wrist grabs in counters in taekwondo

Discussion in 'Self Defense' started by michael mckenna, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    ive noticed alot in different books and from my own instructor that learning how to get out of wrist grab is one of the first self defence techniques that you are taught or shown in taekwondo but why is this relevant ? wouldnt being grabbed by the wrist an unlikely thing to happen ? ive never been grabbed there in a street confrontation. wouldnt learning how to defend against a punch be the more obvious defence technique to learn first ?
  2. John Hulslander

    John Hulslander Active Member

    Well, you are a man. (So am I) I bet defense from wrist grabs is more appropriate for women.
  3. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    yeh i thought that but i didnt want to sound abit sexist or something lol
  4. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    Wrist grabs are the first fundamental technique in arts such as hkd and aikido because you learn concepts, not techniques per se. If you cannot execute a wrist release why progress to the more advanced? For women and children, these are very, very important concepts to know. Men MAY be able to brute force a technique, but not always.
  5. Finlay

    Finlay Active Member

    Writs grabs in some arts wer there to practice some fundementals in a safe manner. over the years people , maybe from seeing wrist grabs practed and not really understanding the purpose, have made more and mor techniques based around this 'attack'. then then reverse engineer the techniques and make them tradional by saying it was a way of dealing with someone trying to grab your sword.

    I do teach wrist grab techniques sometimes as solution for times when you can't punch your way out, or don't want to. Drunk Uncle George at a family gathering trying to drag me over for yet another shot of whiskey, while annoying doesn't deserve a side kick to the ribs.

    Another application for this is during a fight. When you get up close and basically get involed in stand up grappling wrists (as well as many other things) can be grabbed. it is good to have some quick releases in your arsenal.

    RTKDCMB Active Member

    Someone a few months ago tried to grab the wrist of one of our male instructors several times when he was sitting in his car and he used basic wrist grab counters to stop him every time so it does happen.
  7. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    The wrist grab start is an analogy for many different kinds of attack. Also, if you know a few good counters to wrist grabs you can force someone to grab your wrist by getting it in their face. Wrist manipulation is a heavy feature of ground work - when you're on your back, an opponent in the guard or mount positions is likely to try to pin your hands. You need to know how to escape.

    Wrist grabs are a starting point for dealing with clothing grabs, clothing grabs a starting point for dealing with being pinned on the ground.
  8. Raymond

    Raymond Active Member

    I disagree with your focus here. The fundamentals of pinning is to control the upper body or control the hips. Separating the elbows from an opponent's body in ground work is more important than grabbing a wrist. Danger of being submitted or having a joint lock to the elbow or shoulder starts with getting the elbows separated from the body.

    What you talk about in the guard is not that the goal is to control the wrist, a good guard game for the bottom man is to A) control the posture of the top man or B) create space between our hips so that I can escape, sweep or submit. This can be achieved without ever touching a wrist. If you are bottom man and you are focused on your opponent's wrist but never keep the top man broken down posture wise, or get your hips active to escape, then your guard will be broken, and passed and you will be pinned under side control or worse.

    Escaping a pin also has little to do with wrist control. To escape a pin you have to create space between your opponent's hips and your own so that you can keep from being flat. Yes, having a wrist grip on an opponent after I have controlled his upper body and separated his elbows is next, but it is so far down the list of priorities that if you focus solely on that as your defense then you are doomed and will be submitted, pinned or injured no matter what.

    The same goes for standing. Hand fighting is an important part of the stand up portion of wrestling. The idea to have when you use your wrist escapes is that you need to get those hands off of you as soon as possible. But the reason why a wrestler, judoka, jiujitsu player etc wants to grab your wrist is not to do some sort of wrist lock, but to clear your hands from in front of your hips to gain control of them or to separate your elbows to gain control of your upper body (using over hooks, under hooks, body locks, etc).

    I know this is a TKD forum, but I felt it was a disservice if I didn't point this out. In terms of self defense, there are hundreds upon hundreds of amateur highschool and collegiate wrestlers out there in the States, and I'm sure in other wrestling oriented countries as well. Not to mention all the MMA folks, jiujitsu clubs, judokas etc so it is indeed important to know how to clear a hand off of your body but to understand WHY those folks might want to grab you and what their next intentions are will help you understand how to apply wrist and jacket grab counters.
  9. Raymond

    Raymond Active Member

    Edit doesn't seem to be working for me at the moment.

    I wanted to add that I admire your willingness to accept and think about grappling Gnarlie. The wrist escapes in TKD can work, and will work if practiced and applied correctly. Someone grabbing your wrist is more likely IMO from someone with martial arts training than someone without it. The instinct of someone with grappling experience, even if it is a few semesters of highschool wrestling in the States, will be to get a hand on you. Either on your shoulder (to gauge distance for a take down), a wrist (to clear the hands and separate the elbows) or the neck/head (to break posture).

    I would agree that an untrained attacker grabbing a wrist or anything else is more prominent in women. But in a Male vs. Male encounter, my opinion formed from personal experience is that nine times out of ten the untrained attacker will initiate with a wild punch over a grab. If a male does grab the wrist of another male, he probably is a grappler. If you are just a TKD practitioner, you probably won't win a grappling bout with this attacker (much like they will probably not win a kick fight with you) so being able to clear those grips immediately will be the important.
  10. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I think I wasn't clear Raymond. What I meant is not that the wrist grab and manipulation is how to get someone off you, or how they will pin you down, but that someone on top wanting to punch you in the face may try to pin both your wrists with one hand and punch you with the other. The simple wrist releases are valuable in avoiding that.

    Otherwise, I completely agree with your points about elbows, hips and sweeps.

    I was just suggesting that being on the bottom and having your hands crossed and locked over your chest while your nose gets mashed is not the place to be and those releases will get your hands out and allow you to retaliate with strikes if you practice them right.

    I have an interest in ground work as a side pursuit, just came off a weekend seminar and I have to say my TKD releases stood me in good stead against resistance on my back. Of course, that's in combination with bridging and bucking the hips and sweeping, but that wrist work was definitely a factor in allowing me to continue striking from my back and allowing me to break the posture of the guy on top better by supplementing hip activity with rib, neck, eye, and groin strikes and shoulder pull through - none of which I could do with my hands locked tight.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  11. Raymond

    Raymond Active Member

    Ok I understand what you meant.

    Sometimes I see people imitate the ground and guard work they see in MMA when they come into the gym for the first time for grappling and they have lazy guards (hips and feet not in play, flat on their back square with the top guy, grabbing for wrists) and they think that is good grappling. But they forget in an MMA fight we see that stuff because the person is tired, gassed out, blood in their eyes, they are being punched in the face etc. Or maybe that person they are imitating just isn't all that great on the ground. We are starting to see it with techniques that a TKD person would be right at home with such as side kicks, back kicks and the like.

    There's an old saying that if you punch a black belt in the face, he becomes a brown belt. If you punch him in the face again, he becomes a purple belt etc. with the point being what we see in action isn't always as clean or technical as we should be practicing and drilling it every day. The same goes for TKD, karate, boxers and such I think.
  12. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    What would you recommend as a good source / school / organisation for me, with an interest in grappling skills as research for a forthcoming book on applied Taekwondo principles?
  13. Raymond

    Raymond Active Member

    Hmmm . . . that's a good question but a good one. Let me think and I'll get back to you. I'll probably PM you with some questions to help make a better decision.
  14. Raymond

    Raymond Active Member

    Gnarlie, I can't seem to PM (or check alerts). If you want to send me an email at [email protected] I can try and help. Just have a few questions.

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