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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

16 March 2015

16/03/2015 - Teaching | The Back | Armbar

Teaching #295
Artemis BJJ (MyGym), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 16/03/2015

Along with chokes, armbars are another good option from the back. You have the usual seatbelt grip, with one arm under their armpit, the other over their shoulder. Grasp their opposite wrist with your shoulder arm, then grab your own wrist with your armpit arm, locking on a figure four. Reach your foot on the armpit side over to the opposite hip, hooking around with your instep. Use that to swivel: you can also add in a swing with your other leg to help the rotation, much like with the bow and arrow choke.

You can also push off the floor if you prefer. As you turn, bring your shoulder arm over their head (this is often a fight, as they know they're in trouble once that is clear), then keeping their arm tight and your bum close to their shoulder, bring your leg over their head. Maintain a firm grip on the figure four throughout. It will also help you prevent them turning inwards, a common escape to the armbar.

Finally, adjust your position if necessary (e.g., scooting your hips in closer to their shoulder in order to prevent giving them any space), squeeze your knees then gradually drop back. Don't let go of the figure four until the last moment, moving up to the wrist. Raise your hips and pull down on the arm to finish. Make sure their thumb is pointing up (if it isn't, you can still finish the armbar, it's just a bit more awkward as you have to angle based on their elbow).

To add further control, you can put your leg higher on their head, making it more difficult for them to raise their head up. If they do manage to turn in towards you, you're in a good position to move straight into a triangle from guard. Quite often they will also link their hands together: there are many methods for breaking the grip, but one I like is simply kicking their grip apart (making sure you aren't giving up too much control in the process).

Teaching Notes: I could try out different methods, as there are lots of ways of doing the armbar (e.g., Dónal showed me one a while back). I could also add in plenty of details, particularly on getting the arm over the head as well as the leg. As ever, I don't want to be excessive with the detail. I think it was a good idea to do the bow and arrow choke first, as that motion helped people with the swivel on the armbar: they can work nicely in combination too.

Grip breaks is another area where you could easily spend a whole series of lessons going through all the permutations, so I just kept it simple with the kick break. It would be worth looking into a few more when I get into armbars from mount next month, depending what selection of techniques I decide to go with over April.

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