The Immobilization Attack

March 2, 2019

This is the third short paper, in the series of six on combat philosophy and methods. Take this information and build upon it using the previous papers on Single Direct Attack (SDA) and Attack by Combination (ABC) as references as you work through this information and your own research material. Moving forward with the remaining papers, keep building upon the previous information and truly create a foundation for your own success.


In Bruce Lee’s, Jeet Kune Do (JKD) 5 Methods of Attack, the Immobilization Attack (IA) is described as being performed by applying an immobilizing preparation (trapping) on the opponent’s head (hair), hand or leg as you crash the line to engagement. Trapping keeps the opponent from moving that part of their body, offering you a safety zone from which to strike. (1) (2)


Immobilization of an opponent’s limb may be used as a preventative measure when attacking with one hand by pinning with the other. It may also be used as a preventative measure when slipping or countering an opponent’s attack. (2)


Trapping keeps the opponent from moving that part of his body, offering you a safety zone from which to strike. It can also be used to force an opening: upon finding your opponent covered, you would attack his hand with sufficient force and vigor to turn it aside and make an opening for your hand on the lunge. Deflecting or trapping the hand while stepping forward, also limits the possibility of a successful jam from the opponent. Obstructing the leg as a preliminary step is likewise very effective. (1) (2)


One example of IA’s use is when there is a barrier, such as the opponent's arm, that prevents your weapon from scoring, or when you want the added protection of covering a threatening weapon such as a nearby fist when slipping or countering. (1) Thus removing a barrier.


In Lee’s book, the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, he further shares; using immobilization when an opponent actually intends to deliver a blow requires a knowledge of when the opponent is going to lead and depends on speed, timing and skill for execution. (2)


Immobilization attacks can best be set up by using any of the other four ways of attack, and traps can be performed in combination or singularly. (1)


To effectively apply this you are to; Get body feel on the forearm to use it as a destructive weapon. Use a loose clawing snap or club along with elbowing. (2)


Moreover, Trapping Hands plays an integral roles in the IA/HIA. By completely immobilizing an opponent’s hand, the JKD practitioner effectively limits the techniques the opponent may counter with. In conjunction with its counterpart, Foot Immobilization Attack (FIA), HIA is used primarily as a means of “Bridging the Gap.” (3)



  2. Tao of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce and Linda Lee, Ohara Publications, 1975

  3. Jeet Kune Do, The Art and Philosophy of Bruce Lee, Dan Inosanto, Know How Publishing, 1980

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