Martial Arts Self-Defense Techniques – Disable Or Control An Attacker With Joint Manipulation

Nancy B. Alston

In a self-defense situation you can disable or control the assailant by manipulating their joints. The small joints in the fingers and hands are susceptible since they are not very strong individually. Leverage and immense pain can be inflicted by a much smaller defender. In this article I will explain how to manipulate these joints.

If you have ever bent or jammed a finger or thumb backwards or to the side you understand how weak an individual finger can be. And how much pain can be involved. Professional athletes must constantly be aware of keeping the fingers together to avoid injury. The hand as a whole is fairly strong but the individual digits can be manipulated without much force.

In a self-defense situation you can use this to your advantage. Many times the attackers fingers will be in a vulnerable position. Grabbing one of their fingers or thumbs and applying pressure will allow you to disable or control them. Disabling them will involve destroying the joint or breaking a bone. Controlling them will involve keeping constant pressure on the joint.

You have no doubt seen one person controlling another by a thumb. Whether it was an episode of the Three Stooges or a martial arts demonstration. Even though it looks humorous it is an essential defense technique and a way to learn how to fight. Aikido is one well known martial art that uses joint manipulation extensively for personal protection.

Joint manipulation can be used in a number of ways if you are grabbed. If grabbed by the collar or lapel one simple self-defense technique is to use your thumb to push their thumb down into the palm of their hand. This is a controlling technique. With enough pressure you can take them to the ground. Another option is to grab their thumb with your entire hand and force it to the back of their hand. This is a disabling technique. Their thumb can be dislocated creating immense pain.

The same thumb techniques can be applied if you are grabbed by the wrist. Alternatively their fingers can be manipulated as you can see them easier than if they are on your collar. Fingers can be bent to the side or backwards toward the top of their hands. Dislocating a joint, tearing a muscle or tendon or breaking a bone in the finger or hand will inflict enough pain for them to release you.

These same defense techniques can be used whenever a digit is accessible. If you find yourself in a position to manipulate their toes pull off their shoe and twist and bend. An elbow or knee strike can be very effective on the side or inner elbow or knee dislocating it. Remember the kid at school that would come up behind you and put his knee in the back of your knee. The back of the knee is not very strong and your knee would bend forward every time.

These simple martial arts self-defense techniques do not take years to master. They can be an essential weapon for women’s self-defense. Practice them on yourself or a friend or training partner. You can use them to defend yourself in many situations. They are quick, effective and can disable a much larger attacker quite easily.

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