Small joint manipulation

For the medical procedure, see Joint manipulation.
Small joint manipulation
Classification Joint-lock

Small joint manipulation, in grappling, refers to twisting, pulling or bending fingers or toes to cause joint locks in the various joints in those appendages. Joint locks on fingers and toes are respectively referred to as finger locks and toe locks.


The leverage needed for such joint manipulation is comparatively small, since grabbing a finger or two with one or both hands creates a distinct advantage. Joint manipulation can allow a weaker person with the right training to control a stronger one. Grabbing just the wrist may lead to the opponent being able to pull it free, while grabbing a couple of fingers, instead or along with the wrist, can greatly reinforce a defender's ability to hold on to a wrist lock completely through execution and control.

Small joint manipulation is an illegal technique in most combat sports that feature joint locking such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, judo, mixed martial arts and Sambo, since unlike standard joint locks, there is less of an opportunity to submit before the small joint breaks. It is however sometimes taught as a self-defense and pain compliance technique, for instance in Hapkido, Chin Na, Kenpo, jujutsu, Krav Maga, Vale Tudo and especially in 'Small Circle JuJitsu'. It is also an important part of koppōjutsu techniques.

See also


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