Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pet Peeve

I was at the bookstore the other day and perused the ones alleging to teach self defense. Sadly, judging by the material within, most of the authors last fights had to be over Tonka trucks in the sandpit at day care.

Can we clear this one up for once? You cannot teach girls wrist locks and armlocks and call it self defense. Well, alright, you can, but you should be sued for misrepresentation when you do.

To begin with there isn't any such thing as an armlock. The technique is actually an armbreak. Remember that all of these techniques derived from fighting for one's life, oft times on a battlefield. Why, in the middle of a battlefield would you take two of your arms to tie up one of the enemy's? How long are you going to do that in the middle of a war going on? Till he cries "uncle" or gives in?

Nope, you broke their arm and thus rendered them "hors du combat" and you moved on to tackle the next guy.

Look at the above picture. What do you honestly think would happen if the "mugger" just stood up? Look at the inverted grip? If he just violently yanked his arm free could she hang on or would she get sliced as the knife passed through her hands, arm and armpit?

Somewhere along the line the breaks became misconstrued as pain compliance techniques...probably because in training you'd take them to the point where the joint started to break - thus causing pain - at which point your training partner would cry out and let you know.

Alright, I'll admit it. I've used them as pain compliance when removing someone from a club and controlling subjects whilst a military police officer. Here's the deal though, I still have to big enough and accomplished enough that when I let the subject go, and he decides to fight, that I can do the job and knock him out if necessary or, a cop, I'm going to control the arm long enough to get cuffs on.

What is our hapless female victim to do? She's being attacked by a rapist (and let's hope there's only one of them) and she puts the lock on him. Now what? You going to lecture him on the error of his ways and hope he repents? You going to wait till the police come all the time controlling this struggling man with superior upper body strength to yours? Are you hoping he cries "Uncle" and accepts defeat? Are you going to take it to it's logical conclusion and break the joint? Could you? Have you ever heard one break? Do you have any idea how strong you have to be to pull it off?

Bottom line is if you are much smaller than your opponent you're not putting locks on him if he doesn't want you least not until you've hit him enough times to stun him. If it takes that to put it on, why not just stun him and make scarce anyway?


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