Aikido Joint Locks and Restraint Holds

Aikido joint locks work against the body’s joints and hold you in such a way that you have to keep still or else you hurt yourself.

These Aikido locks are usually applied to your wrist or your shoulder, though some push on a nerve center on your forearm instead.

The result is the same. The person being held down on the floor learns quickly that keeping still reduces the pain and struggling in any way puts the Aikido lock on, hard.

Aikido locks are very effective for holding someone until they can be handcuffed, which is why many police forces teach some of these joint locks and holds.

However, it takes months of training to be able to put on an effective lock against someone who is resisting. And it takes years to be good at Aikido.

Most police forces cannot spare the expense of paying for their recruits to undergo lengthy training. So they will keep their arrest and restraint course simple and basic.

Restraint holds are methods of pinning your opponent or attacker to the ground so he or she cannot attack you any more. Uke (the person who attacks you) is unable to move, and any attempt to escape is thwarted immediately by excrutiating pain from a joint lock or by pressing on a nerve. Thus most would-be attackers find it less painful if they relax and lie there quietly.

These Aikido holds are usually applied to the wrist, elbow or shoulder. But other parts of the body can be used as well, including the legs. And in this case, the tension is applied against the natural movement of the knees, ankles or feet. Any of these joints can be twisted or broken if the prisoner continues to resist arrest.

Most Aikido holds end with the attacker face-down on the ground. He cannot kick you if he’s flat on his face. That’s why most police agencies use similar aikido or ju jitsu restraint holds before handcuffing a suspect.

But as for the few Aikido takedowns where Uke (your opponent) lands on his back, such as the tenkai-kotegaeshi (shihonage) or kotegaeshi wrist throws, there are face-up locks as well – usually to the elbow or wrist. Sometimes both of them are pinned and twisted.

You other arm and both legs might be free, but if you try to escape your arm or wrist will be broken before you can succeed. If you want to be kind to your Uke or prisoner, you will roll him over onto his face and control him there.

You then have complete control, and it is a simple matter to apply the handcuffs.

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