Attack From Uncharted Territory With Wrist Attacks
The Often Unexplored World of Wrist Locks
Sometimes moves in jiu jitsu are thought of as being “dirty.” When this type of thought comes up, I think to teachers’ methodology: if it works it works. When people think of “dirty” moves they often think about leg attacks, because they can quickly end a match from virtually anywhere. But in practice leg attacks are quite limited in jiu jitsu and grappling competitions. If you really want a move is guaranteed to piss off your opponent because of its simplicity then you should explore the world of wrist locks.
To secure a position while grappling it is always important to secure at least one grip. The majority of all grips will involve use of the hand, which is quite obviously attached to the wrist. You will need some sort of grip in order to escape any position and control your training partner. The reality of the human body is that the wrist is a very weak joint, with limited mobility in all directions. As a result of this, the wrist is very fragile.
Quick tip by Travis Stevens: It is crucial to know that a wrist lock is available in any circumstance where you are able to touch your opponent’s hands.
Of course, it can be easily defended from a variety of positions, but the mere act of defending a wrist lock can open up other attacks. Just because you do not finish the wrist lock does not mean you should not try. In fact the wrist lock may just be a transition into the position that leads you to getting a submission or scoring against an opponent in a tournament.
You may find it easier to pressure a fragile wrist than continue attacking where ever you are when thinking about submission positions. Every jiu jitsu practitioner is different. Some are hard to arm bar, some are hard to triangle. If you are in a position to do either of these moves it is highly likely of bunch of wrist locks are also available to you.
Even in inferior positions like closed guard wrist locks can be highly effective and even lethal in some circumstances. Of course, the likelihood of finishing a wrist lock from positions such as closed guard, back mount or bottom guard are highly unlikely. But they are a good way of making your opponent nervous and opening up other opportunities for a submission. You should never underestimate the power of a valid threat, even if it considered an inferior technique.
I am sure you have heard of Travis Stevens before. He is considered an elite martial artist. Travis Stevens has received his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt from the legendary John Danaher in what may be a world record time of 18 months. For comparison it generally takes people about 18 months to go from a white belt to earning a blue belt. Travis Stevens highly favors the use of wrist locks in many different positions. Check out this awesome video of Travis Stevens demonstrating a superb wrist lock.
Travis Stevens has a superb understanding and mastery of using the wrist lock. This understanding allows Travis to be sneaky with his technique, often using it when an opponent least expects it.
So the next time you come under scrutiny for using a dirty technique on an opponent. Remember that even world class grapplers will use it if it works.
Did you know that Judo Olympic Silver Medalist, and John Danaher Black Belt thinks that the easiest Submission in BJJ Is Right Under Your Nose and You’re Missing It - The Wrist Lock.
Travis Stevens is widely regarded as one of the best grapplers on the planet, and uses wrist locks as a great equalizer in his training and competition. He uses wrist locks to create openings, as well as submit his opponents - even BJJ black belts - in positions that they would never expect