Grabs and how to grab

At blue belt, students should be able to deliver strikes and execute basic body weight repositioning strategies. Particular grabs that are focused upon include: bear hug, full nelson, hair grab, over the shoulder head lock, wrist grab and lapel grab.

Fundamentally, blue belts should demonstrate that they can handle somebody grabbing them, and eliminate the threat. Secondly, it is desirable for blue belts to understand how they can use some of the kata techniques to deal with self-defence situations.

For the purposes of demonstration, blue belt graders look for students who execute clear techniques, control their opponent and deal with the problem quickly and smoothly. Blue belts are also advised to use multiple techniques to deal with their opponent: seldom will a single strike be sufficient.

Some examples of self-defence applications that may be easily extrapolated from Iron Horse appear below.

How do I grab?

  • Double lapel grab
    With your arms extended almost straight and parallel with each other, grab your partner’s lapels. This can be made more powerful by driving your partner backwards.
    This technique can also be grabbing your partner’s shoulders.
  • Grab and punch
    Grasp one lapel or shoulder of your partner, draw your other hand back as to load for a punch.
  • Full nelson
    Slide your hands under the armpits of your partner. Reach up so that your hands are on top of your partner’s head, then push down with control. Remember that this is a neck break, and can permanently incapacitate your partner – be careful!
  • Football tackle
    Drop your shoulder into the sternum or solar plexus of your partner. With your arms, grab around your partner’s body.
  • Hair grab
    Slide your fingers through the hair of your partner and clench your fist. Be ready to deliver a strike with the other hand.
  • Bear hug
    Grab your partner from behind by reaching around them and clasping your hands together. Your arms are best put around their elbows or lower, so as to minimise the range of strikes they have available to them.