Wristlocks have been a part of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) since its inception, but their use has been a source of controversy among practitioners. Some argue that wristlocks add a valuable dimension to the sport, while others believe that they should be banned due to their potential for causing injury. I personally think if a wristlock works, than use it however that is not why we are here today.
In this article, we will examine 10 reasons why wristlocks should be banned in BJJ.
Wristlocks can cause serious injury
One of the most compelling arguments against the use of wristlocks in BJJ is that they can cause serious injury. When applied incorrectly or with excessive force, wristlocks can damage the wrist joint, ligaments, and tendons, leading to long-term pain and reduced mobility. This risk of injury is especially high for beginners and those with pre-existing wrist injuries. We do want our training partner to be able to keep training however we must argue that we fight how we train. Is there a safe way similar to getting a bite on a heel hook and "catch and releasing" the technique applicable in this example? (to be continued)
Wristlocks can be difficult to escape
Wristlocks can be difficult to escape once they are applied. Unlike other submissions, such as armbars or chokes, wristlocks can be applied quickly and with little warning, leaving the victim with little time to react. This can be particularly problematic for beginners who may not yet have developed the skills to defend against wristlocks. Keep in mind we all learn how to become better at BJJ by getting beaten over and over again.
Wristlocks can discourage new practitioners
The use of wristlocks in BJJ can discourage new practitioners from continuing with the sport. Many beginners may be intimidated by the prospect of being submitted with a wristlock and may feel that they are at a disadvantage compared to more experienced practitioners who are familiar with the technique. It may be good practice to explain the need to survive during the first few years of BJJ to allow new practitioners to remove the ego to get better at Jiu Jitsu.
Wristlocks are not essential to the practice of BJJ
While wristlocks have been a part of BJJ since its inception, they are not essential to the practice of the sport. Many practitioners feel that the use of wristlocks is a relatively recent development and that the sport can function perfectly well without them. I imagine there are organizations that ban wristlocks from competition. I also imagine that if you can use it in a real confrontation it pays off to be proficient in wristlocks.
Wristlocks can be used maliciously
Like any submission, wristlocks can be used maliciously by practitioners who are seeking to injure their opponents. While this is a relatively rare occurrence, it is a concern for many practitioners who feel that the use of wristlocks should be regulated to prevent injury. It is important to keep our training partners safe and be kind when trying to break their wrists.. (true story)
Wristlocks can be used to gain an unfair advantage
Some practitioners argue that wristlocks can be used to gain an unfair advantage in competition. Because wristlocks can be applied quickly and with little warning, they can catch opponents off guard and lead to a submission victory. This can be seen as unfair by some practitioners who feel that the use of wristlocks should be restricted to prevent this kind of advantage.
Wristlocks can be difficult to judge
Determining whether a wristlock has been applied correctly or with excessive force can be difficult for referees and judges. This can lead to disagreements and disputes between competitors and can ultimately undermine the integrity of the sport. On the other hand if the person taps, they tap. End of story!
Wristlocks can detract from the artistry of BJJ
Some practitioners argue that the use of wristlocks detracts from the artistry of BJJ by emphasizing brute force and submission victories over technical skill and creativity. By banning wristlocks, practitioners would be forced to rely on other submissions and techniques, leading to a greater emphasis on technical skill and creativity. I think its safe to say that if it works in a real confrontation, you should use it. I also understand why its been banned to avoid unnecessary injury.
Wristlocks can be overly aggressive
The use of wristlocks can be seen as overly aggressive by some practitioners who feel that the sport should prioritize control and technique over submission victories. By banning wristlocks, practitioners would be encouraged to focus on control and position, leading to a more measured and technical approach to the sport. There are pros and cons to this perception. The evolution of BJJ relies on its expansion of technical choices and I think wristlocks are here to stay.
Wristlocks are banned in other martial arts
Finally, it is worth noting that wristlocks are banned in many other martial arts, including Judo and Sambo. While this is not necessarily an argument in favor of banning wristlocks in BJJ, it does suggest that there are reasons why they may not be used.
So, the question remains... To wristlock or not to wristlock?
I say wristlock the world!
Matthew Tropp | BJJ Report