Nearly everyone, at some point in their lives, has imagined themselves as a real-life action star, effortlessly taking on goon after goon and becoming the hero of some imaginary story made up in their mind. They usually control the bad guys with little effort while bones crack and joints dislocate. This may be fantasy, but the above scenario has a tiny bit of reality and truth. There is indeed a way to control an attacker with very little strength and power. Master the one finger defense to convert them into your controllable puppet.
This may sound far-fetched to many, but the mechanics of such a feat are rooted in proven martial arts and self-defense techniques. These seemingly magical moves involve many intricate parts, including the attacker’s initial position, your grip on his digits, proper angles, the correct amount of force, and the direction of energy, both his and yours.
Here we examine this mysterious power, how it can be achieved, and what it takes to work properly in a real-life self-defense situation. So, strap in and learn that getting “the finger” is not always a bad thing.
Being able to manipulate an attacker’s finger(s) and take control of a physical confrontation can be accomplished using an assailant’s incoming punch or grab to your clothing or throat, being that these are the most used attacks upon a person (with kicks coming in a close third.)
These attacks can come from a genuine “bad guy” who is out to do you harm, from a stranger who thinks you wronged them during your daily routine, or from a drunk partier who has way too much to drink and is not thinking rationally. No matter who it is or why they are attacking you, the bottom line is they have no right to touch you, and you have a right to defend yourself.
Now, with nearly any confrontation, you should do your best to avoid physical interaction. If you can leave your ego behind and think rationally, the results of a fight are, more often than not, not worth the experience. First, you can get hurt, which can have short- or long-term consequences you don’t need. Second, there could be legal ramifications, and although you may be in the right and can prove it, you’ll still have to go through a process, and nobody really has time for that these days.
Finally, from a defensive standpoint, you need him (or her) to make the first move. Let’s be honest, you’re not just going to reach for the attacker’s hand, and they will eagerly oblige and give it to you. Remember, they will be adrenalized, aggressive, and unpredictable. Because of this, securing their fingers relies upon them coming to you. Whether it’s an intended grab to your clothing or a punch being thrown, this is you’re opening, and you need to take full advantage of their own oblivious mistake.
Once the attacker’s punch or grab is in motion, you must do several things before securing their digits, including movement, redirecting, and striking. Although the final result of controlling a person with one or two fingers looks great on the tail end of a fight, the path to get there is not easy and doesn’t always go as planned. First, your position is critical to the entire technique. Being too close, your attacker will grab you or, worse yet, connect with a powerful punch, and it’s lights out for you.
It’s crucial to be positioned close enough to act yet far enough to defend or avoid his advances. This “sweet spot” doesn’t leave much room for error, so practice is necessary (more on that later.) Second, be prepared to redirect an oncoming blow and use it to your advantage. By guiding your attacker’s strikes, you essentially control the fight. Finally, you need to strike unless your position and redirecting are perfect (which they won’t be).
However, these are not full wind-up, knockout punches but rather fluid quick snapping strikes (while in motion) to your attacker’s vital areas, including his eyes, nose, throat, and ribs. These quick strikes will “shock” your attacker and allow his tension-filled muscles to relax, even for the slightest moment, allowing you access to their fingers.
When you have the opening or opportunity to secure an attacker’s hand and, ultimately, their fingers, you need to follow the less is more principle. One finger (index or middle) or, at times, two fingers (both the index and middle) is all you want to grip. Many people will argue that if you secure all the fingers, you’ll have a better grip, deliver more pain, and control your adversary.
Well, this is false, and in doing so, you’ll leave yourself in a horrible position for a few important reasons. First, if the attacker is stronger or more powerful than you, they could literally out-muscle your grip on his hand (or fingers) and power through to break your lock.
Second, by not focusing on one or two small joints, which delivers the pain and control, you would be trying to control many more joints in his fingers and hand, negating the effectiveness of the smaller lock(s).
Essentially, think of the one finger defense like this. You can do much more damage by concentrating all your energy and focus against one small joint than by spreading out your strength to a half-dozen or more joints at the same time, with each joint would only get a fraction of your total force delivered.
Once you secure your grip on his finger (or two fingers), all your energy should be directed upon the joint until he screams (he will, it hurts like hell) in pain and tries to fight to escape. Here is where you can control the aggressor. With your secure grip, you can make them move where you want them to, take them down to the ground, or continue applying pressure until help arrives.
You are in control at this point. Never deviate from your focus on the affected joint. Keep in mind that after a certain point of time, the pain in the joint will lessen, and eventually, the area will become numb, causing your technique to lose effectiveness. If that becomes apparent, finish off your attacker with strikes and kicks, or apply another lock if the opportunity arises.
Bear no illusion; securing an attacker’s hand, and more specifically, his finger, is not an easy thing to do. Like any other martial art or self-defense technique, constant practice with another practitioner is vital to making these movements natural and instinctive.
Also, switch partners regularly. Only being able to perform the one finger defense on one or two people isn’t good enough. It would be best if you made it work on all body types. Only then can you be secure that when someone reaches for you, that poor sap will kiss the floor and scream in pain in no time flat!