Thinking Like a Cop: How to Restrain Someone

A while back we ran a piece on self-defense tactics that you could use when getting in a jam.

Just like your self-defense moves, restraining a person means that you don’t want to hurt them. Remember, it could be a huge liability for you. Instead, you’re going to want to make them look foolish and have them restrained until the cavalry arrives, the police.

Here’s some instructional videos on how to restrain a person using your body.

Restraint and Control Strategies


A seven minute plus clip of general restraint and control strategies from a guy who’s been doing this for over 25 years.

Non-violent Self-defense Restraint and Control


This clip gives you some more strategies on restraint and control, but, it also gives you several tips on how to remain safe, like not trying to control someone bigger than you unless absolutely necessary.

Arm Bear Restraint


Very basic, and simple, strategy in restraining someone.

Wrist Grab


Short instruction on how to restrain someone by using a wrist grab, and then even converting it into a take down if you had to.

Chicken Wing, or Goose Neck, Restraint


Another short instructional video that shows you how to detain and escort someone using this submission move.

You might get tired of pinning someone down for an extended period of time so here are some objects, that are easily available, and that you can use to lend you a hand.



We already know that cops carry around a pair, but believe it or not, most citizens can too.

You can easily buy a pair online, or at your local sex shop. They’re effective, and even though you may look like a douche, you can carry them around in your back pocket.

While there aren’t too many laws making the carrying of handcuffs illegal, the law may not be on your side if you put a person in cuffs. You could face getting sued, or even, arrested yourself. If you have to use handcuffs, it would most likely be during a felony situation. Handcuffing a kid that spray painted a wall isn’t that good of an idea.

If you do handcuff someone, a majority of police training instructs cops to handcuff a person with their hands behind their backs and their palms facing outward.

Even if you don’t use them when restraining someone that’s breaking the law, you could always put them to work in the bedroom to shake things up.

Zip-ties, cable ties, etc. and PlastiCuffs/FlexiCuffs

zip ties

You can find these at any hardware shop. They’re cheap and pretty durable. There is no way that an average person is going to break loose from a zip-tie, unless they have a lighter or sharp object on them.

Also, because of their size, you can have some stashed anywhere and they wouldn’t send out a red flag.

Cops have taken the zip-tie concept and have been using PlastiCuffs, or FlexiCuffs, in riot situations.



Unless you’re some dirty hippie, or someone that wears a helmet and has velcro shoes, then we all have shoelaces.

An easy, and make shift, means of restraining someone when you don’t have a pair of cuffs or zip-ties.

Because you’re probably wearing the shoelaces in question, no one’s going to think that you’re a nut that carries a pair of handcuffs around. They’re also not as harsh as cuffs or zip-ties, so you probably won’t be as likely to hurt the person you’re detaining.

As long as you know how to make a decent knot, someone probably won’t break out of them. Remember, you really want to keep them in place until the real cops arrive.



Another object that you’re probably wearing that you could use to restrain someone, or even a weapon if you had too, just remember those beatings your old man used to give you as a kid.

Just like shoe laces, using a belt isn’t as harsh as a pair of cuffs or zip-ties, so injuring someone shouldn’t be an issue.

And, just like shoe laces, everyone will be impressed by your MacGyver like skills.

The best way to restrain someone using a belt is to just tie the belt around their upper torso and arms, so they can’t use their fists to smash you in the face. They probably won’t be able to break away from it either, remember, the idea here is to buy some time.

Even if they are able to run away, I’m pretty sure a person running down the street with their arms strapped to them is going to raise a few eyebrows.

Or, you could be real hardcore, and get yourself a restraint belt. They have ones for prisoners, people in wheel chairs, kids, pets, the mentally disabled, or if you’re into some fetish shit. Needless to say, it could be a great investment.



This one is pretty obvious, although, not everyone carries around some rope with them.

Maybe if someone breaks into your house and you have quick access to rope, then sure, why not use it to restrain them.

Just like shoelaces, as long as you tie a decent knot, the person shouldn’t be able to break out. Also, since the rope is thicker than shoelaces, it would be harder to wiggle out of it.

Remember, we’re not advising you to become some vigilante. We’re just showing you some tips on to stop someone from hurting you, your girl, friends, etc. until the real cops arrive. So if you do have to use any of these methods, make sure your smart about it. You don’t want to go to jail do you?

And, if you really want to protect yourself, take those self-defense classes I mentioned in the previous article.

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