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Old 03-16-2005, 03:49 AM   #1
CarlRylander
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Bicep grabbing

Dear Aikidoists,

Three times I have had someone halt me and bring me to a dead stop by grabbing hold of my bicep. Twice by doormen and once by a man of about sixty!

How do you get out of this? It's a very effective move!

Carl
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Old 03-16-2005, 04:03 AM   #2
happysod
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Carl,

Sounds like you're focusing too much on the grab itself rather than realising how much movement you yourself still have. They have an arm, the rest of the body can still turn, move into them etc. Ignoring atemi for now (not a good move with bouncers) your arm can still rotate, so try a shoulder shrug with elbow up and round to just break the grip.

Otherwise, just treat it like you would a wrist grab, most things work. I'd just suggest keeping the attacking hand close to your body and imposing yourself on them more by moving into them rather than going for distance.
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:01 AM   #3
eyrie
 
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Don't you mean treat it like any hiji or sode dori grab?

Ignatius
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:17 AM   #4
happysod
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Treat it how you would any "normal" grab, what you need to call it to do that is really up to you. Other than whether it's cross or same-side grab so the targets and balance of your attacker are skewed differently, I try not to make too much distinction on what they are actually grabbing (with at least a couple of exceptions..)
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:59 AM   #5
SteveTrinkle
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Re: Bicep grabbing

How does one get into situations where people are grabbing one's bicep?
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Old 03-16-2005, 08:52 AM   #6
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Certain forms of Silat use muscle and flesh grabs to suppliment their grappling/close in work. If this is someone that knows what they are doing, I personally would NOT try to off balance them by moving my body as I normally would in aikido. The intent of someone proficient at doing this is to tear the muscle loose from its attachment to the bone...a very painfull and debilitating thing, if sucsessful. I would respond by immobilizing the hand doing the grab, probably grasping them at the wrist and forcefully pushing into the area where they are grabbing, and at the same time use low stomping kicks to put their attention elsewhere, break the grip, and then move from the center to off-balance (back to aikido).

Or better yet...don't let such people grab you! You shouldn't be giving them cause in any case.

Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:36 AM   #7
happysod
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Quote:
same time use low stomping kicks to put their attention elsewhere, break the grip
low stomping kicks on bouncers? brave man...

Seriously, Ron I'm intrigued as you seem to intimate that without the trapping of the grabbing hand (which I 50-50 agree with, assuming it's not needed for a second defense) you would normally lose some connection with the grabbing hand, almost helping the tearing you describe?

Am I missing something here as I've always been taught to effectively re-enforce the connection while moving until the grip loosens naturally because of the angle of the grip once I've finished the move.
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:01 AM   #8
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Quote:
Am I missing something here as I've always been taught to effectively re-enforce the connection while moving until the grip loosens naturally because of the angle of the grip once I've finished the move.
I agree with that when someone in a dojo grabs my wrist or some part of my clothing. I disagree when someone grabs my flesh or muscle with the intent of tearing the integument or muscle from its seating. This is a specific case of knowing the intent of the attacker the moment they attempt a certain grip...and from the poster, I have to assume they already have the grip.

Please understand...even though we all practice technique from a grasp in aikido, my instructors (and I) believe that in a 'real' (TM) situation, you never allow anyone to grab you. Just like in a 'real' (TM) situation, I'd never allow anyone attacking me to get behind me if possible. But for practice, we do allow the grab, we do allow someone behind, so that we can practice the technique.

In this case, knowing what the desire is...and knowing that my usual movement pattern to off balance using the grip would actually aid them in their aim to tear the bicep loose from the attachment to the bone, and knowing how debilitating and painfull that is, I would NOT use the standard aikido method of off-balancing.

If this is a *big* bouncer, letting him tear my muscle and flesh before he pounds me into dust is *not* an option. I shouldn't even be giving him a REASON to grab me. Failing that, I shouldn't LET him grab me. Failing that, I shouldn't HELP him tear my flesh. If the stomping attack (fumikomi?)doesn't work (steel toed boots, supported arch in his shoes, conditioned shins, knees flexed against kicking attacks), I'm toast. He's already grabbed me in a manner that precludes my body movement. If all he wants to do is escort my *ss out the door and release me, I'm not about to risk my bicep, especially if I've given him cause.

