My first Chin Na technique: finger grabbing

Chin Na: finger grabbing

Finger grabbing is a very simple and effective technique but it cannot be effectively applied in all the contexts.

Before starting, it is important to read (we have to know what we are doing and how to train safely):

How to execute the technique

  • With one hand, let’s firmly grab the external part of the opponent’s hand (on the side of the pinky)
  • Keeping a solid grip, let’s grab a random finger of that opponent’s hand with our other hand
  • The grasping should be at the height of the intermediate phalanx (so that we can make a twist without obstructing the torsion)
  • Let’s simply rotate the fingers in a direction that is unnatural (typically backward)
  • While performing the technique it is necessary to assume a stable position and to remove our body from the reach of the opposing blows
  • It must always be the adversary who has to assume an uncomfortable position and never the executor of the Chin Na technique
  • To make the opponent unable to react, the best thing is to force him (through pain) to assume an unstable position (up to go down to the ground or to tiptoe)

A note by Master Kongling – I am not telling too many details because this technique can be applied very easily. I want you to test and experiment with different approaches (grabbing from top, bottom, etc.). Remember: your Kung Fu is the one born from you, never the one from your instructor (that, is only an example).

The key points for a perfect execution

  • The lever principle is at the center of this Chin Na
  • We have to choose which phalanx to concentrate the torsion on so as not to disperse the effort
  • We have to involve our entire body structure in the direction of the strength we are applying
  • If we can effectively put the opponent in an unfavorable position, he will have great difficulty in counterattacking and / or getting free
  • The hand that holds the opponent’s one must not only hold the grip, but instead push in such a way as to increase the force load applied to the phalanx victim of our action

The most common errors

  • Grasp the fingers or the hand with a weak or unstable grip
  • Hinder the twisting of the finger with our hand
  • Divide the torsion force on more phalanges
  • Imbalance ourselves in unnecessarily uncomfortable positions

Variants and evolutions

  • We can take more than one finger (less effective but easier, especially in a dynamic context)
  • We can rotate the finger not only backward but also sideways
  • When we are more skilled we can perform this finger grabbing Chin Na even leaving the first grab (after having correctly caught the opponent’s finger)
  • When we are expert we can perform the technique even entirely with a single hand (directly grabbing the opponent’s finger, we simply have to align the bones of the opponent’s arm, read for example Self-defense: brawl in front of a grocery store, more about this later)

Possible applications contexts


  • Fingers are rarely conditioned and even strong opponents cannot resist to this kind of torsions
  • Some people have a natural extreme flexibility in their fingers (some manage to bend them back until they touch the arm); this is not relevant, if we perform the technique according to the canons described in the premise and forcing the actual breaking point, it will surely work
  • With this Chin Na, even a very small person can effectively counteract the force of a much larger aggressor
  • On the other hand, it is also true that rarely an experienced fighter allow his adversary to grasp his fingers
  • To be able to intercept fingers and hands of an opponent in a dynamic context we need an excellent spatial intelligence (read The most important skill in combat), a solid grasping ability (see Hand grip strength conditioning) and a perfect timing (all characteristics generally absent in the novice practitioner)
  • One of the applications of this technique that is suitable almost for everyone is during ground fighting (read Ground fighting) or when we are already in close contact with the opponent (eg. we are tied with legs)

Sport fighting:

  • Due to the fragility of the body parts involved (and the effectiveness of this kind of techniques), the use of this kind of twisting on the fingers is strictly forbidden in 99% of the fighting sport competitions (read Declared techniques, sparring and sport competition)

In-depth articles


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • Can you effectively twist the finger?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

How to master 6 Dragons Kung Fu?

Are you searching for:

  • Daily training exercises?
  • Synthetic theory and concepts?
  • A step by step path from white to black belt?
  • A path (clear, consequential and gradual) designed to build real martial skills?
  • A direct contact with Master Kongling?

Go to our Patreon page and choose a training plan: starting from the Practitioner level, you will gain access to all this and much more.

Inside each Premium Lesson, you will receive the same teaching (practices, tips, concepts, small secrets and corrections) reserved to the live students of Master Kongling.

Important - Once a certain number of registrations are reached, no other participants can be accepted. For more information write to: [email protected].

Support us (1€ / month):