Developing a Strong Wrist Lock in BJJ With Nathan Leverton

Stuart Tomlinson


Martial Arts, Kickboxing and Boxing, Muay Thai


Welcome to the latest video in our series of martial arts tutorials filmed and explained by Warrior Collective. Warrior Collective is run by Stuart Tomlinson, who has been involved in shaping the UK martial arts scene for over twenty years.


In this piece, Nathan Leverton, world-renowned instructor and head coach of Leicester Shoot Fighters in Leicester, runs through some different wrist locks and variations on how to hit them in no-gi Brazilian jiu jitsu, submission wrestling, or mixed martial arts.


Origin of the Sport

Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art based on the notion that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger opponent. This is done through the use of proper technique and leverage, combined with an understanding of how to take the fight to the ground. Therefore, joint-locks, chokes, and other submissions are important aspects of the sport. They are used to finish the encounter, should it be necessary beyond when control has been established.


In modern times, BJJ has become more recognised in the mainstream because of its successful application in mixed martial arts, showcasing the importance of grappling and ground fighting to audiences around the world.


Using Wrist Locks in Combat Sports

An opponent’s unfamiliarity with wrist locks and how to defend them adds an element of surprise to your submission game. In this video, Nathan introduces the idea of attacking the wrist to get a submission along with some effective techniques.


When Nathan first started learning grappling years ago, he felt the focus was always on upper body submissions, primarily, arm locks, and chokes. Today, lower body submissions are gaining in popularity, but the wrist lock remains as an underrated technique.


Wrist locks are often associated with traditional martial arts such as aikido and Japanese ju jitsu, so there is a question mark over the efficacy of the technique for many BJJ practitioners. When grappling, however, wrist locks can be an important addition to your current arsenal of attacks.


For many grapplers, the wrist is a weak point that can attacked easily. Strong wrists not only help with submissions, but also when breaking grips and manipulating an opponent's arm. They also play an important part in opening up a more conventional attack such as an armlock.


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