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Lampa
5/08/2004 2:15pm,
Okay, I'll try to give you an explaination for what I'm doing here and why I'm asking about small joint manipulation before I get to the actual question without this being too much of a "Hi, I'm new" thread.

I'm a writer by profesion and a martial artist by hobby. I move around a lot, so I don't stick around to practice at anyone one school for very long. Right now, I'm writing a book that has a lot about the martial arts, both TMA and MMA, imbedded into it. Incodentally, it's a book that I've spent a lot of time to make sure it can get on the shelves shortly after its completion. Now, I've been trying to write this novel in such a way that uses all the metaphors of the martial arts and their parallels with other aspects of life while trying not to go into the realm of bullshido. Now, that line probably sounds like bullshido. Let's say it this way, I'm writing it like a piece of literature, not an instruction manual. But, I don't want it to be unrealistic. To this end, I've joined a lot of martial arts communities online (the_dojang being one of the most prolific) in order to talk to people who can give me differing opinions on what the matrial arts means to them but can also help me stay grounded in reality.

That long-ass paragraph is pretty much the motivation for every question I'll ask on this forum. Now, on to the actual martial arts.

I always figured standing small joint manipulation was crap in a street fight, or even in a bout where someone is actively resisting. It's not something I have ever been able to do in any semi-realistic contact sparring, nor have I seen the many people more talented than I am able to pull it off. This all went hand in hand with my general distaste for Aiki styles being taught as practicle self defense. I mean, who could be a bigger poster boy for bullshido than Steven Seagal, right?

Someone I spoke to recently has almost changed my mind about this. He's a private student of Steve Sexton. I knew Sexton's name before this, as to say I knew he was a martial artist made famous for being a bouncer. What I did not know was that Sexton was trained in Hapkido, and has not altered the way he teaches it since he learned it from Jung Bai Lee. Now, it wasn't just talk that almost changed my mind about this. But one thing I've learned from my experience in actual self defense is that the ability to kick my ass doesn't automatically make you an authority on all that is effective in a street fight. So, I'd like to ask you guys to weigh in on this. Have you ever used standing small joint manipulation for self defense? Do you think it can work at all?

katana
5/08/2004 2:24pm,
In referring to small joint manipulation I'm assuming you mean breaking fingers, etc.

It may work if the person you're doing it against isn't really trying to hurt you or isn't commited to fighting. I think it works horribly if they are resisting strongly or don't react to the pain. It's too easy for the person to pull away out of the lock or just not care. I've gone though class with broken fingers and toes and didn't know it until after I got home. It's just not reliable.

Lampa
5/08/2004 2:38pm,
Sorry. I sometimes forget that terminology changes inbetween comunities.

By standing small joint manipulation I mean any breaking, locking, or throwing by the fingers, wrists, or elbows. So, yeah, finger breaking is a part of that, but not really the part I've ever seen argued, since the ineffectiveness of trying to break individual fingers usually goes without saying. Think the kinds of things you see in Hapkido and some of the less ridiculous Aikido (if that exists) to give you an idea of what I'm trying to describe.

katana
5/08/2004 2:42pm,
Originally posted by Lampa
Sorry. I sometimes forget that terminology changes inbetween comunities.

By standing small joint manipulation I mean any breaking, locking, or throwing by the fingers, wrists, or elbows. So, yeah, finger breaking is a part of that, but not really the part I've ever seen argued, since the ineffectiveness of trying to break individual fingers usually goes without saying. Think the kinds of things you see in Hapkido and some of the less ridiculous Aikido (if that exists) to give you an idea of what I'm trying to describe.

Ok well my opinion is going to cause a big **** storm, but I don't think standing jointlocks work well in general. They require too much control over the person and it's too easy for them to yank or struggle out of the lock and/or hit you in the face while you're screwing around with them. I think joint locks work great once you have control of the person on the ground though.

Shooter
5/08/2004 2:44pm,
The idea isn't necessarily to break things. Compliance and surrender is the basic premise. Further, creating reactionary movement in a certain direction or toward a certain shape is another facet/subset.

