A hard-to-believe restraint technique used by special forces in WWII, the “grape vine” is being demonstrated here for information purposes only. Do not try this unless under the supervision of a qualified person.
The secret to this restraint comes from chosing an appropriate tree or post, and from correct body positioning (the prisoner is less likely to escape if forced down).
If you are even going to attempt this, it is suggested you do it under the supervision of a qualified person. It generally suggested that two strong adults be present in order to extricate the captive from the restraint position.
After 10 to 15 mins in this position, the captive’s legs will cramp up, which will cause them to throw themselves backwards. This may kill them!
I’m not sure I understand the physiology behing it well…. But after a while (10 to 15 mins), you start getting cramp in your legs, which become unbearable… The natural reaction is to let go off your hands to relieve the pain, which forces you to fall backwards. This unnatural position places pressure on your ribcage, and your breathing is restricted. Eventually, you pass out, and your lungs may collapse if you are not pulled out… I haven’t tested this though.
Colonel Fairbairn, who first described this technique, actually writes that this “will” (not “may”) kill them. I assume he was speaking from experience… not a nice thought…
THE PREVIOUS VIDEO SHOWS HOW EFFECTIVE THIS TECHNIQUE IS. IT ALSO SUGGESTS A SAFETY RIG THAT YOU CAN SET UP BEFORE ATTEMPTING IT. IT IS STRONGLY ADVISED YOU VIEW IT TILL THE END.
A short history of the grapevine
The Grape Vine first appeared in “The American Boy’s Handy Book”, a sort of boyscout manual published in 1890, but it was Captain W.E. Fairbairn that widely publicised its military use in: GET TOUGH! How to win in hand-to-hand fighting – As taught to the british commandos and the U.S. armed forces”, a manual published in 1943.
Fairbairn writes: “Normally, the average man placed in this position would get cramp in one or both legs within ten to fifteen minutes, when it is not at all unlikely that he would throw himself backwards. This would kill him. Caution. – To release your prisoner: Two persons are necessary, one on either side. Take hold of his legs and lift him up the tree; then unlock his legs.”
Three ways to escape the grapevine
The video below details three ways to escape the grapevine, if you find yourself in this restraint position. They are: ‘brute strength’, ‘strip and pull’, and the corkscrew’: