8 - Nonlethal Techniques

CHAPTER 8

NONLETHAL TECHNIQUES

This chapter describes all techniques for a right-handed person. However, all techniques can be executed from either side.

In drawings, the Marine is depicted in woodland camouflage utilities; the opponent is depicted without camouflage. In photographs, the Marine is depicted in woodland camouflage utilities; the opponent is depicted in desert camouflage utilities.

The Marine Corps’ involvement in military operations other than war—e.g., humanitarian, peacekeeping, or evacuation missions—has greatly increased. These missions require skills that span the spectrum of conflict and support operations within a continuum of force. But the Corps’ day-to-day existence also demands a responsible use of force. Nonlethal techniques are among the skills Marines use to apply a responsible use of force.

1. Unarmed Restraints and Manipulation

Marines operate within a continuum of force, particularly in support of peacekeeping or humanitarian types of missions. In these situations, Marines must act responsibly to handle a situation without resorting to deadly force. Unarmed restraints and manipulation techniques including joint manipulation, come-alongs, and takedowns can be used to control a subject without resorting to deadly force. Marines must train to become proficient in nonlethal techniques and to respond in a responsible manner. These techniques are referred to as compliance techniques, and they are applied in the third level in the continuum of force.

WARNING

During training, never apply the techniques for unarmed restraints and manipulation at full force or full speed. Use a slow and steady pressure to avoid injury.

Compliance Techniques

Compliance techniques are unarmed restraint and manipulation techniques used to physically force a subject or opponent to comply. Compliance can be achieved through the close combat techniques of—

Pain compliance using joint manipulation and pressure points. (Pain compliance is the initiation of pain to get compliance on the part of the subject.)

Come-along holds.

Principles of Joint Manipulation

Joint manipulation is used to initiate pain compliance and gain control of a subject. It involves the application of pressure on the joints (elbow, wrist, shoulder, knee, ankle, and fingers). Pressure is applied in two ways:

In the direction in which the joint will not bend. For example, joints such as the knees and elbows only bend in one direction and when pressure is applied in the opposite direction, pain compliance can be achieved. Beyond the point where the joint stops naturally in its range of movement (i.e., it no longer bends).

Since each joint has a breaking point, Marines should apply slow steady pressure only until pain compliance is reached. Continued pressure will break the joint and may escalate the violence of the situation.

Joint manipulation also uses the principle of off-balancing. A subject can be better controlled when he is knocked off balance.

Wristlocks

A wristlock is a joint manipulation that can be applied in a number of ways to achieve pain compliance. The wrist rotates in a number of directions and will bend in a single direction until its movement stops naturally. In a wristlock, pressure is exerted beyond that point by bending or twisting the joint. A wristlock is executed when an opponent tries to grab Marines or is successful in grabbing Marines or their equipment. A wristlock can also be performed by Marines if they wish to initiate control of an opponent.

Basic Wristlock. A basic wristlock is executed when Marines grab the opponent’s left hand with the right hand. To execute the basic wristlock, Marines—

Use the right hand to grab the opponent’s left hand by placing the thumb on the back of the opponent’s hand so that the Marine’s knuckles are


facing to the left.

Hook the fingers across the fleshy part of the opponent’s palm below the thumb. The fingers are used to anchor the hand so leverage can be applied to twist and bend the joint.


Exert downward pressure with the thumb to bend the opponent’s joint. Rotate the opponent’s hand to the right to twist the joint.


Step in to the opponent to keep the opponent’s hand in close to the body to control him and provide more leverage on the wristlock.

Note: When executing the basic wristlock with the left hand, the Marine grabs the opponent’s hand so that the Marine’s knuckles are facing to the right, and then rotates and twists the opponent’s hand to the left.


Reverse Wristlock. A reverse wristlock is executed when Marines grab the opponent’s right hand with the right hand. To execute the reverse wristlock, Marines—

Place the right palm onthe back of the opponent’sright hand and wrap thefingers across the fleshy part of his palm below hislittle finger.

Twist the opponent’s hand to the right while stepping in to place his hand against the chest. Applydownward pressure on the opponent’s handagainst the chest. Leave the opponent’s hand on the chest to fully control the subject and to gainleverage.

Lean forward to use body weight to add additional pressure to the joint.

Use the left hand to further control the opponent.

Two-Handed Wristlock. Both hands can be used in the wristlock to maximize the leverage and pressure needed to bend and twist the joint. To execute the two-handed wristlock, Marines—

Place both thumbs on the back of the opponent’s hand, thumbs crossed.

Hook the fingers of both hands around the fleshy part of the opponent’s palm on both sides of his hand.


Step into the opponent and apply pressure downward on the back of his hand to bend the joint and rotate his wrist away from the body to twist the joint.


