5 Simple But Powerful Arm Locks Technique For Self-Defense

Arm Locks are essential techniques for self-defense. They can be described as the best grappling martial arts for self-defense. When used properly, they are a less dangerous way to get an attacker to submit.

To put it simply, arm locks entail the twisting or stretching of an opponent’s limbs to an angle that wasn’t originally made to be twisted or stretched. That generally causes so much pain to the opponent, leading to a submission.

Simple But Powerful Arm Locks Technique 

1. The Armbar

You must have seen this technique in action if you often watch MMA. It is simply the most used submission technique. That is because it is painful, very uncomfortable, and most importantly, powerful.

The severe pressure created in the elbow joint of an attacker using this technique is so much that if they do not tap out or submit immediately, they risk getting their ligaments and tendons torn. In some cases, it could even lead to a broken bone depending on the leverage, power, and angle.

2. The Sankaku-gatame

Known in English as the “Triangular Armlock”, the Sankaku-gatame is a powerful technique that originated from Judo. It gets its name from the triangular form created when the legs are crossed behind the head of the opponent.

The Sankaku-gatame or Triangular Armlock is one of the most painful arm locks you can use when defending yourself against an attacker. There are different variations of this technique and that makes it difficult for an attacker to defend themselves against it.

3. The Standing Ude-garami

When you think of arm locks, it is often common to picture the execution lying down. However, arm locks are not limited to lying down, some techniques can be executed while standing. The Standing Ude-garami is one such technique.

This self-defense technique, otherwise known as Top Shoulder Lock in English, creates an opposition to the joints which causes a great deal of pain and damage to the shoulder and elbow when the opponent struggles or refuses to submit. It is appropriate for situations where you want to get someone to submit as well as move them to somewhere else.

4. The Double Wristlock

As Earle Liederman noted, with the right knowledge of wrestling, a weak person will find it extremely easy to overpower someone who is twice their size and strength. The Double Wristlock is a powerful technique you can cleverly use to subdue an opponent.

There are several ways to execute the Double Wristlock, such as standing, with head scissors, with bridge, with back heel, etc. Each variation of the technique carries a sufficient amount of pain to get any opponent under control.


It is important to note that grappling techniques can be potentially dangerous. When used incorrectly or with extreme force, arm locks can cause muscle, tendon, and ligament damage. It can also cause dislocation or bone fractures. All the arm locking techniques listed and described here are grappling techniques that should be practiced under the supervision of a trained martial arts instructor.

Written by Demetrius

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