Then there are tearing and rending applications...very painful and debilitating

Punisher
5/08/2004 2:57pm,
I agree with Shooter. For a long time I didn't think a whole lot of SJM, then I went to a Wally Jay Seminar. I wrote about my experience in a couple of theards.

From http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=10835

I went to a Wally Jay seminar a few years ago and thought the stuff was really cool. This seminar sold me on the potential effectiveness on finger locks. Jay was able to get a hold on my fingers and lead me around the room, and there really wasnít anything I could do to stop him.

For whatever, reason the guy I went to the seminar with didnít feel any pain due to finger locks and I was having great difficultly performing any of the techniques on him and asked Jay for help. He gained control of my partners fingers, applied a lock, didnít get the result he wanted, and immediately moved up to the wrist and took control that way. My friend left the seminar impressed as well.

This thread also has some opions on the subject.
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=9703

Lampa
5/08/2004 3:05pm,
Thanks Punisher. Didn't notice that thread when I was looking for information. That should give me a little extra reading material on that.

And, shooter, I was originally of the same opinion as katana. Between testimonials and demonstrations I've seen recently, I'm perfectly willing to give what your saying consideration. But could you be a little bit more specific. I'm aware of the theory behind SJM, but I was wondering how useful you have found it in actual self defense or other active resistance scenarios. Shooting me an annecdote to go along with it, basically.

Spunky
5/08/2004 4:46pm,
This is sort of off-topic, but it brings up a question I've been had: I've usually seen "small-joints" in reference to fingers and toes, but often in sparring rules and written definitions this includes wrists and elbows as well. How exactly are "small joints" defined in NHB competitions (it surely varies from event to event, I'm looking for some examples).

I don't have any personal anecdotes to contribute, sorry for throwing this in but I'm curious.

TaeBo_Master
5/08/2004 5:08pm,
From what I've seen, if your opponent is trying to HIT you, then you've got only a slim chance to make a joint manipulation work from standing. However, if your opponent GRABS you, then you've got better odds.

KillerInstinct
5/08/2004 5:25pm,
instead of a sucker punch or if a family member goes after you it's useful. Also to get information out of people like if someone knew where your kidnapped wife is but wouldn't tell and you couldn't bruise him up by beating the **** out of him without going to prison jointlocks or guillitones, etc. would be best.

chaosexmachina
5/08/2004 5:37pm,
Quite the imagination there, KI.

Te No Kage!
5/08/2004 6:38pm,
Why is the wrist/elbow considered small joint? I've never trained to attack fingers or toes in aikido. And I think people generally have the wrong idea when it comes to joint locks. A joint lock is only applied once positional dominance is attained through body movements and strikes. A joint lock is never made to gain positional dominance. And joint locking is only a portion of aikido which also has many throws. But really the majority of joint locks require commitment from the attacker which involves them not letting go. The origin of these (grabs) come from attackers trying to immobolize the drawing hand of the attackee. So if I have a knife in my hand, you don't want to let go because you'll be cut. The same instance goes for my sword-drawing hand, you don't want to let go or else I'll draw my sword and cut you down. But in all probability, a throw is much more likely to occur than a joint lock in real life unless there is real commitment from the attacker. Remember that aikidoka want to get out of the situation as fast as possible and not engage the enemy unless absolutely necessary. The other thing to note is that kuzushi is a cornerstone of aikido and controlling the elbow is usually a means to an end in this regard. If you control the elbows, you control the center. I would like to think that judoka have noticed this as well.

chaosexmachina
5/08/2004 6:40pm,
Inside control of the arms/elbows is very important for any type of standing grappling.

chaosexmachina
5/08/2004 6:42pm,
But control of the wait or head is better. lol

Which is to say that inside control of the elbows is step one.

Te No Kage!
5/08/2004 6:52pm,
in aikido we control the head sometimes, but the waist is hard to control without using brute strength which is something that we try not to do. That's probably one of the big differences between aikido and all other "real" standup grappling systems.

chaosexmachina
5/08/2004 6:57pm,
Well I wouldn't call it brute strength exactly, but I think it's just the way aikido's philosophy sees certain techniques, so I understand what you are saying.