The Art of Defensive Control

Too many people have gotten themselves in trouble for overreacting or “under” reacting when it comes to self-defense situations. In my experiences talking to a lot of people who have been attacked and in threatening situations, while also critiquing hundreds of hours of real life altercations caught on video, it usually comes down to one of two reason for people over and under reacting.

The first reason is the person is completely ignorant to self-defense as a whole, which has them act out in rage or curl up in the fetal position. Or, maybe they are confident in defending themselves in certain areas but don’t have they breadth of options to correctly deal with specific situations.

That is why I wanted to cover how to contain a threat until law enforcement or other help can arrive. The first set of tools I’ll cover is a simple lock flow where we can control someone’s movement and control their body by putting them where we want them.

The first in this “lock flow” is a wrist lock, where we grab the back of someone’s hand and by using both thumbs, put pressure to lock up the person’s wrist. When someone grabs you, they are basically giving you their hand, so we might as well use it.

This is a great move to get someone down to the ground. But, if we need to lift someone up and “escort” them somewhere, an upwards elbow lock could do the trick by straightening their arm out and using one of our arms to put upwards pressure on their elbow and downwards pressure on their wrist with our other hand.

We can also reverse it by putting pressure the other way, and locking their elbow down as well. You can do this by rolling your arm over theirs and putting downward pressure to lock it the same way, just downward.

From there, I’ll cover one more lock where we interweave our arm around theirs and perform a figure four lock, which can brutally take the attacker down. Because these moves are very detailed oriented, check out the full video I made here:

But once we do have someone down on the ground, I would suggest using a knee mount position to keep that person down if necessary. To do this, we place our knee on someone’s diaphragm, pike out our other leg and lift our pinning foot off the ground. This not only gets people’s attention but restricts their breathing (without risking suffocation) and gives us a superior position to stay aware of the surroundings and strike if we need to, while holding them down.

Now you have two sets of tools to help control someone if we don’t want to go all the way and brutally counter attack someone, but need to manipulate them until help comes. Once again, all techniques can be seen on:

Sifu Matt Numrich

Sifu Matt Numrich is a martial artist and self-defense expert, renowned for his training in Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Martial Arts.