Martial Arts Joint Locks

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Martial Arts Joint Locks

Joint locks are used by many martial arts styles in order to control opponents (i.e. submission techniques) or to disarm aggressors in self-defense situations. Some of the martial arts that that use joint locks significantly include Aikido, Hapkido and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Joint locks work by applying pressure on a joint and pushing it in an "unnatural" direction (i.e. locking an arm and forcing an elbow backward). This restricts an opponent's movement and/or causes the aggressor to submit due to pain and/or the potential for a hyperextension injury or broken bone.

Martial Arts Books - Joint Lock Techniques

Joint Locks by Martial Arts Style - Videos and/or written instructions

Martial Arts Joint Locks by Area of Focus - Videos and/or written instructions

  • Ankle Locks
  • Elbow Locks or Arm Locks
  • Finger Locks
  • Hip Locks - These joint locks include the Hip Crank.
  • Knee Bars
  • Leg Locks - This is a general term that covers all of the leg joint techniques such as knee bars, ankle locks, hip locks, etc.
  • Neck Locks - These joint locks include the Neck Crank.
  • Shoulder Locks
  • Spinal Locks - Given the risk of injury, spinal locks are banned by a number of organizations.
  • Toe Locks or Toe Holds
  • Wrist Locks

Shaolin Joint Locks


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This site is for informational purposes only. All martial arts techniques and fitness exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting or continuing any martial arts and/or physical fitness program.



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