Wrist Locks: Sneaky BJJ Submission Techniques

Are you seeking a sneaky submission target of the weakest part of the human hand? In such an instance, the wrist lock is what you need to submit any opponent, regardless of size or power. This submission is used efficiently to submit or protect oneself in various disciplines, including BJJ, Aikido, self-defense, etc.

This article will teach you all there is to know about wristlocks. I will discuss the different types of wrist locks, setups, and other fantastic stuff.

Wrist Lock Explained


The wrist lock technique is perhaps the sneakiest submission in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Aikido, and even self-defense. It targets the wrist joint, which is among the weakest hand joints.

Thus, the wristlock is a common way to take advantage of your opponent by forcing him to submit. 

Many grapplers consider the wrist lock a ‘cheap’ technique since it is reachable from all armlock attempts. However, other grappling dislike and hit this type of joint lock since it is very painful and can cause severe injury. 

In the following video, Coach Tom from The Grappling Academy teaches you all you need to know about the wrist lock technique.

Source: The Grappling Academy

Jiu-Jitsu Wrist Lock Setups and Variations

Source: Stephan Kesting

To be good at wrist locks, you don’t have to be an expert BJJ practitioner. This is because this is a simple submission that does not necessitate the use of excessive force.

However, because it can cause severe damage and pain, it requires a thorough understanding of its fundamentals and hand anatomy.

Many jiu-jitsu experts believe using a wristlock to tap out your partner without injuring him is complicated. As a result, many academies do not allow wristlocks except for advanced grapplers.

So, you may wonder, what do I need to know to do an excellent wrist lock?

  1. First, you should thoroughly understand the fundamentals of wristlocks and the different Brazilian jiu-jitsu holds and locks.
  2. Second, you must understand which BJJ position allows you to perform the wrist lock, including the standing position, armlocks situations, closed guard, etc. For example, whenever you’re attacking the armbar, you also have a wrist lock, and so on.
  3. Third, when you’re in those appropriate wristlock positions, grab the wrist and hold it tightly. Then, the next step is to complete the lock submission.

Keep in mind that the wristlock is a fast submission. As a result, the preceding steps are completed at a rapid pace.

How to Do a Wrist Lock from the Closed Guard?

The closed guard is an absolute position in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It has a variety of attack transitions, including wrist locks.

To perform a wrist lock from a closed guard, you must first control your opponent’s wrist before completing the submission.

The video below demonstrates how to perform closed guard wristlocks step by step.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

How to Do a Wrist Lock from Standing?

When done correctly, the wrist attack from a standing position is one of the most sneaky and effective attacks. The video below shows how to perform the best standing wristlock.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

How to Do a Wrist Lock From Side Control?

The side control provides numerous attack options for submitting your opponent. The wristlock, like other positions, begins by controlling the opponent’s wrist with a cross-sleeve or c-clamp grip.

When the hold is complete, you will proceed to the finishing phase to tape out your opponent.

Watch the video below for more information on adequately sizing a wrist lock when attacking from the side control position.

Source: Chewjitsu


The wrist lock is an effective submission technique that can be used against any opponent, regardless of size or strength. In various disciplines, such as BJJ, Aikido, and self-defense, this submission can be utilized effectively to either submit an opponent or protect oneself.

However, there are some scenarios in which using the BJJ wrist lock submission technique could put you in harm’s way. Because this is a challenging and fast submission, it causes an injury to a joint (wrist tendonitis pain). So, applying it carefully when rolling with your teammates at the gym is vital.

Wrist locks can help you take your Brazilian jiu-jitsu game to the next level. First, however, you need to prioritize learning the basics and diversify your tactics by employing a variety of attacks and techniques. 

I hope you learn something new about the different submission techniques in the art of BJJ to improve your game.

Let us know: What is your favorite Brazilian Jiu Jitsu submission?

The armbar is another excellent jiu-jitsu submission you should be familiar with; click here to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Wrist Locks Legal in BJJ?

Most Brazilian jiu-jitsu gyms and tournament organizations do not allow wrist locks for children or adults with white belts. However, these wrist joint manipulations are still permitted for blue belts and higher ranks.

Wrist locks are among the most deceptive and practical submissions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. As a result, many grapplers target and enjoy this joint lock attack.

However, the wrist lock can cause severe damage and injury. Therefore, before attempting this type of submission, practitioners should be familiar with the fundamentals of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Can White Belts Do Wrist Locks?

Wrist lock submission is not permitted for white belts because it can cause severe damage to the wrist joints.

Though, before attempting this kind of joint lock, white belts should be familiar with the fundamentals of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and the submission mechanism.

Can Blue Belts Do Wrist Locks?

Wrist locks are permitted in most Brazilian jiu-jitsu gyms and tournaments for adult blue belts.

Blue belts are familiar with the fundamentals of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and understand the mechanism of various submissions.

Are Wrist Locks Allowed in IBJJF?

Wristlocks are permitted in IBJJF adult tournament divisions for blue belts and higher. However, these submission techniques are prohibited for children, adolescents, and white-belt adults.

Are Wrist Locks Allowed in ADCC?

According to the rules and regulations of the ADCC, grapplers of all skill levels are permitted to use wristlocks.

Are Wrist Locks Allowed in NAGA Tournaments?

According to NAGA rules and regulations, adults with blue and purple belts and above ranks can use wrist locks. However, it is not allowed for novice kids and beginner adults (white belts).

Are Wrist Locks Allowed in SJJIF Tournaments?

According to the SJJIF rule and regulations, Wrist locks are legal for juveniles and adult white belts and above ranks (beginners, intermediate, and advanced). However, it is illegal for children’s divisions.

Related Article:  Click here to learn about the most compelling submissions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.