Powerful Yet Deadly Wrist Locks in BJJ
Wrist locks in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) have remained an underrated technique because not many fighters know the wrist lock techniques. When we talk about technique, many think that it is going to be rocket science as for many people wristlocks in BJJ has remained an unexplored arena. With Gi or No-Gi, one can learn the art of wristlocks in Bjj. Wristlocks are quite an effective submission and it will end up in your opponent tapping for the game to end. Apart from wrist locks in Bjj, there are multifarious submissions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) that are focused on attacking tendons and ligaments but wristlocks have the power to break a bone.

With wrist locks in Bjj, your size does not matter as you can capture a giant opponent with smart wristlock techniques.

How effective is a wristlock?

In modern grappling, wristlock techniques are considered very effective. The only condition is proper drilling and training. If trained well, no other technique will be as good as the wristlock in your BJJ arsenal. Travis Steven has made history with his nasty and badass wristlock techniques. The wristlock attacks leave your opponent with no option but tapping because the wrist has tiny muscles and armbar or kimura is going to have an unmatched impact on the entire arm including the bone. It gives you an edge while you are fighting with a bigger opponent as you can easily capitalize on the wrist of your giant opponent. Many people equate it with neck crank but wristlocks are way more decent technique than neck crank.

Wristlock techniques are low risk and you can easily get control of the ring by utilizing it. You cannot break the turtle position of a bigger opponent and wristlock will make him tap without requiring you to open your guard.

Are Wristlocks Legal in BJJ?

It is a much-hyped debate which has made this technique a bit controversial. Wristlocks are mostly considered legal in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

The IBJJF rulebook states wristlocks to be illegal for kids, white belt adults, and adolescents but for adults at blue belt level and above, it is legal.

Again, every match has certain rules and different governing bodies have different views regarding it. However:


  • NAGA – North American Grappling Association has made it illegal for kids and teens but it is legal for adults
  • ADCC – Abu Dhabi Combat Club considers wristlocks to be legal
  • US Grappling has made it illegal in all juvenile divisions but it is legal for adults
  • SJJIF – Sport Jiu-Jitsu International Federation has made it illegal for kids but legal for juveniles above white belts
  • In Judo, wristlocks and other joint manipulations lead to immediate disqualification
  • In Sport Sambo, wristlocks are not legal

Not learning an amazing technique because there is a hyped debate about is not going to help you but learning it and using this deadly joint manipulation is going to grab that win for you. Following are few exceptional wristlock techniques that you can learn to make the other person tap out.


Armbar in BJJ

If you are a newbie in the art of wristlocks, it is recommended to start learning submission by following the technique that offers you more control over your opponent. Armbar in the wristlock technique which can immobilize your rival. You can start your armbar attack on your opponent from any position. If you want to start from the top, from the guard leading to the top, all you have to do is break the grip of your opponent. Armbar hyperextends the elbow and it can damage ligaments if your opponent is bigger than you, thus, the low-risk technique here is the wristlock.

  • Ensure that your opponent’s right elbow touches your stomach is you are attacking their right arm.
  • Grab their knuckles in your hand.
  • Put pressure to bend their hand and compress it as much as you can and this will force your opponent to tap out.  

Closed Guard

Closed Guard in BJJ

With a closed guard, you can get control of your opponent and tackle their movements. Closed guard is used against various submissions like triangles, armbars, Omo Plata, and especially when your opponent tries to open your guard. When your opponent attempts to break your guard, you can counterattack him with a dominant wristlock. Ensure to put pressure on the wrist backward but be careful as it is a very powerful technique.

Side Control

Side Control in BJJ

Armbar and closed guard wristlocks in BJJ are going to prepare you for side control. When you attack your opponent with topside control, you have a great opportunity to attack with a wristlock. For this, you have to pass the guard of your rival. Inside control, your opponent will likely attack your neck and collarbone with his arm and this is the point where you have to lock his wrist. Once you have taken control of the other person, it is high time to start compressing the wrist by moving your neck forward. This will put extra pressure on the wrist and guess what? You are the winner.

In a nutshell, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wristlocks are a powerful and effective technique for submission. It prepares you to fight against an opponent of any size. It is not an overnight thing as you will need to practice a lot. To make it your most powerful submission attack, you need to keep practicing it. Keep yourself motivated and you will become a pro in wristlock attacks. You can use wristlock combinations too as this deadly combination is going to destroy your opponent.