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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

17 September 2014

17/09/2014 - Teaching | The Back | Crucifix Armbar

Teaching #198
Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 17/09/2014

I've gone through a few chokes from the crucifix, so now I wanted to add in an armbar: that means you can attack with both submissions simultaneously. The entry is the same as before. Starting from the side ride, dig your near knee next to their hip. You're aiming to shove that as deep as you can behind their arm. Once it is in deep, flare the knee out towards you, which should make their arm available for your other heel to hook. Drag it back over your other leg and use your legs to lock that arm in place.

At this point, you've already got a bunch of attacks available to you, but we want to get them face-up. You'll probably be grabbing their wrist, their bicep, their sleeve or something else with your arm on the near side. With your other arm, reach under their far armpit and grab their shoulder. They could trap your elbow and try to roll you at this point, but that puts you where you want to be anyway. In the likely event they aren't foolish enough to do that, you have a few entries to the face-up crucifix available to you.

The one I prefer is from the Dave Jacobs seminar, where you walk backwards until you can get them face-up. The other option, which I included tonight, is to jump and roll over their shoulder, on the non-trapped arm side. This is a bit more acrobatic, so not something I use as often, but it is a viable alternative to the Jacobs method.

Once they're face-up, you don't want their weight too far on top of you, as again that can help them escape: if that happens, shrimp your hips slightly to bring them down again. However, you don't want them to slip too far down to the mat, as there's another escape they can do in that situation. So, if they're too far down, scoop under them to prevent that escape.

For the armbar, find their wrist with the back of your calf. When you get the right spot, flare your knee out, then bridge up into their arm. If they turn their hand, you'll need to follow their elbow with your hips, adjusting your position as necessary. If they manage to bend their arm, you can straighten it back out by 'walking' your feet up their arm. Making sure you still have one leg hooked over their arm (as soon as you don't, they'll free their arm and move to side control), bring the other foot behind and slide it up their arm. You can keep doing that until the arm is straight: this takes a bit of dexterity, but when you get used to the motion, it considerably improves your control.

Keep in mind that all the way through, you should be threatening a choke. That will keep their attention divided between the two submissions, increasing the efficacy of both.


Teaching Notes: My continuing experiment to show techniques from Mastering the Crucifix has gone well so far. I think I'll emphasise that 'walking' thing with the feet next time, which is something I got from the Dave Jacobs seminar. This also inspires me to try armbars from crucifix more often, as previously I've focused heavily on the choke when attacking from the crucifix in sparring.

I'm still keen to attempt teaching the reverse omoplata, but I'll see how drilling that on Saturday goes (presuming I can make it to the open mat on Saturday). If not, there are several escapes I could show next week instead, from crucifix, the turtle and orthodox back control.

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