Wrist locks are one set of submissions that I haven’t really explored, because we don’t typically work on them at Lincoln BJJ, and I know they’re looked down upon in some circles (maybe even considered “dirty”), even though they’re legal in most grappling competitions. Due to my previous training, I think I probably have more experience with wrist locks than the average LBJJC student, and once in awhile during rolling I do threaten one, but it’s mainly just to get my partner to react, not to submit them. For example, if I have someone in my guard and they’re using a lot of strength to just hold me down by my arms or shoulders, sometimes I will go for a wrist lock, but it’s only to get them to let me go, because I don’t really know what I’m doing when it comes to wrist locks.
I recently decided that it wouldn’t hurt for me to have more knowledge about locking wrists (even if it’s just to learn how to defend), and since Coach Amy and my husband are both well-versed in wrist locks, I asked them to work on them with me during Ethridge class yesterday. We focused on one particular lock, practiced it from multiple positions, and by the end, I felt like I was getting the hang of it. I was even almost able to get one on Joe during our final death match, and he said he thought his extensive knowledge of the technique was the only thing that saved him, but by the end of the roll, he was trying to lock both of my wrists at the same time! I freed one, then he submitted me with the other, but I was just glad I didn’t get double tapped.
Sometimes people seem to act like you’re cheating if you go for a wrist lock, but the way I look at it is, if someone outweighs me fifty pounds (and they aren’t afraid to use it!), then things like wrist locks aren’t cheating, they’re more like evening the odds. I don’t have a problem with being wrist locked, because I know when to tap, and it’s not like they’re biting me or anything, but I’m not saying that wrist locks don’t hurt (halfway through class yesterday, I even asked whose stupid idea it was to practice them ;).
I’m accustomed to my husband wrist locking me on a regular basis, but only a couple people at LBJJC have even attempted them on me, and one of them is My Mentor Mike. I actually consider it to be a minor personal success when he tries to wrist lock me, because I know they’re on the bottom of his submission hierarchy, so if he goes for one on me, it usually means that I successfully defended his other sub attempts. If he can’t triangle me, then he’ll armbar me, and if he can’t armbar me, then he’ll wrist lock me, and I would definitely rather be wrist locked by Tumbleweed than triangled!