A certain amount of pain leads to compliance, but part of the beauty of these techniques is that the pain goes away once they are released: We take the recipient into the region of pain that precedes injury, but work towards a level of skill where effectiveness does not require damage.
The various come-along techniques have different characteristics, leading to their suitability in different situations.
For example: The come-along armbar (pictured) targets the elbow joint, requires two hands to apply, and obliges you to stand to the side of the recipient. As well as subduing in place and leading the recipient along, this technique leads nicely into throws and takedowns.
As another example: The pistol grip technique (not pictured) allows you to not only compel the recipient to go to the ground, but also to stand up again.
Comparing the 14 come-alongs (not all of which are labeled explicitly) of the restraint-and-control syllabus I noticed certain patterns emerging:
- 3 primarily target the elbow joint, 7 the wrist, 3 the shoulder, 1 pure pressure point
- 11 comealongs are applied from the side; 3 from behind
- Although "two-hands for beginners" is sound advice, several of the come-alongs can be sustained with one hand
- How can it be effectively modified for use against attackers of different shapes and sizes?
- Against which common attacks can it be used as part of a realistic self-defense response?
- If I fail on an attempt to apply it, what back-up techniques can I easily flow into?
- How does the technique interfere with my partner's balance and alignment?
- What are the particular advantages and disadvantages of this technique?
Later this year I plan to explore some of these questions with my students, and together devise a kata of come-alongs.