Arresting Locks and Compliance Holds

Arresting techniques are very different from the usual fighting techniques that you use against an opponent. When you compete or fight for self-defense you and your opponent are on equal footing. However, in arresting, you cannot be in equal to your opponent. You should always be one or two steps ahead in thinking and positioning. You should be able to move in properly before your counterpart figures out what your next move is. By the time your opponent realizes what you are doing, you should already been in control of him.


The knowledge of arresting locks opens up a new insight into the vulnerability of the techniques that your opponent might use. When you know arresting locks, you can take control of the situation no matter what an attacker might throw at you. They also enable you to take immediate control of your attacker’s weapon if necessary and use it against him.

There are three positions that you want to move into to arrest your counterpart: behind him, on the side of him, or take him to the ground while you remain upright. Once you secure one of these positions you should be able to control his joints in various ways so that you don’t lose control over him until you have completely immobilized him.

Arresting locks are effectively applied to both empty handed attackers and armed attackers. Since the arresting locks are geared to manipulating the body into inescapable positions, once you know how to do the techniques properly, you can take complete control of attackers without causing permanent damage.

Here are a few suggestions to enhance your knowledge of locking up your opponent with ease.

Path 1) When your opponent attacks your face with a knife, your primary response can be an initial retreat, then your secondary response is to grab him somewhere. I recommend you to try to control his elbow. This means you need to get close to him whenever possible – the best timing is when he has just finished his attack. Once you get close to him, bring your body to his side and grab his rear shoulder with one hand grabbing his other arm with your other hand. Then pull his shoulder down onto the ground and press his head with your knee on his ear.

Junsado Arresting Lock Sang H. Kim

Path 2) Your opponent is swinging a chair in front of you to keep you away from him-this case must be familiar to you if you are a law enforcement officer. Your primary response should be either you grab the chair and swing him down to the corner, or you retreat initially. If you retreated, the best time for you to get in is when the circular swinging passes by your head. As soon as you get in, grab and pull his rear shoulder with one hand, with the other hand pushing his elbow. Then spin him down on the floor and press his head with your shin.

Path 3) Once you get him down on the ground, you can either lock his arm or head. Remember, in arresting locks, it is better to minimize the size of your motion but to maximize the efficiency of your techniques. Therefore, if you decided to lock his arm or wrist, make the twisting angle sharp (the smaller the angle is, the better the effectiveness is), and put your body closer to him.