“The Joy of Joint Locks,” by Rick Matz

“As a young man I trained very hard in Yoshinkan Aikido, and for a while worked in security on the midnight shift at a Detroit area hotel. Months of boredom would sometimes be punctuated by .. you name it: fights in the bar, parties getting way out of control, fights in the parking lot and so on. It was our job to hold down the fort until the police arrived. Sometimes the hands on the clock can move very slowly; like that New Years Eve one of my co workers (the biggest and toughest one of the bunch no less) almost got throw off of a balcony… but I digress.”

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  1. This correctly defines proper use of kansetsu waza

  2. bruce baker says:

    Break the balance … but realize you must unbalance one of these three .. Mind .. Body .. Spirit.

    When I say mind I refer to your thinking mind that you are using right now to read this.

    When I say body, it can be either a literal physical unbalance or pain and injury that does not allow the body to function with balance.

    When I say spirit I mean the attitude and intention of your actions imply that this person should stop their attack and that you fully intend to continue until this person returns to a non-violent attitude in their thoughts and deeds, at least for this situation at hand.

    What did you think Joint locks were anyway? Not only a means to control … but a means to unbalance an opponent so either pain or injury causes them to consider compliance is the best way to deal with the unbalance of the situation at hand.

    Lucky them .. most people who train in aikido learn where the boundary line of pain is so we don’t injure … but then again … maybe we should rethink injury and realize that on rare occasions .. injury is the only option to certain situations. Injury is just like a bullet out of a gun, it is a tool … maybe a tool we would rather not use, but a tool none the less.

    Maybe it’s time for society to be reeducated so they understand the Nanny-state creates sheep and victims, not empowered citizens. Empowered citizens do not use violence, they are forced to use violence by violent people who bring harm upon themselves and others around them.

    I am not condoning violence as the best way to resolve violent situations, but sometimes it is the quickest way to get to a peaceful resolution, and it is a tool we should never take off the table even if it is tool we rarely or never get to use.

  3. Keoni May says:

    My prison fighting days proved that inmates have learned to numb their nervous system (drugs, alcohol, psycho-strength, etc…). Striking the bone or remaining cartilage, on their sternum area (inverted T), had a higher percentage of success for me.

    When striking the neck area, I would choose the area slightly behind the jaw, where the arteries-nerves-veins-trachea-rear of jaw are all clustered. That small area irritated more inmates, enough for me to execute a take down. What that was depended on the situation.

    Joint looks did work and at the worst, the joint was broken (no pain = straight to broken). Justification for the use of physical force, was justfied, since a restraint was used, instead of striking the inmate.

  4. …i like this. i like the part about cascading joint locks. it’s another way, maybe a better way, to explain what aikido joint locks do when properly applied. obviously if you just work, say, the wrist, your best case scenario is you break it. your worst case scenario is the free fist in your face or the offside knee in your groin, or both, with more to follow…

  5. Rick:

    I am glad that my blog was helpful. Thank you for referencing the source.

  6. Keoni May says:

    Just to clarify a point.

    I am usually to the side of the prisoner and never square off with them. There is no opposite hand or knee for me to worry about.

    A broken wrist, when constantly moved after it is broken, will begin to hurt immensely. The ripping and tearing of more tendons, ligaments, bone tissue, and nerve separations will eventually catch up with the prisoner.

    It is similar to a broken collar bone. The fight is more than drastically reduced. A double collar bone break and the prisoner will not have very much fight left in him.

  7. Keoni…How about a Blog on all of this and a little Bio on you…Sounds like you have walked the walk…and not just talked the talk.

  8. Keoni May says:

    Greetings Taisho,

    I am just another wandering practitioner of the martial arts and grew to find Aikido as still a very dangerous martial art.

    I am not really into blogs & things like that and don’t even own a cellphone. My group is the manual typewriter, pencil with eraser, and ink well pen generation.

    I have dojo time, competition time, street time, nightclub time, law enforcement time, and war time to draw upon. I have learned from either observations or just doing things. This knowledge was always out there and there are many other people who already possess this knowledge.

    Maybe a ghost writer who knows how to write stories would be better. Call him the wounded and still walking warrior.

  9. Charles…Tony…Nev you available?

  10. Cumulative joint locking is the key to smooth technique, low dojo injury rates and for smaller weaker people to control larger stronger people. If you focus on a single joint on someone much larger than you especially if they are flexible nothing will happen. If you are strong enough/big enough and focus the application on a single joint you use the pain principle to cause compliance. If uke resists he breaks. If uke does not respond quickly enough he/she is injured. With cumulative joint locks you are locking more than one joint so small movements at the far end move the near end much more. The more you twist a towel the more easy it is to move the far end with small moves at the near end. That is to say you have more control with less use of muscle strength while at the same time not relying just on the pain compliance principle.

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