It depends on what you mean by “a single motion”, usually when the techniques are taught, they are broken down into several different stages to ensure the safety of the trainees. When they are done in live situation, then yes, they can be done in a single motion or, at least, they are done so quickly that it looks like it.
The most common joint locks/joint breaks in the U.S. are the variants that come off jiu-jutsu, these are the ones that were incorporated into CQC and are the basis for several different self-defense disciplines. The beginning one’s are fairly easy to learn and at least one or two will be taught in most self-defense classes, even ones that only last a few days.
The common rule of thumb in combat is this: it is easier to kill someone than control someone. It easier to debilitate someone, i.e. breaking their wrist, than it is to just threaten them with the pain and the potential that you might. This is part of why martial artists and other trained combatants face a higher level of scrutiny under the law. They do know how to kill and maim, so it’s important for the police to discover if they tried other means first before jumping straight to manslaughter.
Joint locks are tricky because they rely entirely on forcing the joint to move in a direction it doesn’t want to or can’t go in until the pain becomes too much. A joint lock transitions into a joint break when the joint is stressed past the breaking point and snaps. (This is why joint-lock techniques are difficult and sometime ineffective against someone who is double-jointed. The same is true of pressure points against someone with a “dead” nervous system.) It’s very easy to do with the wrist and it’s exceedingly easy to do accidentally, especially in combat when adrenaline floods the system and emotions are running high. It can also happen in training if the students are stupid or have bad oversight from their instructor. It’s ridiculously easy to have happen if the students start going too fast or one decides to be brave/tough (stupid) and refuses to tap out. If you don’t tell your partner that you’re feeling pain, they may push it too far and break the joint.
Joint breaks can lead to losing a limb, especially without proper medical attention. It’s important to remember that the joints are part of what allows your body to move, when they break or are strained, you can’t move that body part anymore. This is why joints are popular for stun locks, such as punching the shoulder. Someone cannot punch if they cannot draw their arm back. By negating someone’s ability to fight effectively, you negate part of the threat they pose.
Joint-locks and throws are always practiced with a partner.
Junkyard Aikido: A self-defense instructional vidoe by Michael Janich talking about how to use traditional joint locking methods on the street.
Small-Circle Jujitsu by Wally Jay. Wally Jay revolutionized American jiu-jutsu with his techniques and his instructional book is worth the read. You can see application of his methodology in the Junkyard Aikido video above.
Taiji Chin Na: The Seizing Art of Taijiquan by Doctor Yang, Jwing-Ming. Doctor Yang, Jwing-Ming has spent his life dedicated to Taiji and Shaolin, he has several instructional videos and has spent much of his time trying to revive the combat art of Taiji. He also has a book entitled Shaolin Chin Na if you’re looking for the difference between joint locks in a “soft” versus “hard” style. I like this book in particular because it spends so much of it’s time discussing how the techniques work, how the body works, and what they affect. It’s an incredibly useful read.
There are many martial styles that incorporate joint-lock/joint break techniques. You don’t need to just go with Japan. Much like wrestling and ground fighting, every culture that practices warfare develops their own methods to control and break the human body. However, outside of Japan, joint locks/joint breaks/wrestling/ground fighting tend to be components and aspects of a martial style, instead of what it’s entirely devoted to.
Japan: Aikido, Aiki-jutsu, Jiu-jutsu, Judo, Ninjutsu
China: Chin Na (Chin Na is a bit of a misnomer because it basically relates to “seizing” which is a component practiced in all Chinese martial arts as opposed to being a style of it’s own.)
Thailand: Muay Thai, Muay Boran,
makomorimakomori said: Eskrima is Filipino.
You’re right. The sad part is I know better than that. Apparently, my brain just took a shit and died today.