Learn a Killer Headlock

My nephew James, the champion wrestler, showed me a head/neck lock that he uses to great effectiveness. Basically, once he cinches this hold on an opponent, he’s toast.

The feeling of this lock is like your head is 50 feet under water and it’s about to burst, in addition there is compression on your neck.

James often goes into this hold from a hip throw.

Often the opponent's energy and momentum as he shoots can be used to throw him.

Neck and arm control. I can do little with my left hand. (Back up knife?)

Note how James uses his hip, which is stronger than my arm.

Pushing the arm up against the head

James grasps his own bicep. The pressure on the neck and head is crushing.

Another view. Is something funny?


4 Responses to “Learn a Killer Headlock”

  1. All you can do is access an edged weapon with your left hand. If you carry it for right handed deployment, you’re screwed. can you access it with both hands, while supine on the ground? If not please experiment with a good configuration until you can. His liver is wide-open to be dissected like a 9th. grade biology experiment if you have the right preparation. Otherwise, excellent head-lock and he looks like a tough customer anyways.

  2. Next time you practice this see if you can put a finger in his eye with your left hand.

    The variation I do with this hold is to use the head to pin the upper arm and use my left hand to grab my right hand in what we call a primary grip.

  3. Tommy,

    I’ve gradually been working my way through the backup up weapon scenario. I’m moving toward several factors:

    1) Accessible to either hand

    2) Accessible when tackled (opponent’s arms around waist)

    3) Accessible while on your back (assuming you’ve been taken down

    I’m not sure yet what the answer is, but I think these are critical components.

  4. Yes, all critical components to consider in the back-up knife. And I think it comes down to not being dogmatic in your approach. Reverse grip vs. sabre grip, type of knife, mode of deployment, etc. You have to examine what some guys in the know are doing (e.g. Ray Floro, Michael Echanis?, Libre, Piper, Paul Vunak, etc., etc.) and take what has value and merit in the context of what you are looking for. Personally I would say that for what I look at edged weapons for, my style is perfecr-for me.
    Consider more than one weapon as a back-up perhaps a knife on your off-hand side and a pen in your other side pocket. If you can’t access the primary, go for the pen and ice-pick like a sewing machine to create an opening and either escape or access the primary blade. Even if you are on the ground, mounted and either being pounded or attempted choke/ submission you have to have the mindset that you are still the one on the attack. Some of my training partners use a knife and “tactical” flashlight combination (like a Mini Mag Light, etc.) which works pretty well and we practice high-impact on old tires to develop hard-hitting power. Most people spend too much time dueling in sparring and not nearly enough time practicing quick access and deployment from various positions of compromise. Keep up the thinking and practicing…good stuff.

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