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Full Nelson Self Defense

Full Nelson Self Defense


What is the best way to escape a bar fight or a street fight?  

The first solution is to not get in one in the first place, however that isn’t always possible.  One of the most common attacks from behind is for someone to grab you and put you into what is referred to as a full nelson.  A full nelson is essentially where they would wrap their arms under your armpits and put their hands on the back of your head.  This position can be dangerous and should be treated with caution when practicing. Before we break down how to escape the full nelson position it’s important to remember that in order to be good at self defense you have to train. As the saying goes, show up, train get better.     

Is self defense an important skill to you?  Or are you looking to add some self defense skills to your sport jiu jitsu training?


Let’s break down how to defend against a full nelson grip in a self defense situation.  In Dean Lister’s video instructional titled “Full Nelson Defense” Dean breaks down all of the dos and don’ts for escaping this dangerous position.  

The first thing we need to understand is the severity of the full nelson.  The full nelson is much more brutal than your standard choke hold. A full nelson can actually break your neck if done correctly.  If the opponent is using any type of grip behind your head they can not break your neck, it’s the open hands with both palms pushing down on the back of your head that you need to be worried about. 

The first step in the escape is to grip your own hands in front of your face and use this grip to push against your own forehead forcing your head back and putting pressure on the opponent.  By pinching your elbows together, you will increase the pressure on your wrist enough that should force the opponent to back out and want the escape more than they want to hold you there.

Be Safe Out Their! Click Learn More below!


If you are looking to step up your Jiu Jitsu self defense training in addition to picking up your very own copy of Police Tactics for Self Defense video clip by Jay Wadsworth video instructional, I would also suggest checking out Alpha Male Self Defense by Dean Lister.  Dean and his best friend Brian Sargent show the secrets of keeping safe no matter what the scenario.  Both being Jiu Jitsu Blackbelts and having Brian as a Navy Seal Commander I think it’s safe to say there likely is not anyone better for the job. 

Remember, when it comes to training anything, but especially self defense techniques, you want to build the right muscle memory.  Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Repetition is key, you need to drill the technique as much and as often as you can in order to be the best prepared to perform in a real life threat situation should one occur.  

If you don't know Dean Lister, he's one of the baddest and deadliest grapplers on the planet. If learning self defense skills are an important part of your Jiu Jitsu training, then we highly recommend checking out the Alpha Male Self Defense DVD / On Demand Series by Dean Lister. Check it out here!



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