Are finger locking techniques effective in a street confrontation? The answer can be yes if you are proficient in applying them at the right opportunity. Unfortunately, many people who have a solid background in the martial arts, simply forget to use them or fail to recognize the many chances to apply them while being attacked. One cannot attempt finger locks if the situation does not present itself. Imagine the scenario, if being punched or kicked and the defender is looking for the attacker to open his hands to enable him to apply a finger lock. The correct approach is for the defender to strike the attacker to set up a distraction and/or injure the attacker and then apply finger locking applications to further injure or control the assailant.

The mere threat of one’s finger being dislocated or fractured causes a psychological fear that can be more devastating than an actual finger break. The intense pain that is placed on the finger joint can be excruciating. Obviously, very little pressure is required to actually fracture a finger joint. This aspect makes finger locking techniques highly advantageous for women and smaller individuals to apply against stronger and larger individuals. Even a small person can effectively control and administer severe pain to the biggest and meanest opponent. Finger locks are the great equalizer in a confrontation.

When applying a finger lock, make certain that you always use two-way action. That is, apply pressure against the joint by pulling in on the base of the finger (fulcrum) while pushing forward on the top of the finger (lever) and applying a base (platform) to prevent the opponent’s hand from moving.

In attacks that do not involve either punching or kicking, such as grabs, chokes, and seizing attacks, finger locks can be highly effective techniques to free oneself and dish out punishment. For example, a front choke can be successfully nullified by turning the body away, raising the arms, and grabbing a finger or two and applying direct pressure against the second joint. Follow ups can include a variety of strikes, throws, or other joint locking techniques if needed or desired. When your arms are free, a rear bear hug can be successfully dealt with by lifting a finger, applying pressure against the joint, turning around, and forcing the attacker face down to the ground. Many times in the heat of battle, the attacker will open his hands in an attempt to grapple and seize the victim. This is the ideal opportunity to grab on to the fingers and apply various finger locking applications. Always be cognizant of any situation whereby finger locking techniques can be utilized. Awareness is 50 percent of the solution.

The way to achieve proficiency in skillfully applying the many forms of finger locks is to constantly practice them with different partners under numerous forms of attack. Always apply the techniques slowly with control, as it does not require much energy to break a joint. Good luck in your training, as you add the variety of adding highly effective finger locking techniques to your tool box.