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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

18 January 2016

18/01/2016 - Teaching | Closed Guard | Armbar

Teaching #451
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 18/01/2016

A video posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on

For this fundamental attack from the guard, you first need to get control of their arm. There are numerous ways to do this, but in the interests of keeping things simple for drilling, a straightforward option is to grab their opposite tricep with your hand, then pull that across your body. You're then going to put your same side foot on their hip, clamping the knee of that leg to their shoulder (essentially you're trying to take away their space, as well as blocking them from easily pulling their arm backwards).

If they're wearing a gi, grab their opposite collar with your free hand (keeping a firm hold of their arm with your other hand) and pull them down. If it's nogi, grab their head. Next, kick your free leg into their armpit, aiming to further break their posture and get your leg across their back. You're also going to use that to swivel your own body away from their trapped arm and get a better angle. From here, you can then push their head out of the way with your head/collar grip.

That should make it easier to bring your hip-pushing leg over their head. Slide the arm you're using to control their arm up towards their wrist. At this point, you can switch to grasping their wrist with your hand if necessary. Squeeze your knees together, lift your hips and pull down gradually on their wrist for the tap.

A common problem is that your partner will 'stack' you up onto your shoulders, making it difficult (though not impossible) to finish the technique. This is a common problem with the triangle too. To prevent that situation, push with your legs, as well as really knocking your partner's posture when you kick across with the armpit leg. You can also 'walk' back on your shoulders to recover a more extended position if they are squashing you. Finally, angling the leg you have by their head can help (like on Adam Adshead's old DVD), as that makes it tougher for them to push into you.

If they do stack you, it's still possible to get the armbar. Swivel out as far as you can, then push on their leg. You'll end up spinning around their arm, putting you in a face down position. That enables you to bring your whole body to bear on their arm, resulting in a powerful armbar. Be warned that you need to be careful of getting bunched up underneath with this. If you misjudge it, you may end up carrying a lot of weight on your neck. Speaking from experience, that hurts, potentially messing up your neck for several weeks or even months.

Teaching Notes: I went through the full Sahid drills, starting with them putting their elbow over your belt line, then you swivelling your legs into place. That progresses to grabbing the tricep and pulling the arm over. Once I got to teaching, I was hoping that meant they'd have the basic movements, meaning we could refine it, adding the collar grip and leg twist. A few people still weren't getting the swivel: I'll emphasise that even more next time I teach this. I'm also not sure if it is better to do the collar grip first or arm grab. With the collar grip they have posture and it's tough to break down without a grip. But if the collar grip is in and they're pulled down, the arm is hard to pull across. Meh.

I guess treating this as an initial way to get the basics of armbars down could be the way to go, as there are a bazillion different ways to set it up and finish. As the US Grappling stats (for points competitions at least) revealed, armbars are the highest percentage attack for their competitors. I should therefore invest a decent bit of time teaching and training it. Sparring, I'm not progressing efficiently enough with the omoplata, though I did at least break their posture down better this time.

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