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Do This If Assailant Grabs Both Your Wrists (instructional video included)

An easy way for an assailant to control a smaller, weaker person is to grab both of their wrists. This method of control works because the assailant can move you around easily by pulling your arms in the direction that they want you to go; and in the case of both your wrists being grabbed, you cannot hit him/her to fight back.

Additionally, wrist grabbing is an instinctual technique that anyone can do. For example, in a street situation, it's not unusual to see one person grab both of the other persons wrists to stop them from hitting them. Additionally, double wrist grabs are an effective way to set up a wrestling takedown, or judo throw, so try to avoid getting both of your wrists grabbed.

If the assailant grabs both your wrists:

Pull your wrists closer to your body while turning your thumbs and wrists upward and outward to break the hold (using a hitchhiker's motion). Use your body weight to help you twist up and outward, away from their grab. Perform this in a fast and more forceful manner to force them to release the grab.

If you cannot escape their hold, drive your body weight into them while performing the following strikes:

  • Shovel kicks or knees (depending on how far/close they are) to the assailant’s groin.

  • Head butt assailant's face or solar plexus (if within reach).

  • Repeatedly pull your hands away while striking to escape their hold..

If one of your wrists get freed, start striking the assailant with that hand using:

  • Palm heal strikes and hammer fists to assailant's nose/face.

  • Horizontal or vertical elbow strikes to the assailants nose/face, or solar plexus.

  • Repeatedly pull your hands away while striking to escape their hold.

Below are two demonstration videos of how to attack the assailant if both your wrists are grabbed.

If you're interested in learning more essential self-defense techniques and tactics, get my book, The Short Fight, on Amazon at

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Until next time, Stay Safe!

Lawrence Castanon

Author, The Short Fight


Head Butts against both wrists grabbed

Groin Kicks against both wrists grabbed

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