Friday, October 22, 2010

Pain Compliance

In recent posts, I've touched upon pain compliance techniques.  I believe in them.  They've worked for me in the real world.

It is important to understand the strengths and the limitations of pain compliance techniques (as with any type of technique).  I believe that they are often misunderstood.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that pain compliance techniques must have a perceived 'out' or escape.  Your opponent complies with the technique because they are trying to get away from the pain. You should also provide verbal direction at the same time.  If you are escorting someone out of a room, tell them to get out of the room.  If they've grabbed you, tell them to let go.  By complying, your opponent sees or anticipates a lessening of pain, or it ceasing all together.

If a pain compliance technique is seen to be inescapable, it loses its effectiveness very quickly.  If you are applying a painful technique and your opponent is trapped in a corner with no way out, eventually they will just fight back as they have no other option.

Pain compliance techniques can be very effective when used properly and understood.


  1. Hey, that's really useful advice. Thanks!

  2. Its also useful to understand pain and the pain process. I've researched the subject for my book and it is fascinating. One pain expert wrote that we've learnt more about the nature of pain in the past 10 years than we have in the past 1000. Given its central nature to the martial arts its about time someone wrote about pain in relation to this discipline. Hopefully that someone will be me. John Coles

  3. Sue, I'm glad you found that useful.


    Pain is fascinating. What I find really interesting is the different responses to pain stimuli. Different people react in different ways. The same people react in different ways. Adrenaline, mindset and a whole set of other variables drastically affect the pain response. I'll look forward to reading about your findings.