L3 – 9.7 Joint Lock and Grounding Techniques

Joint Lock and Grounding Techniques

I   Escort Technique

Moving a subject who is not handcuffed can be dangerous and must be done carefully. However, there

may be times a subject needs to be moved a short distance without handcuffs. When this is necessary, it must be done safely. The primary focus of an escort is elbow control.

a.   Proper Positioning

It is very important that a proper escort position (Figure 9.20) is obtained prior to movement. As long as you maintain the correct positioning, you can overcome most resistance.

Stand close to the escorted subject, with your weapon side (if carrying a weapon) next to the subject whenever possible. Keeping your weapon side closest to the subject actually hides the weapon and makes it harder for the subject to access it. Remaining close also lessens the chance of a strong counterattack from the subject, allows you better control, and assists you when applying a grounding technique.

When you make the decision to escort a non-handcuffed subject, use the following steps:

  1. Approach from the rear and slightly off to one side.
  2. With your support-side hand, grab the subject’s wrist by placing your thumb in the crease where the wrist and arm join, and put your fingers across the back of the subject’s hand.
  3. Bring that arm to your belt line and turn it so that the subject’s palm and elbow both face up.
  4. With your strong-side hand, grab the subject’s triceps, with your thumb on one side and your fingers on the other side of the arm.
  5. Hold the subject close.

Figure 9.20: Single escort position

II                         Arm-Bar Control

Arm-bar control is employed when a subject locks up during the escort procedure. As soon as this form of resistance is encountered, the security officer should immediately move to an arm-bar control technique.

a.             Arm-Bar Control Technique

When the arm-bar control technique is applied, the subject’s thought process will need to be interrupted in order to distract the subject from locking his/her arm. This can easily be accomplished by applying a knee strike to the subjects nearest thigh. This distraction tends to weaken the subject’s motor control, giving the security officer the edge needed to apply the arm-bar.

The application process involves the following steps:

  1. Apply the knee strike to the subject’s thigh.
  2. Immediately grasp the subject’s wrist to your hip, palm up, and move your other hand to simulate a knife-edge on the back of the triceps (Figure 9.21, left).
  3. Use the bony part of your forearm to apply pressure to the triceps in a downward motion. This should cause the subject to bend over at the waist and lose balance (Figure 9.21, right).
  4. Once the subject loses balance, you can move the subject in the direction you want him/her to go.
  5. If the subject continues to resist, immediately move into a grounding technique.

Figure 9.21: Left: Knife-edge on back of triceps. Right: Arm-bar

a.             Arm-Bar Grounding Technique

Note: Consideration should be given to duration of time and meeting the objective of the technique when applying a knee or pressure point to the head or neck area to minimize possibility of airway restriction.

Apply the arm-bar grounding technique if resistance is encountered after applying the arm-bar technique. This technique is dynamic and flows very quickly from a standing position to a grounded position. First, interrupt the subject’s thought process to divert attention from resisting and make him/her think of something else by applying a knee strike to the subjects nearest thigh. This distraction tends to weaken the subject’s motor control, giving the security officer the edge needed to apply the grounding technique.

The application process involves the following steps:

  1. Apply the knee strike to the subject’s thigh.
  2. Step back with your outside leg and then rotate your body until you are facing the opposite direction (Figure 9.22, left).
  3. As you rotate, kneel on the knee that is closest to the subject, thus forcing the subject to the ground (Figure 9.22, right). It is important that you maintain the arm-bar throughout the grounding technique.

Figure 9.22: Left: Step and rotate. Right: Kneel on closest knee

Slide the subject’s arm across your mid-section (Figure 9.23, left) as you rotate your body into the prone handcuffing position (Figure 9.23, right).

Figure 9.23: Left: Rotate body. Right: Prone handcuffing position

III     Standard Wristlock

The standard wristlock works well anytime control needs to be established over a subject quickly. The application process involves the following steps:

  1. Grasp the subject’s hand and turn it palm up (Figure 9.24, left).
  2. While rotating the hand palm up, apply pressure to the back of the hand and push it toward the subject’s elbow. This should cause pain to the subject and gain compliance (Figure 9.24, right).
  3. If the subject does not comply immediately, move to a grounding technique.
  4. This technique can be applied in the same manner from standing

Figure 9.24: Left: Standard wristlock, grasp hand. Right: Standard wristlock, turn hand palm up and apply pressure.

a.    Wristlock Grounding Technique

The wristlock grounding technique may be carried out from any position if the subject resists after the wristlock is applied. The application process involves the following steps:

  1. Simultaneously flex the subject’s hand toward his/her elbow and pull the arm to the ground (Figure 9.25).
  2. As you pull the arm to the ground, step backward until the subject is in a prone handcuffing position. Step and slide your feet in order to maintain balance and not trip.
  3. Straighten the subject’s arm and move to a prone handcuffing position.

Figure 9.25: Wristlock grounding technique

b.     Compression Wristlock

The compression wristlock (Figure 9.26) is used when a subject needs to be moved a short distance and the security officer believes that the subject may resist. The application process involves the following steps:

Figure 9.26: Compression wristlock

When applied in the sitting or kneeling positions, use pressure on the wrist to have the subject stand up or sit down, depending upon your needs. You can make the subject stand up by elevating the wrist (Figure 9.27, left) and pushing up on the triceps (Figure 9.27, right) or sit down by lowering the wrist and pushing down on the triceps (Figure 9.28).

Figure 9.27: top: Preparing subject to stand up. bottum: Standing up

Figure 9.28: Sitting down

c.    Inverted Compression Wristlock

If the subject begins to resist while in the compression wristlock, immediately move to an inverted compression wristlock position (Figure 9.29). The application process involves the following steps:

  1. Retain the wristlock and move the subject’s arm behind his/her back.
  2. Move slightly behind the subject and lock the elbow of the restrained arm into the armpit of the hand you are using to secure the triceps.
  3. Release your grip on the triceps. Push your arm forward between the subject’s body and the restrained arm, bring that hand over the top of the subject’s restrained hand, and use it to apply pressure to the wrist.
  4. Move your other hand to the top of the subject’s shoulder and use it to stabilize the subject.

Now you can leverage the subject against any solid item and hold him/her there until you apply handcuffs.

Figure 9.29: Inverted compression wristlock