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6 Devastating Wrist Locks For BJJ You Should Know

6 Devastating Wrist Locks For BJJ You Should Know


Wrist Locks Are A 'Secret Submission' That You Can Hit From Virtually Everywhere!

Wrist locks do not get enough attention in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Some BJJ players forget that wrist locks can be hit from virtually any position. If someone tells you wrist locks are a move only a-holes do then forget about them, because wrist locks are a super effective submission and there are tons of a high level grapplers using wrist locks all the time! Makes the wrist lock is a good technique for smaller guys to learn for bigger opponents. They do not require a lot of strength or athleticism to pull off. They are also great for beginners to learn too as they are usually fairly easy to do.

Even though The Danaher Death Squad guys are known for their leg locks... and now triangles, John Danaher also is a master of explaining and breaking down the triangle submission.


Wrist locks are often taught from the very first few days you step on the mat but can take a life time to truly master. But once you learn them they will likely become one of your best secret submissions to pull out against even the most unsuspecting opponents. So why not have a few in your arsenal just in case? With all that in mind, let’s take a look at 6 devastating wrist locks for BJJ that you should know!

#1. Claudio Calasans Americana Wrist Lock

Claudio Calasans is a Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, regarded by many as one of the top middle weights in the sport. Watch the video below of Claudio demonstrating his Americana wrist lock then we will break down the technique. Check it out now!

Claudio Calasans starts this wrist lock technique from bottom closed guard position. Typically your opponent will stand up in an attempt to break your guard. To counter this, first, grab your opponent’s sleeve as he goes to stand. Use your leg and your hand around his forearm and at the same time grab your training partner’s wrist. Pull your opponent forward with your legs to break his posture and use your far hand to establish a cross grip, holding the wrist from the inside. Once you bring his elbow close to your chest you lock it in so you can drive his arm and hand towards his shoulder. This makes it easier to finish the wrist lock. Once you do this, change your grip and the wrist lock is right there.

#2: Wrist Lock From Bottom Closed Guard

Here is another wrist lock from bottom closed guard. Rodrigo is a black belt in Judo and a Brazilian National Champion in Judo. He is a world class wrestler and 7x National Wrestling Champion in Brazil. He is also a black belt in Jiu Jitsu, and 2x ADCC verteran. Rodrigo has coached some of the best Brazilian UFC fighters including Vitor Belfort, the Noguira Brothers, Werdum, and Crocop. Let’s see how Rodrigo does the wrist lock from bottom closed guard. Check out the video below and then we will break down the technique!

The bottom closed guard is often thought only as a defensive position, and not one you would think you could hit a wrist lock from but this proves that way of thinking to be wrong. The most important part of this wrist lock is in the setup. The first thing Rodrigo likes to do when his training partner has a hold of his gi sleeve is to grab his wrist and then break his posture using his legs to bump him forward. Rodrigo swims his other arm underneath and over his training partner’s arm to secure his grip. Once the grip is secured, Rodrigo switches his closed guard so that it is high up on his training partner’s back, controlling his arms and shoulders. Rodrigo traps the shoulders and then changes his grip to submit his opponent with the wrist lock.

#3: The Unescapable Wrist Lock by Fabiano "Pega-Leve" Scherner

Fabiano has won the Black Belt Masters World 10 times in his career. His old school approach to BJJ attracts high profile students from all over the world, including UFC fighters Chael Sonnen and Paige Vanzant. His techniques and patience allows him to exert minimal strength and energy to dominate his opponents. Let’s check out Fabiano’s unescapable wrist lock. Watch the video below!

This is a very basic approach to wrist lock from side control. By faking an arm triangle Fabiano gives himself the perfect opportunity to set up his opponent’s arm for the wrist lock. By flaring the elbow, Fabiano assures that his opponent will not be able to push back against him. This makes it easy to apply force to the wrist for a quick tap. Also note that by controlling his opponents shoulder with both arms he prevents any easy escape. Fabiano’s use of his chin to control the wrist makes it very difficult for his opponent to push away. This is a great wrist lock because it is low effort and low risk.

#4: Nasty Wrist Lock by Jamico Elder

Jamico Elder is a master when it comes to wrist locks. Jamico is going to demonstrate one of his favorite wrist locks for when his opponent is standing and grabs high on the collar. Watch the video below of Jamico Elder demonstrating his wrist lock and then we will break down his technique. Check it out now!

This is a very good wrist lock from the standing position when your opponent his a high collar grip. Notice it really takes almost no movement. To hit this wrist lock, Jamico comes across his training partner’s elbow with both his wrists. He forms a gable grip and forces his opponent’s arm downwards. This break his training partner’s posture, and also weakens his grip. Notice that the wrist lock is right there! By twisting your body and pressuring the arm you tighten up the wrist lock and cause your opponent to tap.

#5: Wrist Lock on Cats Paw Grip

Travis Stevens is a judoka and Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner from the United States who competed in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. Travis is a master when it comes to hitting wrist locks. If an Olympic medalist is using wrist locks, then it is quite obvious you should be too. So watch the video below of Travis Stevens demonstrating his wrist lock on cats paw grip and then we will break down the technique below. Check it out now!

To hit this submission, you want to get a four finger grip on the outside of your training partner’s gi in order for this wrist lock to work. This can only be done in a case where your training partner has a tight wrist lock grip. If you are against an opponent who is really good at controlling your arm with that grip you want to roll your arm to make the wrist face you. Now turn your elbow in and roll your hip away. This will cause your training partner’s fingers to get trapped in your gi. From here, chop down on your opponent’s wrist. Your training partner’s wrist will bend when you do this, which is the movement you are looking for. Cross your arms to secure the wrist lock against your body forcing your opponent to tap.

#6: Wrist Lock From Top Half Guard by Fabiano Scherner

The last wrist lock we will look at is another from Fabiano Scherner. This is another low effort, low risk wrist lock that works against anyone. Check it out now!

Often times your opponent is going to try and frame away at your shoulder. To start, trap your training partner’s arm while he’s framing. His wrist will be stuck on your shoulder, his arm is trapped under your chin, and you control his shoulder. By scooping the shoulder and pressuring forward you tighten the pressure on his wrist and now his arm is really stuck. From here you can pass your opposite arm to the other side of your opponent’s head to really tighten up the lock. Now grab his elbow and pull it out, and the tap is right there.

The next time someone tells you wrist locks are lame you should submit them with one of the wrist locks you learned here today. I hope you find these wrist locks useful!

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