Tsukamu uke, the grasping block, is Goshin-Jutsu’s preferred method of grabbing an opponent’s wrist. While wrist grabs are not the useful by themselves, they are often a necessary intermediate step in pulling an opponent off-balance, or setting up joint manipulations and takedowns.
Grasping blocks usually immediately follow shuto blocks. Turn your blocking hand, so that your palm faces the opponent’s arm. Slide your hand down the opponent’s arm until you can make your middle finger touch your thumb, creating an Unbreakable Circle surrounding the opponent’s wrist. Your hand will not slide off the opponent’s arm, because your Unbreakable Circle will catch on the flanged base of your opponent’s hand.
[photo of grasping block from the side.]
From here, the reciprocal action of your counterattack will pull the opponent off balance, or you can use this connecting point to setup joint manipulations. Please note that grasping block does not offer the deep, full-connection which is required for optimized aikijutsu techniques. Grasping block only creates a bare minimum connection, but this offers its own advantages:
- Grasping blocks requires less grip strength than regular grabs. This prevents forearm tension and fatigue, so grasping blocks can be maintained indefinitely without slowing down counterattacks.
- Grabbing an opponent’s wrist immobilizes their hand, but it also immobilizes your hand. When you grab someone, they are effectively grabbing you. A skilled or clever opponent can exploit a deep, full connection to counter with a reversal technique. Providing a minimum connection offers the opponent less to work with.
[video of grasping block, fast, slow, and from the side.]