Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Techniques to Try: Escape from Wrist Grabs

There are so many techniques out there, though not all of them are equally effective or practical. When it comes to teaching women's self-defense, my motto has always been, "It has to be simple, effective and easy to remember." Many martial arts schools demonstrate techniques that are overly complicated, and great for the martial artist, though essentially useless to the average woman with no martial arts background. I am hoping to de-mystify some techniques, and I encourage women to try out some of these with a friend. 

Release from a Wrist Grab:

This video looks at two types of wrist grab: inline (attacker's left hand grabs woman's right hand), and cross-arm (attacker's right hand grabs woman's right wrist). 

Inline Wrist Grab

Cross-arm Wrist Grab 

Key things to remember when performing this technique:
1. No extra movement - keep your movement small and efficient. Don't waste extra energy with big motions because it lessens the efficacy of the technique, and makes it easier for your attacker to fight your intention. 

2. Escape must happen where the fingers meet the thumb - this is the weakest part of the grip. 

3. Keep turning your wrist - just as a rolling stone gathers no moss, it is difficult to hold onto something that is turning.

Some other thoughts: 
These techniques are not enough on their own. They ought to be preceded by a distraction, followed by some sort of counterattack, and then once you've disengaged, just run away to end the encounter. 

Now go find someone and practice! 


  1. Those escapes look very similar to what I used to do back in my Combat Hapkido days. Good stuff!

    I just started reading your blog after I found it on Sue C's site. As my family's designated "combat expert" (meaning, I am the only one they know who has martial arts experience) I often get questions about WSD. So I am glad to have found your blog and hope to steal...I mean LEARN a thing or two that I might be able to pass on.


  2. Hahahaha, feel free to pass on anything you find here, Brett. The more women who have some solid answers from a female martial artist ( passed on through the family combat expert, obviously) the better!