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Wrist Locks for BJJ
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the art of wrist locking has become somewhat of a lost art. People often scoff at wrist locks, saying that they do not work on resisting opponents and that they are a waste of time. That could not be farther from the truth. Unlike some other submissions on arms and shoulders, where someone strong can use their strength to escape, wrist locks take very little to submit to. The wrist is quite weak, and pressure upon it can be very effective. Let’s take a look at how wrist locks can be used successfully in live situations within Jiu Jitsu.
My go to position to get a wrist lock is actually from the triangle choke position. I am very proficient with the triangle choke, so my teammates would often defend the choke and get their arm across my stomach, while they are caught in the choke. The wrist lock is so easy from here that it is almost silly. When they are defending the choke, you can use both of your hands to press down on your opponent’s hand, locking out their wrist and get a nice finish. For anyone interested in wrist locks, start with this position. Here is a nice little video showing the wrist lock from triangle at around 45 seconds in.
But alas, you don’t have to be on your back to attain a wrist lock. Wrist locks are available anywhere you want to attack your opponent. They work especially well from top positions such as mount and side control. They also work as a submission to flow into from other top submissions. It doesn’t matter if it is an armbar, a kimura or an americana. From any of those subs and their positions, the wrist lock is there. Check out Pete Letsos (of Rio BJJ in Chicago) showing a variety of wrist locks from different positions. Pete is one of the best wrist lockers out there.
As you can see, wrist locks work to a great degree. Some people scoff at them for being lesser techniques, and some even see them as dirty. But that is because they have not yet felt the pain of a wrist lock. Start incorporating wrist locks into your arsenal. You will see that wrist locks are everywhere. Don’t let preconceived notions of others play into you not using these easy to use, highly effective locks. For anyone looking for some supplemental material for their wrist locking game, check out the DVD from BJJ/Judo black belt, Travis Stevens. His DVD, Wrist Locks From Everywhere shows some fantastic set ups and finishes for wrist locks.