Do not use standing headlocks – unless you’ve trained them A LOT.

The standing headlock is one of the most common positions in street fights. People who are inexperienced in grappling tend to do it instinctively, for better or worse. The results are so-so with some people successfully dragging their opponent to the ground. For others it doesn’t work at all.

It can also be potentially disastrous.

There are limitless examples of “self defence” instructional videos on the internet showing headlock escapes which involve foot stomps, groin strikes, eye gouges, throat grabs and the like, however the most effective and deadly method is the slam or suplex. Any method of throws or slams can kill on a hard surface. Being slammed while holding a headlock is one of the worst ways for it to happen.

On the other hand, those who have extensive training in the position are able to use it safely and effectively. They understand how to apply a throw, how to set up the position, how to transition to something else and when to disengage. Watch the below demonstration for an example of a safe (for both parties) and effective throw:

If you don’t understand the position inside and out, simply do not use it. You might feel like you’re doing something useful, but the risks do far outweigh anything you might pull off with nothing more than luck.