1. Erasmus B. Dragon
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    Erasmus B. Dragon Member

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    Need help: behind the back arm hold

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Erasmus B. Dragon, Jul 11, 2013.

    My MC is a modern girl with some self defense training. In this scene she's stuck in ancient Meosopotamia and is ambushing a thief to get back what was stolen from her using a modern behind the back arm hold that the thief has never encountered before. The problem is, I've only ever seen this done on TV, and have no idea what it's called, or how it's actually done. This is what I've got so far. I need to know if it's realistic or not.

    I waited until he was a step past me and grabbed his wrist at the same moment I kicked the back of his knee. The movement dropped him to his knees while pulling his arm painfully up behind him. I kept pressure on his arm, pulling it up just to the edge of tearing the tendons. He gasped with pain and surprise.
     
  2. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I don't think it needs a name. The description gets the point across just fine. :)
     
  3. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's called the hammerlock. I think the description is ok. As for realism, it depends on a few things. One of them is size / strength ratio: how big (tall & muscular) and strong is the girl? What about the guy? If they're roughly equal, then it's perfectly plausible especially since she gets the jump on him. If she's short, has average build, he's noticeably (say, a head) taller and of average build, it's so and so.

    Another factor is her skill level: has she trained twice a week for a year, five times a week for ten years, or something in-between? How skilled is he? Meaning is he trained in the combat arts? Is he athletic? Does he walk around daydreaming, or does he keep an eye on his surroundings (I'd guess the latter, him being in a relatively hazardous profession and all)? Again, if he's aware, it's much more difficult to surprise him, and if he's bigger / stronger, there's not much difference in skill etc. it's much less realistic.

    Is there a particular reason you want her to use the hammerlock?

    If I was her, I'd use some sort of an impact weapon (the simplest being a sock with a rock, a piece of lead, or a bar of soap inside, the fancier version being a sap or a blackjack) to knock him out because it negates any advantage he might have due to size / strength differences: she'd just walk up to him with a smile on her face, she'd ask some random question ("Have we met before?" "Pardon, what's the time?" "Hey, Billy [wrong name on purpose to add confusion], long time no see! How's your uncle?") to engage his brain (since whether he chooses to reply or not, a question causes a "blind moment" in the human brain which experienced and knowledgeable fighters use before a pre-emptive attack, and if she's had a good self-defense instructor, s/he's taught her this), and about one second after asking the question (for it to have time to sink in and cause that blind moment), she'd swing the weapon, striking the side of his jaw (one of the best targets for a knock out).
    This would most likely result in a KO and when he's out cold or too disoriented to resist (lying on the ground), she could quickly tie his hands and drag him to the side alley where she waited for him, place a knife to his throat, and then wait for him to regain his wits before she'd start questioning him. If he doesn't talk, she can gradually apply more and more pressure on his eyeball with her thumb (while keeping the knife to his throat) which causes a lot of pain and even makes some people panic, i.e. more likely to comply in this case.
    Of course this would only make sense if she was ruthless enough to commit such violent acts (and the knife on the throat is useless if he knows she isn't mentally capable of killing him).

    Just my $0,02. :cool:
     
  4. sanco
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    sanco Contributing Member

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    What Terra and T.Trian have said.

    I'll just add that that move is kind of a cliche.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Common, but it's not the kind of thing the reader minds seeing where I would call it cliché.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    My puzzlement here - and it may not matter - is about this hold being modern and never before encountered. Human anatomy has been the same for a very long time, so it seems odd to me that no one would have thought of this hold before.
     
  7. jmhoffer
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    jmhoffer Contributing Member

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    Many holds that seem obvious today weren't so obvious in history because everyone carried a weapon of some sort. Most modern martial arts, such as Krav Maga, do things that ancient martial arts have never seen.

    As for the OP, it seems to convey the message alright, but I recommend listening to T.Trian. Holds are risky, especially when dealing with dangerous people. Knock out blows are far safer, as even if they don't knock out your target they'll at least be dazed.
     
  8. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That's actually a good point. For some odd reason it didn't even cross my mind. Oh well...

