your physical ageing is faster than usual due to regular joint strains and the accompanying small inflammations in the joints, especially the finger joints. Thickened joints with osteoarthritis and prolapsed discs as early as in their twenties or thirties are not uncommon among grapplers with this physical condition.

  • Thank you. This is a lot of what I wanted to contribute, but I pushed the first person experience. Complicating things is that media such as comics and films happily create fake martial arts based on conditions like this. Just look at Ragdoll or some versions of Scarecrow. Mar 2, 2019 at 17:38

If by "double jointed", you mean hyper-mobility, or hyper-flexion, which is characterized by abnormal joints which flex further than normal, then no. I've done some research and could find no martial art which requires such skill or curse.

As to whether there is a style where you might perform better by being hyper-mobile, then no, I could find no such style here, either, despite that some schools can encourage it.

As a note, I would say most styles - be it martial, aesthetic, or spiritual - do not require hyper-mobility, but some strive for ultra flexibility.

For example, some styles of yoga have hyper-mobility as a goal. Nonetheless, such capability is not required, and usually, is not beneficial. In combat styles like Taekwondo, such flexibility is occasionally desired, but it is not a requisite. In fact it can be detrimental. Being hyper-mobile doesn't necessarily mean "strong", and often, one is very weak (and very compromised) at these extreme ranges of motion. Were you to shore up that weakness, you lose flexibility.

So it is a trade-off: what are your goals? If for aesthetics, then by all means, go for hyper-mobility. Go to extreme yoga classes, buy Chuck Norris' stretch machine, or straddle across two chairs.

But if you are looking for sport competition or self-defense, then such mobility can be harmful to your goals.

  • 1
    Good answer. I will point out that hyper mobility versus "ultra" flexibility is a matter of degree. I would say the average person's joint mobility (shoulders, hips, back) should be improved for martial arts but not to the point of contortion.
    – mattm
    Mar 1, 2019 at 16:33

Hyper mobility in an arm will not protect it from extension arm locks. Everyone's elbow joint has a limited range of motion; levering the arm past that range of motion will break something in the elbow joint. It doesn't matter whether the arm's range of motion is 180 degrees, 150 degrees, or 200 degrees; something will still break past the end of the range.

  • How can I make this question better?
    – Muze
    Mar 1, 2019 at 16:47
  • Updated the question. Have you seen the video?
    – Muze
    Mar 1, 2019 at 16:54
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    @Muze I think Andrew Jennings has already improved this question substantially by helping to clarify what you mean by double-jointed, and by you providing concrete examples.
    – mattm
    Mar 1, 2019 at 18:34
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    @Muze I watched some of the video. The guy has exceptional flexibility, but his elbows are still hinge joints.
    – mattm
    Mar 1, 2019 at 18:48

The joint on final travel is very weak so mechanical advantage of above the average person is useless .The pain tolerance maybe it's higher because of this ability but if you twist the trapped arm or feet the pain will come . Because immobilisation came before applying the pain techniques this double joint feature is no guarantee to escape but will probably have some degrees of freedom and more time to think to tapp. https://www.instagram.com/p/CFzfLJ9jeGv/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

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