I've had my fingers grabbed lots of times during judo and bjj groundwork. They didn't try and break them though. I would have loved to have gone for the pinky when I was about to keylock a dude but he had a death grip on his pants.
We tried this in class one time as an escape from a standing RNC. The problem I found was when the hand belonging to the arm doing the choking was covered by the other hand. It was possible to get hold of the thumb on the covering hand, but it involved a lot of fumbling around and probably wouldn't be possible if the attacker shakes you about a bit.
I would put the small joint manipulation to the same category as eye gouging and groin biting: hard to practice, not too trustworthy, but good thing to add into your style (both offensive and defensive).
During rolling I have been grabbed from the fingers for several times. Usually I try to secure them (like making a fist) or try some other technique. If it was a real fight I would do small joint manipulation my self if someone tried to grab my fingers, while I was in dominant position. I have twisted my fingers several times by accident. Currently my left thumb has been sore for almost three weeks. It doesn't prevent me from doing techniques, but in some grips it hurts and I cannot keep so good grip.
In one BJJ-competition my friend hurt his hand in semifinals and in finals he fought with his hand tied. It was notable disadvantage to him, yet he managed to give good resistance to the other, who won the match by couple of points.
Recently I was told that holding leg not from the ankle, but from the toe area is much better. During sparring I have noticed that this seems to be true. So small joint 'manipulation' is rather good way to gain control even if you're not allowed to submit that way.
In a guillotine choke, even if it wasn't a good one, I don't see much effect with small joint manipulation. (And I cannot even dream a way to hurt with elbow to solar plexus). Much effective would be pushing from the face, while securing the choke with another hand. It sounds to me that the instructor you have discussed with is totally lost with resisting opponent concept (and many other important things related to fighting and self defense).
Like any of the other dirty fighting tricks (Their words) you hear about from RBSD instructors who suck, it's something that worries me more in the context of someone in a dominant position doing it to me, and seeing as they would be in a position to beat the **** out of me, I have no intention of being in that situation.
So consensus is: might occasionally be useful, but since: (i) its not a panacea technique you can rely on to save you consistently from an inferior position; and (ii) its not allowed in competition then there's little point in worrying too much about it?
That would certainly cohere with my sole experience in this area, which was in a Hapkido class about 4 years ago where, after a grading, we got to grapple, starting from the knees. Striking was out but, unbeknownst to me, small joint manipulation was ok. The guy I fought was smaller than me but Blue Belt to my yellow. He just kept scrabbling around and trying to grab my sweaty hands. I got him with (if my recollection serves) a triangle, then an armbar from guard, then an armbar from mount. I then got a kimura on, he tapped and when I let him go he immediately grabbed my wrist with one hand and thumb with the other and just W-R-E-N-C-H-E-D my thumb back and then to the side as hard as he could without giving me a chance to tap. It hurt an awful lot and I screamed like a girl. The instructors stopped it there, but after I had taped up my thumb they refused to let me have another shot at the guy and claimed his technique was legitimate because Hapkido is a 'real' art not a sport. F*ckers.
The point is that this technique had failed to save him four times, and I had only the slightest bit more grappling skill than him so it's probably as good as useless against someone competent.
Originally Posted by tapoften
The fucker wrenched your thumb AFTER he'd given up? I do hope you never went there again.
Yes, I was a little bit surprised to say the least. It hurt enough to interfere with my sleep for the next two weeks.
I actually kept training with them, as it was the guys who had come down for the grading who had such a stupid attitude, whereas the regular students and instructor were ok. It wasn't ideal, but it was cheap, close to where I lived and the usual instructor was keen on sparrng and groundwork, and had little faith in much of the traditional wrist locking etc.
"Real art you say?"
*Makes a flying armbar and snaps the arm*
"So it seems..."
It takes quite a while to actually get some other doodz fingers in your hands when the dood is resisting.
Try it with a friend, tell him you want to grapple and go for his fingers, he must resist, by the time you wrenched one finger loose, you already been pounded on your face 5 times or so.
could work, i dont want to bet on it though.
Could you explain that a bit better? I really don't get what you mean here.
Originally Posted by wanabeshinobi
I think the instructor mentioned in the OP was talking about finger breaks to get out of a guillotine, not get into one.
Originally Posted by wanabeshinobi
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