If, on the other hand, he's attacked me with serious intent to do bodily harm, and has achieved the means to do so...all bets are off. I'm going to try to freeze the grip to prevent the tear, and do whatever it takes to survive. If I fail I'm dead (I was dead or seriously injured if I did nothing), if I succeed how well he comes off is his problem.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:21 AM   #9
happysod
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Ron, thanks your second post now clears something up - mainly that we both had different perspectives on the initial grab - you (probably correctly) went for vs a direct grab of the bicep with a view to ripping while I fruitied my way into a standard doorman style stop/assist out hold of the upper arm with pressure placed on the bicep but normally the problem this causes is just a dead-arm.

Mind you, I'd still recommend some nicer night clubs...
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:23 AM   #10
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Quote:
Mind you, I'd still recommend some nicer night clubs...
Me too...

Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:46 AM   #11
CaseyD
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Quote:
Certain forms of Silat use muscle and flesh grabs to suppliment their grappling/close in work. If this is someone that knows what they are doing, I personally would NOT try to off balance them by moving my body as I normally would in aikido. The intent of someone proficient at doing this is to tear the muscle loose from its attachment to the bone...a very painfull and debilitating thing, if sucsessful.
Ive never heard of such a thing. I imagine it would be very painful! How is this done? With the whole hand, or fingers and thumb? Is the arm being grasped straight or bent like when flexing the muscle? Can you straighten your arm to get out of the grasp?
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:56 AM   #12
Dazzler
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Sounds like the fingers and thumb would grip in behind the muscle then tear it away...

Its not an easy thing to achieve and I cant imagine many doormen have this in mind at 'going home' time.

Thanks for mentioning it Ron...an interesting perspective.

ps. Anybody else reading this just tried it on themselves?
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Old 03-16-2005, 11:04 AM   #13
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Your best bet is to go to some Silat sources to find the answers. They have some websites about, and Chas Clements and Steve Gartin (kuntau silat, Dethours) post on rec.martial-arts newsgroup.

I can't speak specifically to their methodology, but...I like a cross hand grasp for this because it puts my fingers where they can dig in close to the bone under the bicep. I've found the thumb tends to get in the way...little finger first, grip fingers against palm with what you are gripping firmly wedged in between. You would do it with clear intent and as much penetration as possible. Never having actually done it...I imagine it would be rather nasty at that. I believe the Silat folks sometimes cultivate just such a nasty mindset...its pretty much all about fighting with them.

Straightening the arm (if the grip is done correctly) would be a no no...when gripped well this way, any movement which flexes the muscle could aid in the tearing.

Mind you, please don't try this without supervision from someone who knows what they are doing. And don't think tearing a muscle loose will stop a determined, athletic attacker. It won't...it may just piss them off enough to REALLY want to hurt you... It would usually be a prelude to something much nastier, I'm told. If this was a deal breaker, I'm sure they'd use it in the UFC or something...but against someone influenced by pain and an obvious disregard for the integrity of their body...I imagine it would be rather intimidating...

Ron (I wouldn't disregard it)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-16-2005, 11:10 AM   #14
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Quote:
Thanks for mentioning it Ron...an interesting perspective.
Cough...uh...yeah...just don't tell anyone *I* said it... I don't know whether doormen would use it or not...Chas used to work the door in his younger days...and he isn't very big. From how he describes his art, I'd rather fight a hungry bear. The bear might actually stop to eat what he's torn off.


Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:08 AM   #15
CarlRylander
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Re: Bicep grabbing

On all occasions, the attacker firmly encircled my arm, not just grabbing hold of the muscle. Would this tear it?
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Old 03-17-2005, 06:10 AM   #16
Dazzler
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Highly unlikely.

aikido wise your options from here are wide open...whether you apply something tai sabaki based or atemi based is down to you. Effectively its like both elbows grasped from front...ryo hiji dori I think...