    Anyway, I was browsing through Fiore dei Liberi's Fior di Battaglia (from around 1400AD), an Italian combat manual, doing research for a medieval hack'n'slash sword fantasy, and I came across these images:

    [​IMG]

    Looks an awful lot like the hammerlock, doesn't it? :D So I'd say it's true that what changes in martial arts through the years is emphasis, training methods etc, but the basic concepts remain the same. After all, there's only so much you can do with, or to a human body, so it stands to reason that unarmed or melee fighting hasn't changed significantly over the years in the way of actual techniques (although who is to say what training methods they used before folks started recording this stuff).

    The fourth image here also shows a version of the same lock:
    http://www.thehaca.com/pdf/Dl19.jpg

    The 1943 combat manual, Kill or Get Killed, by Rex Applegate also shows this technique (pages 63 & 64), and he, I believe, got it from Judo, but since the technique existed in medieval Italy, it stands to reason it was already widespread hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, so it would also seem logical that the guy in OP's scene would be familiar with the technique if he knows anything about fighting. That's why I'd probably go another route.
     
    Jack Asher and MrMidnight like this.
  9. jmhoffer
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    jmhoffer Contributing Member

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    Huh, whatdya know?

    For the record, not how I'd lock an arm behind someone. I'd get his arm behind him and then slide my arm (same side) between his arm and back and grasp his shoulder. Only very, very lanky, double-jointed people can snake out of it (have only ever met one guy). If I have the right arm locked like this, twisting right will snap the shoulder. Twisting left is the only way to get out. Of course, shortly after I get that lock in, I'd have an arm around the guy's neck, cutting off blood flow to the brain.

    To the OP, if you don't want to use a weapon, this is the more viable attack. Once the guy goes unconscious (which only takes 3-7 seconds depending on skill), he has about a 95% chance of being just fine. The other five percent... In the modern age, run very fast and don't get caught. ;)
     
  10. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed, definitely. The version depicted in those medieval pictures doesn't seem optimal to me either, but I've discussed that manual with folks who know and understand it much better than I do, and they've said the pictures are mostly for rough reference and the real meat of the work is in the text and its interpretations, so I've no idea how they really did that technique back then. Not that I like the hammerlock much anyway; doesn't suit my style / preferences all that well since of all submission holds, the ones that come most naturally to me are the RNC, key lock, kimura, and triangle. The latter I'd only use on the street in a real pinch and preferably together with eye gouges or a knife to end the fight faster after catching the guy in the triangle because otherwise it leaves you open to knife attacks (as well as others especially if there are other people around). I guess submissions just aren't my thing...
     
  11. Steve Day
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    Steve Day Senior Member

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    Your 'explanation' is immaterial- it is the writing that the reader encounters. It is fine. I believe that Cain killed Abel with a rock.
    Your last word is the key. "Surprise".

    Here is an example. An armed, martial arts trained 26 year old man weighing 204 pounds is following an a**hole, a f**king punk. Who is 17 and and weighs 160 pounds. Yet, through the element of "surprise" the boy is able to punch the man, get him on the ground, straddle him, and pound his head against the sidewalk.

    Forgive me if this an unrealistic scenario. Perhaps T. Train can tell us how Mr. Zimmerman could have used his 'martial arts training' to win the battle.
     
  12. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Do I detect a hint of sarcasm? Or am I just being paranoid? :confused:

    Anyway, that depends because not all situations are "winnable." For instance, if the ma guru got KO'd by the first blow, he's out cold and can really do jackshit to defend himself. However, if he's just dazed, well, there are several ways to escape a mount, especially if he's bigger, stronger, and more skilled than the guy straddling him. If the other guy doesn't know how to fight and is mostly bones and lard, it's not that hard. Of course, it'd be kinda nice if he could do the sweep before his brains are smeared on the sidewalk, so he'd have to start working on it right after he was taken down. Take a look at some UFC bouts with the more skilled fighters to see several ways to escape the mount or sweep your opponent.

    Btw, pardon my ignorance, but who's Mr. Zimmerman and what has he got to do with the scenario?
     
