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Nasty Thumb Lock Takedown

Nearly all of us have been in a situation where a guy has grabbed our upper arm to try to gain control of you or show his dominance. Grabbing the arm is a common way for someone to escalate a conflict without throwing a punch.

Because this is so common any self defense system is not complete without having a way to deal with this kind of attack.

Most of the time when a guy is grabbing your arm this way a fight is eminent. The last thing you want is to start the fight with the attacker already in control of you.

A grab like this is also a common way for multiple attackers to work. One guy grabs and restrains you while another guy starts laying on a beat down. Not a good place to be.

Fortunately there is a really easy way to take down a guy who has grabbed your arm, even if he is larger and stronger than you. This technique relies on a thumb lock that the attacker is literally handing you when he grabs hold of your arm.

Check out the video to see exactly how this is done.

As you can see in the video this technique doesn’t rely on size or strength. Like any good self defense move it relies on you being smart and using any advantage you have.

The great thing about this move is that when you drop your weight you will be able to take down guys who are way heavier than you are (even if you are only 150 pounds). Also this self defense move actually works better if you are shorter than your attacker, because when you drop down to your knees you will be pulling him further off balance.

Go ahead and practice this move with a training partner or friend. As you can see in the video you should train this with floor pads so you can really practice taking the attacker down to the ground.

Be careful this thumb lock can break the thumb so be smart when you practice it.

This is just one more great self defense tool to add to your arsenal.

For more great combat instruction from Special Forces soldier Jack Stone check out his American Samurai package.

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238 thoughts on “Nasty Thumb Lock Takedown”

  1. im on old man with little strength I like to know how to take care of my self how to defend my self I like free techiniques free dvd’s I enjoy learning and would like to know how I can get discounted dvd’s to train from as for my wife and I we are both to old to be able to run five miles but we would like to know how to take five minutes to bring an attacker to the ground

  2. I liked that, it was rather simple and easy to implement even for an older person or woman. Enjoy the videos and the information you share to helps us in our lives in the event of a confrontation.

    Bob Barker

  3. I have never had a bent for fighting. Being a not huge guy avoiding confrontation whenever possible was my credo. However these tools are so inspirational, I walk around certain that with the combination of instructions from martial artist friends and family, and the fightfast lessons, I have developed a sense of invincibility. This newfound confidence probbly serves as a deterrent to possible assailants. Thank you, Bob, and all, for giving me power I never even considered possessing.

  4. Would that work as well to lock him in by the arm and then knee them in the groin? It seems like the arm move would take their mind away from protecting other areas of their bodies and you would then be in a position to hit a very unprotected area of their body. Great move to remember!

  5. One good move deserves another. Attacked in a VFW canteen by a very troublesome drunk, I was concerned as I have had 5 bypasses and 2 pig valves put in my chest recently along with one stent. Seeing a kick aimed at my chest I leaned over it with arms crossed and grabbing the leg after blocking the kick I used his momentum to raise it toward the ceiling in a narrow hallway leading to the back door and my escape. I seen his floor leg had collapsed and his knee was against the wall, his ankle partially bent. A slight push and his ass fell on his ankle and broke it. HE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DRIVE FOR UP TO 6 WEEKS AND THEN ONLY AN AUTO-TRANNY AFTER HE PASSES REHAB. All I ever did was check your stuff and take a couple lessons from a Kodakon Sensei named Mat-San then drove my 5 year old Son (Fight Name Kool Whip) for years to Judo matches all over the island of Honshu and the American Southwest. I am very concious that when I do get in a fight I am in danger of a kick that will bust one of my surgeries and kill me. Leaving will not work as a tactic to stop a fight as I was trying to leave when I heard footsteps running after me and I turned and seen his shoe headed my way. One thing was helpful and that was the battle was fast but it seemed as if his action was very slow. He had been heavily drinking. I was sober and glag of it! I am a past appointed trouble shooter for The Viet Nam 7th Fleet Admiral but also 75 years old and aware that every attack now may be deadly just like it used to be!

  6. I’m not really crazy about this technique, as it puts you too close to the ground with your opponent. This makes you more open to other negative situations.

  7. Most of the defensive moves I see – not just here – require you to be alert and responsive AT THE TIME.
    The most vital part of all self defense is situational awareness.
    The second vital point is to understand your own weak points.

    Especially for females, it is important to know that any “practised” street thug can and will take you down, unless you are superfit, trained and aware.
    BUT, never fail to resist! Scream and fight!
    Your best chance is to avoid places of potential danger that attract idiots.
    E.G. NEVER be in a Bar 30 minutes before closing time.

    ALWAYS be “armed”. Male or female, you need to cut the odds unless you ARE Rambo. Best if it is a firearm, but, Mace, or opened penknife, or even a knitting needle triples your chances.

    I think it was Samuel Colt summed it up nicely: “The Colt 45 is a great equaliser”.
    There is a lovely young mother in the “Mythbusters” TV Show who is an amazing crack shot, even with 50 cal monsters, much less handguns.

    Now that I’m getting old and the punks are getting more insane, and forming mad dog packs, I’m going to get myself a legal handgun. A difficult proposition in Australia, where only punks can get them easily.

