The Wrist Lock in BJJ

The wrist lock in BJJ, how proficient are you? When is the last time you consciously thought of attempting wrist locks over the past 6 months of training? Considering it only takes a minimum of 5 pounds of pressure to break a wrist, why don’t we see them more often? Wrist lock finishes are quick and open up a lot of other submissions. Even for large federation competitions, opponents such as the IBJJF allow them at blue belt. Let’s look at a few examples below.

Marcelo Motta and Carlos Santos demonstrating a standing wrist lock from when your opponent is grabbing your lapel. Control the arm by reaching behind the elbow to lock it in and pull yourself forward to apply the pressure for the tap.

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A wrist lock from the closed guard demonstrated by Ricardo Cavalcanti when someone has the over hook from the closed guard with the lapel grip known as the “whizzer”. You under hook with the arm that is being locked down and reach across to use your body to apply the pressure to the wrist with your body.

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Here we have Josh Barnett using what he calls the “Cheater Double Wrist Lock.”  When you are attacking the Kimura and an opponent straightens out their arm, you attack in the wrist lock.

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Some also argue that “I’m too flexible in my wrists” and that submission holds like these may not work. But if we look at the details of how the wrist functions, we can see how to adjust them when we can’t get the tap. Keep the elbow braced in place and after applying pressure, rotate the wrist as shown below by Fredson Paixo on BJJ Hacks instead of forcing the wrist in the same direction.

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There are many wrist lock techniques out there from every position. Do you train them? If so what are some of your favorite techniques? 

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