Self Defence Tips - Cross arm grab

June 23, 2015

Choi Kwang Do self-defence tips – Cross arm grab.


Within the attached video you will see a simple technique which can significantly improve your chances of release from the right arm to right arm or “Cross arm grab”.  (works just as well with left arm to left arm).


Like any good self-defence manoeuvre it should come from a solid base.  So as you practise move back into a 45 degree angle.  You should move the opposite foot from the attacked hand.  So if your right hand is grabbed, move the left foot and vice versa.


The key to this is focusing the pressure on the attackers thumb.  By applying a slight twist, in this case outwards you will start to unpeel the hold.  You simply need to turn the grabbed hand so the palm is towards the sky.  Watch closely as the attackers fingers and your own wrist start to turn white with the additional pressure.


You now need to turn the entire arm and hand as if you are driving a car.  So if you’re right arm has been grabbed, turn left and left arm turn right.  The hand should move in a circular motion as if you were holding the bottom of a steering wheel and moving the hand to the top.  This ensures that you are gently pulling on the attackers hand and turn their hand over.  If you go in a straight line it is possible for the attacker to avoid their thumb being caught.


As you are turning your hand and arm shift backwards using your lead foot.  As you have moved into a 45 degree stance you should now have plenty of space to gain momentum as you’re shifting backwards turning the hand and pulling it towards your opposite shoulder.  The shift should simply be a turn of the lead leg, lifting your heel off of the ground and pushing back using the ball of the foot.


As your hand reaches your shoulder you should find that it has easily popped out of the hold, no matter the size of your attacker.  Whilst I appreciate my assistant in this video is a young lady of a slight build.  I have demonstrated the same moves on much larger men.  This simple self-defence move still works.


Once you have got free you can decide whether to counter attack or run.  The move will leave you in a good position to drop an elbow on your attackers nose, or even a heel of foot to their shin or knee, but if they are recovering quickly it might be a good idea to leave the area calling for help as you do.


As ever, these moves take regular practise to complete with fluidity.  So if you are interested in coming to class go to or call 07590 559 421 to book your class.

Please share the video, you never know who might find it of use.


Paul Truman

Chief Instructor




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