From a practical sense...You can assume that if the grip is maintained then its to control you. If it was a silat exponent they'd grab and rip in one movement so you can discount those attacks.

If its not a doormen or policeman then the hands are no longer a concern...but the head, knees and feet are. So be wary of these.

If the guy pulls you in from here then its moving from a control situation. That pull will take you onto a headbutt or a knee to the groin or stomach.

If the guy extends his arms then he's trying to move you. If its out of a door ...maybe he's just doing his job. If its back against a wall then who knows what is in his mind.

If its static...then its fine...unless he starts looking to use his head and knees its not such a bad situation...relax and deal with it. Why has he grabbed you? are you out of line? Are you running into trouble and he's trying to save you? Who knows without being there.

This is a good example where its better to look at aikido base rather than specific techniques.

Just blend...if he pulls go in. Hand up to cover the face and body angled to cover the groin.

If he pushes ...invite him in. Tenkan or tai sabaki to absorb.

Even better...moderate your behaviour so you dont get grabbed in the first place.

Unless you are researching for a post on the stupid things to do when drunk thread....

Just some thoughts...not a lecture.

D
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Old 03-17-2005, 06:56 AM   #17
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Quote:
From a practical sense...You can assume that if the grip is maintained then its to control you. If it was a silat exponent they'd grab and rip in one movement so you can discount those attacks.
This rings true to me...

Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-18-2005, 05:01 AM   #18
CarlRylander
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Re: Bicep grabbing

I wasn't trying to start a fight with a bouncer, believe me!! Sometimes though, you get into fights and it's not your fault. you could just be in the wrong place at the wrong time!
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Old 03-18-2005, 06:20 AM   #19
ian
 
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Re: Bicep grabbing

don't get grabbed. Thinking of somebody grabbing and then 'dealing' with it is wrong. One day it may be a knife, and once they have stabbed you there will be very few options left to you! In training, get used to moving AS someone grabs rather than doing static grabs all the time. Remember, any time someone touches you it could be a knife.

If you are already grabbed this advice is a bit crap. If it is threatening you can strike (real or artificial) towards the face or detract the attacker away from that grab. Struggling to deal with 'his grab' is just playing their game. Also, nikkyo should be possible from a bicep gran (unless it is very tight, in which case I would agree with Ron)
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Old 03-18-2005, 06:42 AM   #20
Dazzler
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
don't get grabbed. Thinking of somebody grabbing and then 'dealing' with it is wrong. One day it may be a knife, and once they have stabbed you there will be very few options left to you! In training, get used to moving AS someone grabs rather than doing static grabs all the time. Remember, any time someone touches you it could be a knife.
agree with this...but not always possible to maintain personal space in pubs and clubs.

Better to look at cause and effect. Very few attacks are completely random. There is nearly always some action that precedes the attack. Much better to study the signs ...conversation...body language etc which precede this behaviour. If you can do this you can choose between flight or fight...and do it on your terms. Or the best ones available since there are occasions when people just want a victim and have selected the first one that come along. In this case flight may not be on the menu.

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
If you are already grabbed this advice is a bit crap. If it is threatening you can strike (real or artificial) towards the face or detract the attacker away from that grab. Struggling to deal with 'his grab' is just playing their game. Also, nikkyo should be possible from a bicep gran (unless it is very tight, in which case I would agree with Ron)
Why just nikkyo? Anything is possible from here. Anything. as a restraint against a trained person its pretty poor. You tie up both your own hands then try and do something while their hands are still relatively free as is their whole body.

Just needs practice.

Whats a 'bicep gran' ...? is that a steroid raging elderly lady?

Cheers

D
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Old 03-18-2005, 09:31 AM   #21
cguzik
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Re: Bicep grabbing

If the bouncer's goal is to control you, and his hands are big enough to encircle your entire upper arm, then I would bet the grab would be immediately followed by a lifting motion to take your balance and start you moving. Once he gets this on you, I think you would be toast. I agree with Ron that either not letting him grab at all (which requires great awareness and ability to sense what he is about to do), or to be already moving at the moment of first touch so that he cannot get the lift on, would be the most important thing.

