Restraints Lesson 2 – The Shim

Restraints Lesson 2 – The Shim

Take one object and slide it up between two locking mechanisms like a slithery little snek, you’ve got yourself a shim. Think of the old “Credit Card in the door jam” trick! This is a term that not only applies to handcuffs and flexcuffs but all of the Tactical Lock Picking curriculum.


WHY do we learn how to escape restraints?

Two reasons:

Law Enforcement – Just saying “Hey, handcuff properly, so bad guys don’t escape” only goes so far. Actually TRYING to escape builds strong mental pathways and you start to physically experience why one handcuff technique and which handcuff type/brand offer the most resistance to escape. NOT to mention, while under duress and uncomfortable you often will think to yourself “Man, I wish I just had the key” and when trained by a competent trainer they will also take you through the SEARCH portion before you are handcuffed. A method I employ is to have students hide 2 or 3 different escape tools on them. I then have perform a standard arrest-search and take a few of their tools, I try to always take the actual backup keys and leave them with other less preferred options, hopefully leaving a huge searing memory of why and how thorough a standard search should be when you are about to shove people behind you in your car for and extended period of time where your back is exposed and your attention is divided elsewhere….

Prepared Citizens – Riots, Home Invasions, Kidnapping either home or especially overseas, Active Shooters (some of those nut jobs brings duct tape or flex cuffs etc. to corral their victims and detain them) annnnnnd etc. We call things like this “Illegal Detention”. I do NOT teach people how to escape lawful custody. If you decide to do so I can promise it won’t end well for you. Should you, like me, travel overseas and somehow find yourself wrongfully targeted and detained I can tell you that I would unlikely end up in a foreign prison! hahahahaha. I don’t want to go to a prison IN the US, you think I’m going to allow myself to be thrown in a cell overseas? Nooooo sir. Not to mention the greater risk overseas is an organized violent kidnapping. Urban Survival training can offer much more than Insurance, it can give you life Assurance.

As seen in the video above this technique, for handcuffs, will not work if the handcuffs are double locked (another reason for LEO’s to remember to double lock – every time). And BOTH of these restraints require you to tighten your restraints as you apply these techniques…which means you can’t keep trying from scratch or you’re going to run out of room and risk losing your hands.

Some companies have specific tools designed for this: – Hypalon Concealment Wallet – (don’t forget to click to add the “Wallet Entry Kit”) There’s a shim in that package.’s wallet entry kit. – Straight Handcuff Shim (You’ll see in my video, it’s probably cheaper to use hair clips).’s Straight Handcuff Shim

Oscar Delta – UK based, has several shim options and escape tools.

One of’s escape tool options.

Please be smart and safe about your training:

  1. First off, be positive that you have appropriate and reliable and accessible restraint release tools.
  2. Always use a spotter if you are able. If not, take some extra time and care while training.
  3. Take responsibility for your own actions. If you have a medical condition, talk to a doctor. If you hurt yourself, don’t blame me. If you get locked in hand cuffs, tuck your tail between your legs and call for help. No training is worth dying for or getting severely injured for either.


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