  13. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    Your description of the technique is definitely good enough, and probably stronger without using the name of the technique.

    As stated, restraint techniques of this kind definitely date back hundreds of years, and may date back thousands. Plenty of 'primitive' cultures that still exist today have wrestling matches with a range of techniques that resemble those taught in modern martial arts.

    However, a mesopotamian thief who was not part of a tribal culture nor a professional soldier (and there weren't many professional soldiers back then - most were seconded from other crafts) would most likely not have any experience of wrestling holds and restraint techniques. If you want to go with something less well known, wrist locks or finger locks require more skill, less physical strength (though a skilled arm lock still doesn't require much strength), and are not recognised by many people today - and presumably not historically either.
     
  14. Steve Day
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    Steve Day Senior Member

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    no sarcasm intended at all! You obviously know your way in the world of combat, both armed and otherwise.

    'zimmerman' is currently on trial for shooting and killing the kid he says attacked him. No 24/7 cable in Mushroom land?
     
  15. Erasmus B. Dragon
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    Erasmus B. Dragon Member

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    Thanks for the help, everyone. I wasn't really happy with the scene. I think I'm going to take T.Trian's suggestion and re-write it with a surprise knock-out blow--it just strikes me as being more plausible in this situation.
     
  16. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm sorry, my bad. I've gotten a little over-paranoid after visiting a few other writing forums before I found this one (two out of three sucked and the third was almost dead) and I still have a hard time believing there really are a lot of people here who are actually intelligent and decent.

    Mushroom land does get cable, but I don't really watch TV or even follow the news much, so I missed that one. Thanks for the heads up, though, seems like an interesting case although seems like one of those where nobody else but Zimmerman will ever know the truth.

    Anyway, Erasmus, it'd be interesting to see the revised scene once you've written it.
     
  17. Erasmus B. Dragon
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    Erasmus B. Dragon Member

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    OK, here's the original scene in it's entirety, followed by the re-written scene. I'm not sure which one I like best, but right now I'm more interested in the physical accuracy. Both characters are about the same height, and the thief may out-weigh my protagonist, but not by very much -- she's a fit, well fed, 21st century woman used to war zones and dicey situations; he's an underfed, street smart thief.
    I waited until he was a step past me and I grabbed his wrist at the same moment I kicked the back of his knee. The movement dropped him to his knees while pulling his arm painfully up behind him. I kept pressure on his arm, pulling it up just to the edge of tearing the tendons. He gasped with pain and surprise.

    “Hello,there, friend. Remember me?”

    “Please,do not hurt me.”

    “What is your name?” I pulled up just slightly on his arm, causing him a shock of pain.

    “Ahhh! Namzu, my name is Namzu.”

    “Ok, Namzu. I want my money and my ring back, or I will separate your arm from your body. It will be very hard for you to provide for those children of yours without it.”

    “Here,take it.” He pulled a little leather pouch from his belt with his free hand and dropped it into the dirt. “Your money is all there, including what I got for selling the ring.”

    “You sold it? To whom?”

    “To Naram-sin the jewel merchant.”

    “Where can I find Naram-sin?” I pulled the arm again, “And don’t lie to me.”

    “Ahhii,”he sobbed, “Please don’t take my arm. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Naram-sin lives on the hill, where the wealthy have their homes. Follow the Road of the Gods toward the palace, up the hill. Ask at the Well of Inana, any servant or slave there can tell you which house belongs to Naram-sin.”



    And the re-write:

    I waited until he was within easy arm’s reach and stepped out in front of him.

    “Hey, Joe! Did you catch the Sox game last night?” The question confused him, and half a beat later I drove the pommel of my stolen dagger into the point of his chin.His mouth slammed shut with an audible clack and he crumpled to a heap in the dirt.


    It wouldn’t be long before he came to, so I tied his hands and feet with strips of cloth cut from the hem of my robe. They weren’t the best choice for bonds, but hopefully he’d be too focused on the knife to try them. With a grunt of effort I hauled him to the side of the alley to lean against the wall that had hidden me.


    He was starting to come around, so I quickly patted him down and found his little leather purse. My money chain was there, and more, but the ring was missing.


