I’m a security expert and have always been fascinated by escape tactics, which is why one of the things I teach my clients is how to escape from zip ties.
Let’s just say you’re kidnapped and locked in a basement and you’re bound by zip ties. To break free should you ever be illegally restrained, first practice to figure out which hand position is easiest for you to break free with:
- Wrists together, palms down
- Wrists together, backs of hands touch each other
- Wrists together, hands crossed at your wrists
#1. Stay passive. Convince the captor you’re a lamb. Your captor will then be more likely to restrain you in the hand position you offer to him-the hand position that you know is easiest for you to break through zip ties.
#2. To break free of zip ties, make them as tight as possible, using your mouth to pull on the tie, and make sure that the locking bar is evenly between your hands.
#3. If bound from the front, raise hands overhead to get maximum momentum, then in one fluid motion, sweep them down into your gut, simultaneously chicken-winging your hands apart from each other to snap the ties. This same technique will work with double zip ties.
#4. To break from the rear, bend your legs so that your butt provides the breaking surface (imagine your hands as a big kitchen knife and your rear-end as the cutting board, and on the cutting board is a melon).
Bend forward, raising your bound hands as high as possible for maximum range of motion, then slam them down (simulating the knife) onto your butt (imagine a melon is there to slice in half), simultaneously chicken-winging your hands.
#5. Slipping out. If you’ve failed or had a lot of difficulty breaking the ties during practice session, then if you’re ever in a captive situation and are not yet bound, present the captor with both wrists straight out, palms facing down.
Next, clench your fists and flex the wrists while he ties you, to increase the diameter over which the ties will be looped. No matter how tight the ties are made, you’ll create air space by turning palms towards each other, allowing you to slip the ties off. What a great way to “break” free of zip ties!
You can also present cross wrists, then flex wrists and clench fists as you’re being tied. Then wriggle the top hand through the tie; work on getting your thumb out first. Once thumb clears you’re home free.
Practice these techniques and in no time you’ll feel confident you can break free of zip ties.