Enhanced Pain Compliance on Wristlock. Enhanced pain compliance techniques are applied in the third and fourth levels in the continuum of force. Additional pain be applied to a wristlock by—

Adding downward pressure to the elbow with the other hand or elbow by using the fingers to pull in on the opponent’s radial nerve located on the inside of the forearm. When pressure is added to the opponent’s radial nerve, his direction can be controlled.

Applying pressure against the opponent’s finger joint to bend it in a direction it cannot bend (i.e., splitting the fingers).


Come-Along Holds

Marines use a come-along hold to control and move an opponent.

Escort Position. A common come-along hold is the escort position. To execute the escort position, Marines—


Face the opponent. Use the left foot to step forward at a 45-degree angle. Turn to face the right side of the opponent.

Use the right hand to firmly grasp the opponent’s right wrist. With the left hand, firmly grasp the opponent’s right triceps.


Position the opponent’s controlled arm diagonally across the torso, keeping his wrist against the right hip. The Marine should be standing to the right of and behind the opponent.


Note: This technique works well when escorting an opponent on either the right or left side. Take caution when escorting an opponent by ensuring his controlled hand is not in a position to grab the holstered weapon. The preferred escort position is from the Marine’s left side, so that the opponent is kept further away from the weapon.

Wristlock Come-Along. To execute the wristlock come-along, Marines—

Use the left hand to execute a basic wristlock. Incorporate the right hand in a two-handed wristlock for more control.


Maintain pressure on the opponent’s wrist with the right hand, step forward, and pivot around to stand next to the opponent.


Release the left hand, quickly reach under the opponent’s arm from behind, and grab his hand.


Use the left hand and apply downward pressure on the opponent’s wrist.

Controlling Technique. The following controlling technique is used when an opponent grabs the Marine’s wrist. To execute the technique, Marines—


Trap the opponent’s hand with the palm of the other hand.

Rotate the opponent’s trapped hand up and on his forearm while maintaining downward pressure on his trapped hand.

Apply downward pressure with both hands until the opponent is taken to the ground.


Armbars

An armbar is a joint manipulation in which pressure is applied on a locked elbow, just above the joint, in the direction the joint will not bend. An armbar has to be locked in quickly, but still requires a slow, steady pressure to gain compliance.

Basic Armbar. To execute a basic armbar, Marines—

Use the right hand to grab the opponent’s right wrist.


Bring the left hand down on or above the opponent’s elbow joint. To gain additional leverage, pivot to face the opponent.


Use the left hand to apply downward pressure on or above the opponent’s elbow joint while pulling up on his wrist.


Armbar from a Wristlock. To execute an armbar from a wristlock, Marines—

Use the right hand to grab the opponent’s right hand and execute a reverse wristlock.


Bring the left hand down on or above the opponent’s elbow joint.


Use the left hand to apply downward pressure on or above the opponent’s elbow joint while pulling up on his wrist.

Takedowns

A takedown is used to bring an opponent to the ground to further control him.


Takedown From a Wristlock Come-Along. To take the opponent to the ground from a wristlock come-along, Marines—

Use the right foot to push down on the opponent’s calf or Achilles tendon.

Maintain control of the opponent’s wrist and elbow and apply a slow, steady pressure to bring him to the ground.


Armbar to a Takedown. This technique is used Lean back, placing the body weight on the oppoto take a noncompliant opponent to the ground nent’s arm until he complies or is taken to the from an armbar. To execute the armbar takedown, ground. Marines—

Use the right hand to execute a reverse wristlock.


Bring the left hand or forearm down on or above the opponent’s elbow joint.


Pivot so the back is facing the opponent and, at the same time, lift the left elbow and slide the body so it is against the opponent, placing the armpit high above the opponent’s elbow joint.


Note: This technique may break the opponent’s arm. Therefore, this technique should not be employed if the objective is a nonlethal takedown.

Wristlock Takedown. This technique is used to take a noncompliant opponent to the ground from a basic wristlock and to put him in a position where he can be handcuffed, if necessary. To execute the takedown, Marines—

Use the right hand to execute a basic wristlock. Incorporate the left hand in a two-handed wristlock.


Apply downward pressure on the wristlock, pivot Apply pressure with the knee against the oppoon the ball of the right foot, and quickly turn to nent’s triceps while pulling back on his arm. the right to take the opponent to the ground.


Continue to apply pressure on the wrist joint as the opponent lands on his back with his arm straight in the air.

Slide the left foot under the opponent’s back, underneath his armpit.

Continue applying pressure with the knee on the opponent’s arm. Pivot and step around the opponent’s arm to roll him on his stomach.


Kneel down with one knee on the opponent’s back. The other knee is placed on the opponent’s neck and shoulder on either side of his arm. Apply inward pressure with the knees to lock his arm in place.