  8. Terrific! Now, I want to know how to get more. I could suggest a class to be taught for a Church group or neighborhood meeting. We women need to be able to defend ourselves against intruders. THANKS!

  9. Bob, I am 71 years old. When I am confronted with a situation I get extremely shakey. Then I can’t think straight. Any suggestions?

  10. Great technique!Easy to apply. Keep up the great work, posting
    these potentially life saving moves, even the non aggressive
    Thanks, Bob, and to all the staff at TRS:FightFast.

  11. as an aikido student we would just take the right arm at his inside elbow and bend him to the ground or lift his arm up and place my other arm under his arm pit and flip him with my shoulder and body weight.. with aikido there are thousands of moves!! 🙂

  12. My interest in your site is for a reason. We have several youngsters that have to walk to school or to a bus stop. It is not safe out there today regardless of age. As a former P D O I WISH ALL, Police Departments would offer a free course to all students, Maybe even in their schools if possable ?
    Over the years I have taken several self defence courses. Yes I have used this take down, it worked good. This would be great for all us ladies in our retirement years, a mall at night is not safe to be at alone. Sometimes your own home can come under attack. People need to be more aware of how to defend them self. More training should be offered.

  13. I really like these tips you give me.i have brain cancer and so I cant use my right hand very good and I had a tumor removed,

  14. Great lesson! Curious… how do you suggest a person respond to a attacker who approaches and grabs his/her arm from the side/rear?

    Personally, I’ve never had someone walk directly up to me and grab my arm (from the front) like in the video.


  15. I really enjoy these videos, and gotten some good ideas from them. But this one I don’t agree w/. Why tie up w/ someone and go to the ground on purpose when you have so many other options that leave you free, standing, and able to run?

  16. It was need how you used leverage against his assaistraighover hand left have worked in that same situation right to the jaw of course for the knockout punch ours at a bad idea???

  17. Nice moove. Especially for dating.

    Please let the nice man know it’s okay to show his face, even if he has pimples or facial deformities. We won’t hold against him.

  18. Anyone who is taking these tutorials seriously should learn ‘Breakfall’ techniques too, because if any of the holds are applied against you, at least you would know how to absorb your fall. The use of your arm slapping the ground, and bending your head towards your belly will save you from serious injuries.This is among the first lessons in ‘Judo’.

  19. After sufering a stroke I thought of my self as finished in the normal world,but die to my friend bob, &fight fast I can once again hold my head up in public.I Was a ROCK star of the 80s & 90s, & toured the states with fleetwood mac Peter Frampton & ten Years After, with ALVIN LEE.& numerous other bands.I have been an Entertainer for nearly50 years ,starting in School@the age of 12.my working,life started down the coal pits of Nottingham. which lerft me with the nick name beefy. but the coal dust took it´s toll& damaged my lungs, & I believe was responsible for my stroke.As I have stated previously the stroke I suffered,not only destroyed my life ,but mad it very difficult to carry on in my chosen profession of lead singer with my band.Bob, not only gave me hope ,but,with his training& forthright positive approach to self defense gave me back the courage tore boot my life.It will work for you too.to let you confront the daily challenges that life throws at you As It has with me, THANKS BOB!

  20. Having been the only woman assigned to an Army Bn w/a TO&E of 1500 men + our Infantry support back in the Cold War that was hot w/terrorists and such, I was taught by the men to defend myself. I am much older and have a service dog now & need to be refreshed. As the rule of DO NOT ASSUME of the Army and self defense, _I am comcerned about the perps free hand. I realize the the move is quick & done with surprise. The perp may also be prepared.

  21. very, nice way too remove the balance, instanly of someone trying to establish dominace…. even if your caught off guard!!

  22. Great move when the attacker reaches across. But what do you do if he reaches for your left arm with his right hand? Help

  23. Excellent but simple move, but practice makes it an automatic response should you be confronted in that way. I do have a question. It appears as the attacker is going down, there is an opportunity to hit him t in the face with your elbow or forearm. Is this something you would recommend. And, if not, why?
    Back to an example of practice. During the heart storm in the Northeast, I had a good friend of mine who refused to leave his house because he was afraid of looters. Like myself, he h has a license to carry a handgun; and certainly in his own home. I reviewed with him what he should do if they broke in, and told him to be prepared to react with deadly force if they come closer than ten feet to you. I also suggested he leave a sign ion all entrances, stating he was an NRA member, and he will use deadly force if anyone even tries to break in.
    The following night he came face to face with two masked men who broke into his front door. With gun in hand he told them to leave. He must have second guessed what he should do next. One man came forward and punched him the jaw, then ran. He never fired a shot. The result, two featured teeth, one required extraction and a dental implant. That is a big price to pay for not defending your own home. We all need to practice so they become second nature in case these things happen. I don’t know about other state laws; but in Arizona you are allowed to use deadly force if your home has been violated.
    ThanksTo Bob Pierce for sharing his knowledge with all of us!

  24. I have a lot of the DVDs Still not adept at the moves but working with a guy to get there. No question at all about whether they work or not. It takes some practice so one can be fluid in making the moves quickly. John

  25. I really enjoy all the videos and articles that you send. Please keep them coming.
    I really have learned from them.
    Thank you.

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