    The point of my knife under his chin acted like a splash of cold water bringing him back to alertness. “What’s your name?” I asked.


    “Namzu,my name is Namzu.” He swallowed hard, and the movement pressed the skin of his throat harder against the dagger, drawing a tiny spot of blood.


    I moved the knife to rest on his cheek, just below his right eye. “OK, Namzu. I’m going to ask you one time, and if you don’t answer me you will lose your eye. Where is my ring?”


    “I sold it. The money is all there, in my purse.”


    “Who did you sell it to?”


    “Naram-sin,the jewel merchant.”


    “And where can I find Naram-sin?”


    “He…he will have gone to his home, up on the hill, where the wealthy men live. Ask at the Well of Inana, any servant there can tell you which house is his. Please, don’t take my eye.”


    “Let me teach you a lesson, since you were kind enough to teach me one.” I pressed the knife a little harder, just enough to break the skin.

    “Find an honest lineof work, before you steal from someone less merciful than me.”

    ​Which one seems more realistic?
     
  18. Steve Day
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    Steve Day Senior Member

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    Much better!

    Small point:
    "It wouldn’t be long before he came to, so I tied his hands and feet with strips of cloth cut from the hem of my robe. They weren’t the best choice for bonds, but hopefully he’d be too focused on the knife to try them. With a grunt of effort I hauled him to the side of the alley to lean against the wall that had hidden me."

    I tied his hands and feet with strips of cloth cut from the hem of HIS robe. Then I DRAGGED him to the alley and leaned him against the wall that had hidden me.

    The point of this small edit is to get rid of any extraneous writing that does not propel the story forward. We can leisurely discuss the merits of various choices of bonds and Namzu's hopes for the future over a leisurely cup of tea in the casbah. . .
     
  19. jmhoffer
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    jmhoffer Contributing Member

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    Go with your re-write.
     
  20. jmhoffer
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    jmhoffer Contributing Member

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    My instructor learned all this stuff from his father in Czechoslovakia several decades ago, when Krav had just been developed, so there are only a handful of names in our style. So when you name moves, I have no idea what you're talking about, heh heh heh.
     
  21. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I like the re-write :)

    Heh, it's just that what happens in America is less reported in this part of Europe (and vice versa) :)
     
  22. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    The US "news" entertainment media have played this story with frequent updates of bits and pieces of information, so that it is much better known than most. As a result, there are millions of people who have formed opinions without having heard all the testimony. The verdict, whatever it is, will undoubtedly cause a lot of complaining.
     
  23. jmhoffer
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    jmhoffer Contributing Member

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    And if found not-guilty, race riots.
     
  24. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Never mind.
     
  25. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Aw crud. I didn't realize KaTrian had logged in, so I made a couple of posts with her account. Anyway, moving on...

    To the OP: I too prefer the revised version and I'd also make the changes Steve Day suggested.


    Sorry, I watch quite a few MMA fights so I sometimes forget the jargon isn't self-explanatory. Anyhoo, here are the techniques:

    The keylock / Americana
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYwvYCyAyZM
    I learned to do this one and the kimura correctly during sparring in krav maga: one guy had super-flexible shoulders and when I did it like I usually did, he just wouldn't tap and eventually escaped the lock. Then I realized I have to do it like the guy explains in the video, causing the lock to also affect the elbow joint, and lo and behold, he tapped out within a couple of seconds. If you're grappling with a "normal" person, then you can get away with bad technique that only applies pressure to the shoulder, but you don't want to take that chance when you're fighting for real (be it in the ring or "out there"), so it's best to be safe and do it right.

    The kimura (named after Masahiko Kimura)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kqs3iVxU-Y
    You can do both, the keylock and the kimura from the mount or the side mount.

    The triangle choke
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlMIg5zNmAk
    The guy explains it well, but what he doesn't mention about why you should be sideways in relation to your opponent (once you've gotten the choke in) is to prevent him from stacking you (trying to press your knees towards your head). If you're sideways to him, he can't stack you.

    And, finally, the RNC (rear naked choke)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LppnEfRoFIM
     

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