Chris
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Old 03-18-2005, 01:46 PM   #22
Casey Martinson
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Just to chime in,

1) I second the idea that if a bouncer wants you to leave the club, just leave. Nothing good will come of resisting.

2) I'll believe just about anything is possible, but a muscle tearing technique seems pretty advanced to me. For one thing, tendons are pretty strong; ounce for ounce, they actually have a tensile strength many times greater than steel. So while I'm not disputing it could be done, I don't think it'd be easy--otherwise, like Ron said, we'd probably see it in UFC. If you run afoul of a martial artist who can pull this off, you'd better have some pretty good tricks up your own sleeve.

3) FYI, the correct spelling of the muscle in question is "biceps" rather than "bicep". Biceps litterally means, "two heads", and is so named because there are two attachment sites at the proximal end (the shoulder end). Triceps has three proximal attachments.

4) On another technical point, Ron, you said, "Straightening the arm (if the grip is done correctly) would be a no no...when gripped well this way, any movement which flexes the muscle could aid in the tearing."

Straightening the arm would actually relax the biceps in most cases. The exception would be an eccentric contraction which is where you are contracting a muscle while lengthening (for example, coming down from a chin-up). But if you contract your triceps to straighten your arm, your body will reflexively relax the antagonistic muscle (the biceps). As a massage therapist, this reflex is something I rely on to relieve muscle cramps--for example, if you get a cramp in your calf (gastrocnemius) muscle, the fastest way to relief is to have somebody press down on the top of your foot while you pull your toes toward your nose against their pressure. Or just hook your toes under a stationary object and pull up. It's the same idea.

Finally, if you want to get really technical, "flexion" describes an action at a joint, not a muscle. For example, bringing your thigh up in front of your body is "flexing the hip joint." Putting your foot back down would involve "extending the hip joint." When it comes to muscles, there are only two possibilities: contract or relax.

Sorry to be the anatomy nerd here, but I figured somebody might be interested.

Going back to what Ron said about not wanting to straighten the arm, given what we now know about kinesiology, is straightening actually a danger? Is the muscle more likely to tear if it is being contracted and shortened or relaxed and lengthened? I could be wrong, but I would be inclined to think the latter. In fact, your body has another handy reflex, the stretch reflex, which operates under that assumption. This is the reflex doctors test when they tap your knee with a rubber mallet. By striking the quadriceps tendon, they are causing a rapid, albeit short, stretching of the tendon which crosses the knee joint. As a response, your body quickly tenses the quadriceps muscle group in order to prevent tearing. Now, I have no idea how this Silat technique is supposed to work; maybe it uses that stretch reflex to its advantage somehow? But anyway...I'll leave it at that.

-Casey
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Old 03-18-2005, 03:07 PM   #23
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Wow...good info...I'll have to pass it along and ask some questions.

RT

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Old 03-18-2005, 07:01 PM   #24
Ketsan
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Re: Bicep grabbing

Hmm. Hammer fist, sweeping against his body into his nose on the way up, then down onto the top of the shoulder muscle of the offending arm or collar bone. Or grab his nipple and twist, anything that removes his hand and attention from your bicep, then aiki otoshi/hip throw, as much for the psychological impact as for the physical, followed by a good kick in the nuts/ribs to make sure he's not getting up for a while, then deal with his mate or run.
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:36 PM   #25
Lan Powers
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Re: Bicep grabbing

A similar kind of grabbing/tearing action is from Chin-Na. Not so much the tearing as seperating the muscle tissues, for the basic action /continuing into the "cavity strikes" that is mentioned in the pressure point issues.(those issues are just mentioned, not expounded upon in the Books I have seen so far)
Just from reading the excellent book on the subject by Dr. Yang.
Sounds like a similar approach to moving a person, willingly or no.
Lan

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