Tell the opponent to put his other hand in the middle of his back. Bring the opponent’s controlled hand to the center of his back.

Escort Position Takedown. This technique can be used to control a noncompliant opponent from the escort position. To execute the escort position takedown, Marines—

Lock the opponent’s arm straight across the body while rotating his wrist away from the body.


Use the left hand or forearm and apply downward pressure above the opponent’s elbow where the triceps meet.


Step back with the right foot and, keeping the opponent’s hand controlled against the hip, pivot to the right while continuing to apply downward pressure on his arm to bring him to the ground.


Note: This technique works well when escorting a subject on the Marine’s right or left side. When taking down a subject from the right side, step back and pivot to the left.

2. Nonlethal Baton

A baton or nightstick can be an effective compliance tool when used correctly. Batons can be useddefensively (blocking), offensively (striking), and as a restraining device when needed. In the fourthlevel of the continuum of force (assaultive [bodilyharm]), defensive tactics include baton or nightstick blocks and blows. Blows to the head or other bony parts of the body are considered deadlyforce. When deadly force is not authorized,Marines must be able to employ blocks, strikes,and restraints with the baton with the minimum of force.

Grips


One-Handed Grip. To execute the one-handed grip, Marines—

Use the right hand to grasp thelower end of the baton, about 2 inches from the end.

Wrap the thumb and index fingeraround the baton so they are touching one another. The grip onthe baton should be firm, but natural.

Two-Handed Grip. To execute the two-handed grip, Marines—


Use the right hand to grasp the lower end of the baton, about 2 inches from the end. Wrap the thumb and index finger around the baton so they touch one another.

Use the left hand to grasp the upper end of the baton, palm down, about 2 inches from the end. The hands should be approximately 10 to 12 inches apart.

Stance and Method of Carry

The basic warrior stance serves as the foundation for initiating nonlethal baton techniques. The method of carry provides effective defensive positions with a wide range of options to control a combative opponent.

One-Handed Carry. To execute the one-handed carry, Marines—

Grip the baton using the one-handed grip.

Elevate the baton, with the gripping hand at a level between the belt and shoulder.

Keep the left hand in the position of the basic warrior stance.


Two-Handed Carry. This carry is effective for blocks. To execute the two-handed carry, Marines—

Grip the baton using the two-handed grip.

Elevate the baton, with the left hand higher than the right hand.

Orient the weapon toward the subject.


Movement

In a nonlethal confrontation, movement may be made to create distance between Marines and the opponent or to close the gap to control him. When facing an opponent, Marines move in a 45-degree angle to either side of the opponent. Moving at a 45-degree angle is the best way to both avoid an opponent’s strike and to put Marines in the best position to control the opponent.

Blocking Techniques

One-handed blocks are used when carrying the baton in the one-handed carry. The same one-handed blocks used in combative stick techniques (see page 3-6) apply in nonlethal baton engagements. The blocks include blocks for a vertical strike, a forward strike, and a reverse strike. Because the baton is often carried with two hands, there are also two-handed blocks that are effectively used from this carry. Two-handed blocks are discussed in the following subparagraphs.

High Block. Marines execute a high block to deter a downward vertical attack directed at the head and shoulders. To execute the high block, Marines—

Raise the baton up to a level even with or above the head. The baton should be in a horizontal position to block the blow. The fingers of the left hand should be open and behind the baton.

Place the baton perpendicular to the opponent’s striking surface to absorb the impact of the blow.

Bend the elbows slightly to help absorb the impact of the blow. The arms should give with the strike of the blow.


Low Block. Marines execute a low block to deter an upward vertical attack directed at the abdomen, groin, or torso. The opponent’s blow can be delivered by a foot, knee, or fist. To execute the low block, Marines—

Lower the baton to a level even with or below the groin. The baton should be in a horizontal position to block the blow. The fingers of the left hand should be open and behind the baton.

Place the baton perpendicular to the opponent’s striking surface to absorb the impact of the blow.

Bend the elbows slightly to help absorb the impact of the blow. The arms should give with the strike of the blow.


Right Block. Marines execute a right block to deter an attack directed at the head, neck, flank, or hip. The opponent’s blow can be delivered by a foot, knee, fist, or elbow. To execute the right block, Marines—

Thrust the baton in a vertical position to the right side.


Pivot to the right by stepping with the left foot and pivoting off the ball of the right foot. Rotate the hips and shoulders into the direction of the block. The fingers of the left hand should be open and behind the baton.

Place the baton perpendicular to the opponent’s striking surface to absorb the impact of the blow.

Bend the elbows slightly to help absorb the impact of the blow. The arms should give with the strike of the blow.

