Home Seminars Seminar Notes Escapes from holds and locks, 2014 - Part 1

Escapes from holds and locks, 2014 - Part 1

These notes are from the Escapes from Holds and Locks seminar held at Systema Headquarters in Toronto at the end of 2014.

First exercises are designed to teach a basic skill to not to get stuck with tension when being held, locked, or grabbed.

Ex 1: Start with a slow push-up rotating the shoulders to not get stuck with tension (on the count of 10 up, 10 down, push the floor instead of pushing your body away from the floor when going up).

Ex 2: After the push-ups, lie down or stand up and do a couple of increasingly long inhales and exhales on the counts of 4, 5, and 6 to make sure that the body is relaxed (can't stretch inhale/exhale – too much tension). Think of taking as much air in as you can slowly without creating extra tension in your body (as if the incoming air inflates a balloon in your stomach).

Ex 3: Same with squats and leg raises.

Ex 4: Repeat Ex 2 after the squats and leg raises.

Ex 5: Escape from friendly hold from behind by the shoulders (for example, if your wife is trying to hold you back from behind to prevent from getting in a fight). To break free, just stretch your arms forward to shake grabber's hands off and gain some forward momentum. Keep in mind the key principle of not getting stuck when being held.

Ex 6: Attacker holds by the wrist. Defender turns the wrist toward the opening in his hand (between the holding thumb and the other four fingers where the path to escape is open and the hold is weakest) and steps to walk out of the grab. Use the thumb of the held hand as a guide to walk out of the hold – stick it out as if giving somebody thumbs up toward the opening in the holding hand and walk in the direction it points to break free from the hold; it is important to break out by walking using the whole momentum of your body rather than by using the muscle power of the held arm. To accomplish the former, make sure you step with your foot and transfer the weight of your body in the direction the thumb is pointing.

Ex 7: Attacker tries to grab any part of defender's body or place a hand anywhere on the defender. The defender continuously moves to prevent him from grabbing (establishing a hold). The defender needs to be a little ahead of the attacker and move out just before he is able to establish a firm contact with his target.

Ex 8: Attacker grabs by both wrists from the front and defender needs to move around to break the hold; this is a combination of exercises 6 and 7.

Ex 9: Attacker faces the defender and grabs him by the wrist (first with one hand, then with both). Defender pulls the attacker toward him through the wrist and then strikes back at the body with the same fist. Note that the defender needs to pull the whole body of the attacker closer, not just the holding hand (this is similar to pushing body as a whole discussed in the blog, one needs to feel and work with the whole body through the point of contact).

Ex 10: Attacker grabs by the arms and the defender moves to prevent or avoid a hold adding the use of his own arms to guide or stop attacker's move (guide the arm, stop by pushing on the chest close to the shoulder of the stretched arm, etc.)

Ex 11: Attacker holds by the wrist of one arm. Defender turns the wrist in or out (clockwise or counter-clockwise) and works against the elbow of the holding arm with his other hand to take down by the elbow in or out or holding it under the elbow to straighten the holding arm and push it toward its shoulder to create a pain shock.

Ex 12: Attacker grabs by both wrists; defender practices turning the wrists inward to move opponent away or outward to bring him closer.

Ex 13: How to grab to prevent escaping: attacker comes from a side and moves his arm between defender's closest arm and the body from the front backward just above the elbow and slides the arm behind defender's back to grab the other arm's elbow. The other hand of the attacker grabs the defender by the hair or forehead and tilts the head back. In that position, it is easy for the attacker to move the opponent and hard for the defender to escape.

Ex 14: Attacker holds one wrist by a matching hand. Defender steps out with a leg.

Ex 15: Attacker holds both arms at the elbows from the front. Defender practices lifting forearms without tensing up the chest, upper arms, or shoulders and works against opponent's elbows (by hooking and rotating either one from top, one from the bottom, or both from top or from bottom).

Ex 16: #1 presses down with his hands on #2's arms held horizontal at the stomach level (#2's arms are bent at the elbows with the elbows touching the stomach). #1 can lean his body a little onto #2's arms so as to apply more pressure but not lose his balance. #2 first upholds #1 while checking and making sure that his (#2's) knees, arms, chest, and shoulders are relaxed, and when comfortable, start to move #1 around a little (whole body movement).

After getting comfortable with the first part of the exercise, #1 starts falling down (as if by accident) and grabbing onto #2's hand or forearm as if accidentally. #2 needs to provide support without tensing up.

Ex 17: Attacker holds defender by the wrist of one arm. The defender rotates the held wrist out and grabs the thumb with the held hand and the little finger with the other and applies pressure onto the fingers to move the attacker by causing a pain shock.

Ex 18: Attacker holds both arms from behind. Defender lifts elbows and drops them down to break out as he steps forward.

Ex 19: Attacker holds defender at the wrists (both arms) from the front. The defender moves his hand without tension toward his wrist and grabs it and then rotates the other wrist outward to cover the other holding hand and strikes with the freed up arm toward the throat.

Ex 20: Attacker holds defender's arm by a hand. Defender turns the elbow of the held arm up and around and strikes with it (but not with the shoulder) the forearm of the holding arm breaking the hand free and then drops the freed hand down on the forearm (can continue hitting from here).

Ex 21: Angry attacker holds by arm or both arms, or the body. The defender inhales and then exhales to relax the opponent and then steps out of the hold.


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