Newer Female Wrestlers, Learn Hand Fighting, Better Wrist Locks, Arm Bars, photo credit

February 15, 2022,

Female wrestling match initiation begins with the efficient use of your hands and arms.

We have seen newer wrestlers fall to the floor and try and capture someone with their legs.

Our experience? Very low percentage move.

Mostly what happens there is your opponent happily falls on top of you and even if your purpose was to trap them in a floor to standing body scissors, mostly by standing and bending you back, they are the ones in control.

Focus on the use of your arms in terms of both strength and technique.

As your match begins, after hand fighting to establish control, you will either grab your opponent from behind the head and neck, pulling downward so you can position yourself on top of them or you will grab the wrist and arm to gain control and maneuver them to whichever side you desire.

Eventually, if you have performed your arm technique well, you will position them, most likely flattened out on their stomach or back or you can lock their arms while they are in a sitting position on their knees.

An arm lock in grappling is a single or double joint lock that hyperextends, hyper flexes or hyper rotates the elbow joint or shoulder joint., photo credit

An arm lock that hyper-extends the arm is known as an arm bar, and it includes the traditional arm bar, pressing their elbow into your thigh, and the triangle arm bar, like a triangle choke, but you press their elbow into your thigh.

An arm lock that hyper-rotates the arm is known as an arm coil, and includes the Americana, Kimura, and Omaplata.

Depending on the joint flexibility of a person, arm coils can either hyper-rotate only the shoulder joint, only the elbow joint, or both the elbow joint and shoulder joint. Generally, arm coils hurt more than arm bars, as they attack several joints at the bone and muscle.

An arm bar tends to be more direct. The wrestler takes hold of the opponent’s arm and twists it, putting pressure on the shoulder and elbow.

Ultimately, with your initial arm and hand fighting, the goal is to place your opponent in a position to be submitted., photo credit

Obtaining an arm lock requires effective use of full-body leverage in order to initiate and secure a lock on the targeted arm, while preventing the opponent from escaping the lock. Therefore, performing an arm lock is less problematic on the ground, from positions such as the mount, side control, or guard.

Simply stated, arm locks are more difficult to perform when both combatants are standing up.

This is why your initial hand fighting must take them to the ground.

To initiate the submission, one of the legs will be across the chest of the opponent, the second leg’s calf will cross face the opponent, with the hips tight into the armpit, with the arm held between the thighs, with the elbow pointing against the thigh or hips.

By holding the opponent’s wrist to the attacker’s chest with the pinky finger on the sternum and the thumb facing up (arm semi-supinated or semi-pronated), the practitioner can easily extend the opponent’s arm and hyperextend the opponent’s elbow.

The attacker can further increase the pressure on the elbow joint by arching his hips against the elbow. This technique is used in various grappling martial arts, including but not limited to Brazilian jiu-jitsu, catch wrestling, judo, jujutsu, Sambo, and shoot wrestling, and is reportedly at least 200 years old.

If you want to watch a female submission wrestler who puts on a clinic in hand fighting and arm control when she start a match, you should view Sheena of Hungary’s videos. Whether it is grabbing an opponent’s wrists, arms or locking behind the neck, Sheena applies it to perfection.

It is always recommended to read a book that may help you.

Hand Fighting by Steve Mocco, photo credit

Win the first and most important battle in wrestling with this fundamental series in the keys to hand fighting success

  • Steve Mocco is a 2008 Olympian, 2-time NCAA Champion, and Hodge Trophy winner, known for his brutal hand fighting even against way bigger opponents
  • Learn how to snap, under hook, pass elbows, and more on this two-volume series around how to get control the right way on your feet
  • Clear from control ties and front headlocks with technique and turn their position into your points”


Very good to know.

We like to keep things simple and point you in the direction where we think you should go.

In summary, begin the match with hand fighting to gain control, in particular with a focus to grabbing their wrist for control.

Once you gain control, you can begin to maneuver them to the ground, especially by grabbing their wrists and lurching them towards you, downward, in a swift motion so you can land on top of them.

Now that they are down on the ground, you can begin to slide into the dreaded arm bar.

Let’s continue to focus on wrist control. We have a visiting writer and former wrestler who can help.

Keith Pascal is the author of several books, including Wrist Locks: From Protecting Yourself to Becoming an Expert.

Wrist Locks On The Move, photo credit

How many wrist locks do you know? Under what circumstances could you use your lock? And can you counter someone joint-locking you when conditions are less than ideal?

Normal Wrist-Locks Practice
Normally, when a student learns a lock, his or her partner stands immobile, allowing perfection of the technique. Often, your partner becomes nothing more than a glorified practice dummy.

Actually, this is okay in the first phase of learning to control with locks. It’s important to master the wrist lock, and then progress on to being able to use the lock in a real self-defense emergency.

Always keep in mind, that as soon as you can snap the lock on with your practice partner just standing there, you should quickly progress to a more advanced stage of martial-arts mastery.

Difficult Wrist-Locks Techniques
Did you know that you can increase the difficulty level of any joint lock by trying to get into the lock while moving?

This is an excellent way to practice locking. I promise that your skills will improve. And they will improve at a good pace.

Grab a partner – literally. Put a lock on your practice partner’s wrist. Then start walking with him or her. Allow your partner just enough slack in the lock (wiggle room), to walk along with you.

At some point, relax your hold just a bit, in order to allow your partner to counter the lock with a reversal or by flowing into another joint lock.

Continue walking. This is the important part.

Controlling Your Attacker To A Specific Destination
Trade wristlocks back and forth, as you continue walking. For now, you can almost help each other maintain a flow to your lock exchange. Keep the movement going – both walking and locking.

When you can flow back and forth so well that the exercise almost bores you, it’s time to move on….

Resist Wrist Locks
Continue with the same exercise, but this time resist against the force that your partner is trying to lock your arm, wrist, or finger. For example, if your “opponent” is trying to move your wrist to the outside left of your body, then you exert some force in the opposite direction, to keep your wrist oriented to the front and center of your body.

Resist just enough to cause some difficulty, but eventually give your partner suggestions in how to overcome your sneaky resistance.

Keith Pascal is the author of “How to End the Fight with One Hit”: Best Fight Tactics.

Keith is also the author of several martial-arts books, including:
Wrist Locks. (Plenty of free downloadable stuff on the site.)

Pascal has taught martial arts for almost 30 years. He quit high school teaching in 2000, to become a full-time martial-arts writer.

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OPENING PHOTO, photo credit