Place the baton perpendicular to the opponent’s striking surface to absorb the impact of the blow.

Bend the elbows slightly to help absorb the impact of the blow. The arms should give with the strike of the blow.


Left Block. Marines execute a left block to deter an attack directed at the head, neck, flank, or hip. The opponent’s blow can be delivered by a foot, knee, fist, or elbow. To execute the left block, Marines—

Thrust the baton in a vertical position to the left side.


Pivot to the left by stepping with the right foot and pivoting off the ball of the left foot. Rotate the hips and shoulders into the direction of the block. The fingers of the left hand should be open and behind the baton.

Middle Block. Marines execute either a left or right block to deter an attack directed at the face, throat, chest, or abdomen. To execute the middle block, Marines—

Thrust the baton in a vertical position straight out in front of the body. The fingers of the left hand should be open and behind the baton.

Place the baton perpendicular to the opponent’s striking surface to absorb the impact of the blow. The baton should be held with the left hand forward of the right.

Bend the elbows slightly to help absorb the impact of the blow. The arms should give with the strike of the blow.


Restraining Technique

The strong-side armlock is used to restrain an opponent who is not compliant. To execute the strong-side armlock, Marines—

Use the right hand to run the baton up under the opponent’s left armpit, parallel to the ground.


Use the right foot to step forward at a 45-degree angle to the left side of the opponent. The baton is across his forearm.

Use the right hand to drive the baton forward and up so the action bends the opponent’s arm behind his back. At the same time, continue moving around him to get behind him.

Place the baton on the opponent’s forearm with the thumb and/or fingers and apply pressure to his forearm. At the same time, grasp the other end of the baton with the left hand.


Pull up on the low end of the baton with the right hand. At the same time, push down on the top end of the baton with the left forearm, reaching around with the left hand to grasp the opponent’s biceps or shoulder.


Continue exerting downward pressure with the left forearm while pulling back on the opponent’s biceps with the left hand. This places the opponent in a position where he is controlled and can be moved.


Apply pressure with the foot against the bend in the opponent’s leg above his calf. This lowers the opponent to the ground rather than throwing him to the ground and risking severe injury.


Striking Target Areas

Marines must avoid striking an opponent in the head, neck, or other bony parts with the baton because this is considered deadly force and can lead to serious bodily injury or death. Instead, the legs, arms, and buttocks are target areas that are considered nonlethal.

Legs. Primary targets are the thighs and lower legs. Avoid striking the knee and ankle joints because this can cause permanent damage.

Arms. Primary targets are the upper arms. Avoid striking the shoulder and elbow and wrist joints because this can cause permanent damage.

Buttocks. Primary targets are the buttocks. Avoid striking any other part of the torso, including the chest, rib cage, spine, tail bone, and groin because strikes to these areas can cause permanent damage or death.

One-Handed Striking Techniques One-Handed Forward Strike. A forward strike follows either a horizontal line or a downward diagonal line using a forehand stroke. To execute the one-handed forward strike, Marines—

Stand facing the opponent with the baton carried in a one-handed carry.

Place the right hand palm up, swing the baton from right to left, and make contact with the opponent.


One-Handed Reverse Strike. A reverse strike follows either a horizontal line or a downward diagonal line using a backhand stroke. To execute the one-handed reverse strike, Marines—

Stand facing the opponent with the baton carried in a one-handed carry.

Bend the right arm and cross the arm to the leftside of the body. The baton should be close to orover the left shoulder.

Place the right hand palm down, swing the batonfrom left to right, and make contact with the opponent.


Two-Handed Striking Techniques Two-Handed Forward Strike. This strike is an effective follow-up to a middle block or leftblock. To execute the two-handed forward strike, Marines—

Pull back with the left hand while driving theright hand forward toward the opponent. The baton should be horizontal to the ground. Power isgenerated by stepping forward with the right footand rotating the right hip and shoulder into thestrike.

Contact the opponent with the end of the baton.


Two-Handed Reverse Strike. This strike is an effective follow-up to a middle block or left block. To execute the two-handed reverse strike, Marines—

Pull back with the right hand while driving the left hand forward toward the opponent. The baton should be horizontal to the ground. Power is generated by stepping forward slightly with the left foot and rotating the left hip and shoulder into the strike.

Contact the subject with the end of the baton.


Front Jab. This strike is effective for countering a frontal attack. It can also be executed as a quick poke to keep a subject away. To execute the front jab, Marines thrust both hands forward in a quick jab. The baton is held either horizontal to the ground or at a slight downward angle.


Rear Jab. This strike is effective for countering a bear hug from the rear. To execute the rear jab, Marines thrust both hands rearward in a quick jab. The baton is held either horizontal to the ground or at a slight downward angle.